Formed Shortly After His Break With The Nation Of Islam (Initially Due To Remarks He Made About The Assassination Of President John F. Kennedy), The OAAU Was A Secular Institution That Sought To Unify 22 Million Non-Muslim African Americans With The People Of The African Continent. The OAAU Was Modeled After The ORGANIZATION OF AFRICAN UNITY (OAU), A Coalition Of 53 African Nations Working To Provide A Unified Political Voice For The Continent. Malcolm Sought To Reconnect Black Americans With Their African Heritage, Establish Economic Independence, And Promote African American Self-determination. He also Wanted OAAU Representation On The OAU.
The OAAU Called For African American-Run Institutions Within The Black Community And Increased Participation In Mainstream Politics. In An Effort To Keep The OAAU Strictly In The Hands Of Black Americans, Malcolm Insisted That There Be No Monetary Donations From Non-African Sources. The Organization Also Refused Membership To Whites.
The OAAU's Constitution Contained The Following, For The Basic Unity Program:
1. Restoration: "In order to release ourselves from the oppression of our enslavers then, it is absolutely necessary for the Afro-American to restore communication with Africa."
2. Reorientation: "We can learn much about Africa by reading informative books."
3.Education: "The Organization of Afro-American Unity will devise original educational methods and procedures which will liberate the minds of our children. We will ... encourage qualified Afro-Americans to write and publish the textbooks needed to liberate our minds ... educating them [our children] at home."
4. Economic Security: "After the Emancipation Proclamation ... it was realized that the Afro-American constituted the largest homogeneous ethnic group with a common origin and common group experience in the United States and, if allowed to exercise economic or political freedom, would in a short period of time own this country. We must establish a technician bank. We must do this so that the newly independent nations of Africa can turn to us who are their brothers for the technicians they will they will need now and in the future."
Malcolm's Half-Sister, Ella Collins, Took Over The OAAU, Following His Murder On February 21, 1965, However, Most Members Left The Group That Now Lacked Charismatic Leadership. Nevertheless, The OAAU Inspired The Formation Of Future "Black Power" Groups During The Next Decade And Beyond.
"In Order For Black History To Live, We Must Continue To Breathe Life Into It." -- Hubert Gaddy, Jr.