The organizers of this weekend’s Black National Convention said they wanted to empower African-Americans through their vote while countering the false narratives about people protesting police violence and systematic racism.
Movement For Black Lives, a national coalition of local organizations advocating for equal justice, voting rights and police accountability, will host its first Black National Convention this weekend.
“This is an intervention,” said organizer Kayla Reed of Action St. Louis. “That national political dialogue cannot happen without the courage of people in the streets who have been ten steps ahead this whole time.”
Reed pointed to the fact that both political parties invoked the Black Lives Matter movement at their respective conventions.
“Our response is clear that we will continue to do the work that is creating power and victory in this country and the Black National Convention is just one way to tell our story and highlight the breadth and magnitude of our story,” Reed said. “We are not small. We are mighty.”
Organizers said they are not backing any candidate, but are especially not endorsing Trump after he repeatedly characterized BLM demonstrators as anti-American, violent and radical.
The free, online-only event will highlight how local organizations are getting the word out about voting and is designed to mobilize the country’s black voters ahead of the increasingly contentious presidential election this November.
“We will celebrate our collective struggle, determination and our collective genius that has led us to this moment where we can create this current black agenda,” said organizer Rukia Lumumba of the People’s Advocacy Institute .
The Black National Convention will be live-streamed Aug. 28 at http://www.blacknovember.org.