By Emanuel L. Knight: special to PAGT
JUNE 1, 2011
For the 19th year, the “First Weekend in June” will bring together several dozen writers,
aspiring writers, publishers, distributors, street vendors, booksellers and buyers, to celebrate
“Excellence in Black Literature.”
With some notable exceptions, each presentation has been made in
Virginia, during the 21st Century, at the Nat Turner Reference Library in
Southampton County. This may well be the final one, as we know it.
According to its founder, Sebek H. Khalif Khalifah, “This deep into my
Eldership, I’ll either shut it down this year or in 2012 to free myself
and spend my remaining years evolving the ideas for The Nat Turner
“The Nat Turner Library,” www.natturnerlibrary.com is to be more than
just about the stellar example of Nat Turner, but as a Independent Black
Institution that will be established as a Living Legacy to what we, my
generation, did with Black literature.” He continued.
Some of the giants of Sebek Khalifah’s generation have recently died.
Hodari Ali of Pyramid Books of Washington, D.C. and George Welch of Self
Improvement Education Center in Norfolk, Virginia, to name two. Unlike
many in “The Struggle,” Khalifah has managed to devote all of his working
time and life to serve Black people. This includes his livelihood and the
things needed to support his family.
Many of the most celebrated Black persons of the last 50 years have
attended presented Black Book Awards; most also Toured the Nat Turner
Trail, which begins on the “Nat Turner Land” at Khalifah’s Estates.
The list of attendees, and we’ll not take the room to list them all, but
the list includes Imari Obadele, Minister John Muhammad, Sister Shahrazad
Ali, Dr. Tony Martin, Dr. Na’im Akbar, Master Keidi Awadu, Dr. Henry N.
Anderson, Hodari Ali, Dr. Laila O. Afrika, Nana Butwieku I, Dr. Amos N.
Wilson, Queen Mother Moore, Dr. ben, Del Jones, Dr. John Clarke, Omar
Tyree, Gloria Taylor Edwards, Paul Gutrie, Minister Neal Jackson, Queen
Mother Dorothy Lewis, Sister Johnita Scott, Former President Ukali Mwendo
(RNA), Sister Salaam Jaha, Dr. Muata Ashby, Dr. Karen Ashby, Sister Judy
Carter; the list is quite long…the point is, had it not been for receiving
a Black Book Award, the works of the mass majority these giants would
have never been cited for its worth and excellence in the survival work of
UBUS COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS
UBUS Communications Systems – www.khabooks.com – is the founding name of
Khalifah’s business formation.
“Our objective for 40 years have been to build ‘communications systems’ so
that when the Black Nation is truly free, the necessity of us, independent
of the enemy, communicating throughout the nation will have “Systems”
already in place to do this work.
“UBUS is not near to where we wanted it to be by this time in my
Eldership, but it has achieved a presence, it is strong; it is committed;
and it is assured its survival because it is ingrained in the very fabric
of our people: UBUS has served Black people where we found them in need in
their day to day lives.” In other words Khalifah have made his mark!
MOST IMPORTANT IS MOST EFFECTIVE
One of the glaring needs for the good health of the National Black
Community, the Black Nation, is the need to control the Black Words of
Wisdom, and the wealth of skills that permitted the survival of Black
people in the United States of America; it has been survival driven by a
“Divine Purpose” to evolve our spirituality while doing the work to free
the Race from all vestige of Slavery, Second-Class Citizenship and other
forms of Oppression.
Both the survival skills and the Purpose must be in the hands of
committed, conscious Black people. If not, the succeeding generations will
not only NOT survive as healthy generations, but should they manage to
survive, they will be a flawed, unhealthy people because they would have
forsaken our Divine Purpose.
Sebek Khalifah is proudest of the fact that he has kept his family
together for most of his time in The Liberation Struggle. He is the
father of five children and two grandchildren, with one on the way.
“After some really focused study and concentration on spiritual work, for
the most part, in Harlem, NY, during which I was introduced to the living
work and practice of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the importance of
keeping ones family together became a non issue.
“The way I came to see the Philosophy of the Nation of Islam was the
Message of The Messenger was a Spiritual Message; A message to heal the
balancing part of ourselves. The balancing factor is in “The Message.” It
made us strong enough to do the work necessary to free ourselves from
oppression in the United States of America.”
ON BECOMING A GOD SO
WE CAN DO THE WORK THAT GOD DO
Khalifah says that when he heard The Messager tell us that we are Gods,
he wanted to know two things: 1) The things he needed to do to become a
God and 2) What is the nature of the work that God does?
The answer to both questions were found in the work needed to serve Black
people 1) Black people needed to gain control over their own
communications systems. In setting out to do the work to help them gain
this control, he was determined to earn his livelihood ‘doing the work.”’
2) The nature of the work of God is to defeat the designs of the Devil:
the “devil” embodying anything that circumvented the potential of
humanity. In study, prayer and meditation, through the Spiritual
Expression of Islam, Sufism and finally The Metu Neter of Ancient Kemit,
he uncovered the fact that one does not BECOME A GOD through prayer,
meditation or study. It is the NATURE OF, and DOING THE WORK that
elevates one to be a God.
THE WORK, THE WORK, THE WORK!
BUILDING COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM ON THE LAND
Headquarters for UBUS for the past 13-years have been on a 123 acre tract
of the birth land of Nat Turner in Southampton County. The tradition of
Black Book Awards is continuing into the second decade. Many of the
things that made it possible to continue for so long will continue.
Namely, the annual “Inventory Reduction Sale” of many of the some 600
books UBUS have been involved in the publication of over the years.
Some of the most important books in Black history will be retailed during
the weekend, for 50% of the cover price. Many on the UBUS ‘backlist” will
be sold at the flat rate of $2.00 per book wholesale; and $3.00 per book
For more information, please call 434-378-2140. Admission to the Black
Book Awards is free. Everyone is subject to the cost for dinner and to
take the Nat Turner Trail. More information can also be obtained at
www.blackbookaward.com. or firstname.lastname@example.org
NAT TURNER CONVENTION 2011 - AUG. 20-21 - The Re-emergence of Nat Turner:
be a part of "correcting, preserving & Propagating Black History: call
WE STILL MEDITATE AT THE HOUR OF EIGHT