Just a few days before returning to Cheyney University for my senior year, I attended the Uhuru Flea Market in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at Clark Park on 43rd and Baltimore Avenue. This economic development project of the African People’s Education and Defense Fund (APEDF) supports local businesses in the Philadelphia region, and programs aimed at ending health, educational, and economic disparities in the African community. The term “Uhuru” is a swahili word that means “freedom” or “independence” in English, and after experiencing the Uhuru Flea Market on Saturday, August 20th my vision of freedom for African people from the colonial and neocolonial structures that impede on the rights of indigenous communities has been transformed.
As a precursor to the Uhuru Book Fair & Flea Market on Saturday, September 24th, at Clark Park, the Uhuru Flea Market was filled with valuable information, goods, and commerce that would return to the black community. After I walked around the park a while and interacted with vendors throughout the day I began to envision myself in a Timbuktu like mecca for African business, knowledge, and trade. The city of Timbuktu in Mali was once the most premier center in the world for art, scholarship, and business where people of all skills and interests traveled to enrich themselves during medieval times. Though the high days of Timbuktu and many other prominent centers of knowledge on the African continent are far gone it is important for African people to remember what is possible when we are free of colonial rule and able to determine our own reality.
In support of black-owned businesses and the building of an independent self-determined black nation like the many that existed before the European invasion of the African continent and the Berlin Conference; APEDF and the Uhuru movement have truly created something beautiful that allows African people, particularly in the United States of America, to engage their community in a way that is somewhat foreign. I am proud to have played even a minimal role in the organizing of the Uhuru Flea Market and the upcoming Uhuru Book Fair & Flea Market on September 24th knowing the ways it will benefit African people and aid progress towards the ultimate goal of freedom and independence from colonial institutions. Overall I would say it was a successful event on Saturday and I encourage my readers to attend the upcoming Book Fair and Flea Market. Uhuru!
For more information on the Uhuru movement and how you can become a vendor, co-sponsor, endorser, or volunteer for the next Uhuru event, visit and explore the official web page of the Uhuru Book Fair and Flea Market.