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The Prince of Pan-Africanism Dr. Umar Johnson is returning to Baltimore. By Andreas Butler and Phinesse Demps

Black Conscious At The Crossroads with Dr. Umar Jhonson

Johnson will kick off the 2017 Kwanzaa Tour at the Downtown Cultural Arts Center at 401 North Howard Street to deliver his Umoja message from rhetoric to reality: Black Consciousness at a Crossroads. He also address education, economics and politics.

“I’m expecting for some high energy. It’s going to be great. I love Baltimore,” respond Johnson.

Baltimore is a special place to Johnson.

“Baltimore has always been a strong supporter me and my work. Three of my favorite places are in Baltimore those being my favorite museum (The Black wax museum), restaurant (North Avenue) and my family history because Baltimore is my ancestral home,” Johnson informed Indie Soul.

Johnson is a descendant of abolitionist Frederick Douglass who escaped from slavery in Baltimore to freedom in New York.“Douglass’ grandmother is six generations from me. One of my great fathers was Douglas’ first cousin and halfbrother Stephen Harvey Bailey who is four generations up. Douglas, Bailey and I are all descendants of Isaac and Betsey Bailey,” said Johnson.

This year’s Kwanzaa tour includes stops in Jacksonville, Florida on December 28 and Detroit on December 30.

All proceeds will go towards the Black College Tour which takes place in Atlanta from June 28 to July 11 and accommodates Black males ages 11-17.


In 2017, Johnson believes that Black America must finally unite. According to Johnson, “In 2017 Black people must stop fighting each other and put aside our petty differences. We need to build up Black banks and Black infrastructure because Whites are not going to. We are divided over religion, fraternity, sorority, political party, skin tone and etc. We only unite by ideology but we need to unite and start meeting with purpose. We don’t’ have to agree on everything but we must agree on the purpose.”

African-Americans are still facing racism today

Johnson expressed, “There are two realities in America today Black and White. A Black man and White man living in the same neighborhood with same job, both middle class and their kids in same school the White man has no idea that Black man is facing racism. The Black man has higher property taxes, higher mortgage, higher small business loan and etc. When his kid has a bad day in school they want to put him in special education, suspend him or expel him.”

Blacks need to stop trying to prove racism to Whites

According to Johnson, “95-percent of all communication is verbal which leads back us to racism…the side effect is you know that racism is there but you must prove it. It’s hard to prove in court. What we need to understand. We need to stop trying to prove that racism exists. Even if, we do prove it to Whites or even if, they understand they still will do nothing because they benefit from the White Supremacy system.”

Today’s Black leaders don’t challenge White Supremacy.

Johnson emphasized, “The difference between Black leadership in the 21st century from 20th is leaders like Garvey, King and Douglass had a strategy which was carried out and sustain, all revolutions are. It started with the abolitionist movement that lasted 100 years and carried over to the civil right which lasted three decades. Leaders today like Sharpton and Jackson don’t challenge White supremacy. They are harmless status quo leaders. Blacks today are lazy as long as they have their material comforts. We march, occupy and pray for a day. Change never came in a day.


Johnson is a certified school psychologist; he is critical of the American education system which he believes puts Black males through a school to prison pipeline.

During the Kwanzaa tour Johnson will provide parents with information on how to combat racism in schools.Johnson explained, “We need to know the laws and how they can help us. We need to now that we can refuse special education and the evaluations. We need to know the psychological effects of medication on our children, about ADHD and so on.”To educate African males worldwide Johnson plans to build the Frederick Douglas-Marcus Garvey Academy.

“I am open and looking everywhere. This will be a nation building school which will branch out. I am looking in Baltimore as well as Detroit and Chicago which are also strong supporters of my work,” stated Johnson.The goal is to open on August 21, 2017 which is the anniversary of Anniversary of Nat Turner’s slave revolt which occurred in Virginia on August 21, 1931.Vacant HBCU Morris Brown College in Atlanta could be another location.

“I have been informed that the property is being appraised and has no price tag yet,” said Johnson.

The curriculum will include: military and political science; economics and finance (including: taxes, property taxes, business law, real estate, stocks and business planning); Black family and community; fatherhood; agriculture and & agriscience, diet-how to eat right and heal the body.


Johnson encourages Black America to build an economic base. He said,”We spend money empowering other cultures to enslave us. We put everybody else kids through college. We invest in their kids’ future but not our own.

Johnson believes that the billions of dollars African-Americans spend on holidays like Christmas could go to better useAccording to Johnson, “Black people in New York City are spending $8 billion on Christmas. In Baltimore they are spending $1 billion. That money could build independent Black schools, hospitals and more. We could open a factory and put people to work. 75-percent of Black teens in Baltimore are unemployed because people don’t’ want to hire them due to stereotypes.”


In addition, Johnson believes that Blacks need to form a political union.“We need to divert from all political parties all of them. They don’t’ have a Black Agenda. We need a political union not a political party. That way we can come up with an agenda and finance candidates and put them in office,” said Johnson. Johnson is critical of President Obama and Blacks approach to politics.

“We must change how we approach politics. Blacks approach politics and every Presidential election emotionally. We did it with Obama which led to no political activity from him for us. He is a hero who did nothing for Black people. Whites chose him to carry out their agenda. Why is he our hero? Being a Black president? He passed legislation for gays, women, immigrants and others but not us,” commented Johnson.