thumbnail of In Black America; The Grand Alliance For Children In Africa
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
. From the Longhorn Radio Network, the University of Texas at Austin, this is in Black America. You have some fact sheets on children and the African Recovery Programme, and these fact sheets were made specially for the Midterm Review, the General Assembly that was just completed, the Midterm Review on the UN Plan of Action for the African Economic Recovery. So that you will have a lot of hard information there regarding what is done with children and women as part of the African Recovery.
As you remember, this recovery is the result of a declaration that was adopted in May of 1986 by the General Assembly between Africa and the International Community. Then you have a preliminary report of the Harada Symposium, this report, which was the second symposium after the Dakar Symposium. Jabril Jello, Senior Advisor with United Nations, Children's Fund. Over the past decade, the economic and social situation in Africa has deteriorated. Millions are suffering in emergency situations due to natural and man-made disasters such as drought, floods, epidemics, pests, armed conflicts, and South Africa's act of destabilization. At the same time, the continent is suffering from adverse international economic and financial environment, from economic adjustment programs with results in drastic cuts in social budgets, and from inadequate domestic policies. In 1981, UNICEF policies and programs in Africa have continued to evolve in response to the crisis situation in conjunction with the United Nations and with other agencies.
I'm John A. O. Hanson, Jr. This week, building a grand alliance for children in Africa and the Armadines, Gory Island Memorial, and appeal in Black America. This week, the UNICEF policies and programs in Africa have continued to evolve in response to the crisis situation in conjunction with the United Nations and with other agencies. You have the Symposium report of Dakar itself, which also contains the Dakar Plan of Action. It's in two languages, either side, you have English or French, so you have French version on one side and English version on the other side. And then you have an English and French version of a special issue of Africa recovery.
This is very interesting because just like you are participating in this ceremony, I asked each one of the journalists who participated in the Symposium in Dakar in March of 1987 to write an article about what struck them most and what is combined here is the result of those impressions. So that would be very, very interesting, I think, for you. In May of 1987, at the Organization for African Unity Summit, the heads of state and government adopted several other illusions endorsing child survival efforts. The growing commitment of African leaders to the well-being of African children and women has been centred to the success of child survival and development activities supported by UNICEF. In recent years, UNICEF has enlisted the support of decision makers and communicators such as artists, writers, intellectuals, parliamentarians, religious leaders, and non-governmental organizations to build a grand alliance for children. After the OAU Summit, the organization declared the year 1988 as the year for the protection, survival, and development of the African child.
On a recent visit to the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, senior adviser with the United Nations Children's Fund, Gabriel Gello, gave us an outline addressing the efforts of UNICEF towards African child survival. As you can see, the relationship that we have developed with Festbach is part of our overall strategy of trying to utilize the talents of artists, writers, and intellectuals. In other words, the communicators, in the broader sense of the word, first of all, to put together messages on child survival and development, secondly, to disseminate those messages, because what we found in Africa is that the biggest problem in terms of infant mortality rates is not so much lack of medicine as education. You know, if the mothers were to know that, for instance, you know, before doing anything you have to wash your hands, they're very basic things that they were to accept that can cut the infant mortality rate drastically, and then immunization comes in and other fields as well.
This is the reason why UNICEF created two years ago a unit called the Social Mobilization Unit, which is here in the division, which I'm directing, whose purpose is to try and work on social mobilization if initiatives towards the third world in general. So the initiative was launched in Africa, and as you can see, you know, it has a tremendous impact in Africa, but also it is concerned with Asia, with Latin America as well. Video that you saw happened in March of 87. Since then, artists and intellectuals have gone back to their individual countries and have formed national support groups. Every time discussing how they can bring the theme of child survival and development to the front in terms of artists and intellectuals, and we have been working with Festbach, putting this platform at the disposal of Festbach to try and reach out to African artists and intellectuals.
