Approximately 300 people gathered at the Crane Street Park, on a hot and humid Sunday afternoon, for an event held by the The New Black Panther Party.
The event was organized locally by the efforts of Selahdeen Muhamned, chairman, of the Rome, Georgia chapter of the New Black Panther Party.
The event began when the Chief of Staff for the New Black Panther Party (NBPP), Ron Williams, opened the event with a prayer.
According to opening remarks by Williams, the NBPP is here to “educate the black man and educate the black woman. We’ve come to show love.”
Following the prayer, there was a poetry reading by two local children and a woman who identified herself as Janet Jackson, before Muhamned took the stage.
Bonnie, Tanisha, and Nicole, three young ladies aspiring to be local entrepreneurs, were the next group to be introduced. The name of their business is Awaken Beauty and the three owners described their business as an “Afro-Centric Line of Clothing for conscious minded people.” Their clothing is inspired by African-American fashion and is completely hand made and sewn in their homes. All three ladies modeled some of their creations as they worked the crowds and tried to help spread the word about their new business. The business began in early 2016 and just recently went online for orders. You can find their designs on their Facebook page at Awaken Beauty.
According to Muhamned, The New Black Panther Party believes in a 10 point program, which includes;
- “Being Completely Free From Our Oppressors”
- “We want full employment for all our people.”
- “We want our people out of the experimental housing that we call projects.”
- “We want to be tax exempt from all government associations.”
- “We want all our people to be exempt from military service.”
- “We want education for our children.”
- “We want an end to all police harassment, and all police brutality.”
- “We want freedom for all black men and women held internationally, militarily, federally, state, county, city, jails, and in prison’s.”
- “We feel like you should be tried by a jury of your peers.”
- “We demand an end to all racist death, all the killing of our people, all of the killing of each other. If ya’ll don’t know it, and ya’ll don’t see it, we’re the only ones killing each other.”
In an exclusive interview with Coosa Valley News; Muhamned, originally from New York, has lived in Rome for 15 years. He chose Rome as his home because it is essentially the halfway point from his mother who lives in Alabama, and his children who live in the Atlanta area.
Muhamned said; “Rome is a great city and a great city to raise children, but the key point is that we have to get the guns out of the children’s hands. You can’t reverse a gunshot. We want to create resources for those guys selling drugs, and show them there is a better life than just being on the corner committing crimes, that’s ignorance, that’s not using your brain.”
Muhamned said that the New Black Panther Party was not “racist” or here to cause “trouble” but that the agenda for the New Black Panther Party is that of “black love, building our communities up, and getting our resources together.”
When asked how the NBPP would become exempt from paying taxes, Muhamned said that particular agenda was above his ranking, but that the National Officials of the NBPP are currently trying to work with members of Congress, to come up with a solution.
Muhamned was very pleased with the turnout and felt the event was “beautiful” and that he could “feel the black love in the air.” Muhamned wanted to inform the community that beginning the following week, he, along with other members of the NBPP will be travelling to every side of town to begin cleaning up trash out of people’s yards and “tidying up the rubbish in the community.” Muhamned said the NBPP would be focusing their efforts in a different part of town every weekend in an attempt to “beautify our community.”