In other words, wherever we have these activities, we're trying to make sure that there is an item on the agenda to do with Festbach because UNICEF has got a presence in virtually every single African country, so the network is there. And if it is worldwide, again, it's the widest network that we have, because apart from being present in the third world, we have also what we call the UNICEF committees in the industrialized countries. So all the major industrialized countries have got their own individual committees. We have plans to have at least one week devoted to the youth during Festbach itself in June of 89. And hopefully, during that week, we will have UNICEF goodwill ambassadors like Liv Olman, like Harry Belafonte, like Audrey Hepburn, and so on.
The latest ambassador that we have is Katarina Wheat, as you know, is German. It's getting ice skating champion to participate in this effort. And now we are laying a lot of emphasis at two levels of our work. One level is to consolidate the contacts with artists and intellectuals at the national level. This is the remotest villages. You know, we deal with grios, we deal with religious cheese, we deal with women's organizations in terms of using their knowledge to bring across the message. So we have now national support groups in almost every one of the countries of West and Central Africa. And then the Hararas symposium came in focusing specifically on the children in the front lines days. There, again, you know, you had artists and intellectuals who came from southern Africa who addressed that specific issue.
And then outside Africa, the second point is that we're planning to have contacts with artists and intellectuals in three countries in particular, as part of the diaspora. We will have probably a workshop sometime next year in Brazil trying to link the experience that we had in Africa. We, what's going on with artists and intellectuals in Brazil, particularly using the natural link of the involvement of so many artists and intellectuals from Brazil within the Festbach network, for instance, at the same thing in Haiti and the same thing in Brazil. The final point which I would like to make is that in March of 87, and this is for your calendar, you know, we're going to have the third symposium of this nature in Bamako. 89, I'm sorry, March of 89. And this meeting will be focusing specifically on what we call the Bamako initiative.
Because the problem that we have seen in Africa is that while people are enthusiastic about having their children immunized, we have to find some means of sustaining that interest once the immunization has been done. And the provision of essential drugs as part of primary health care is very important because people have lost trust in villages, in village clinics in general because there's no medicine available at the village level. So in September of last year, the director general of UNICEF went to Bamako at a meeting of ministers of health from all of Africa. And upon his recommendation, a resolution was adopted for the provision of essential drugs to remotest villages in Africa. And this is part of what is called the Bamako initiative, which is to try and develop self-supporting primary health care programs at village level.
So for instance, we can buy medicine at say something that costs the city of New York $1, we can buy it at a third of that like 30 cents. We can sell it to the village. At 40 cents, the village can easily sell it for the equivalent of $1, you know, for arguments sake, recoup its own money and then use the benefit, the profit, you know, to regenerate in the community. And there have been very, very good instances of this type already in Africa. And the African ministers of health, the heads of state summit are very, very interested in this process. So the Bamako meeting in March of 89 will address specifically the issue of how do you have the relationships between communicators and an initiative like the Bamako initiative. And we're going to have a meeting of the Pan-African planning committee because there is a committee of artists and intellectuals from within Africa who are directing this initiative.
Because UNICEF started the initiative, but UNICEF insisted that it should be first and foremost an African initiative. It's up to the African to take it and run away with it. And as a result, if you take this document of yours, on page 17, you will see the members of the two committees, not that one, the Harare document this month. On page 17, you will see that there is the advisory council, which is the moral authority under which these initiatives have been taken. You have Chinoa Chade, Patri Jain, Grasama Shell, Miriam Makiba, Alim Azrui, Kevre Medin, and Mrs. Mugabe Zimbabwe's first lady. All of these people were also in Harare. So this is the group under whose moral authority, the whole initiative, is being conducted.
Underneath that, you have the Pan-African planning committee, which is the group of people who actually do the job at the regional level. And there you have Adetevi, whom some of you have met, who is a very well-known Beninoa philosopher, who is also the regional director of UNICEF for Western Central Africa. Maria Gabiela Antunas, who is from Angola, Fatima Bahri, who is from the OAU, Walter Goya, who is the chairman of the Tanzanian publishing house, and also a writer, Manu Di Bangu, Usman Chowishat, from Senegal, Malangatana from Mozambique, Rosemboa from Uganda, and Mrs. Yoni from Zimbabwe. So this planning committee is going to meet in Zimbabwe from the 5th to the 7th of December, to try and see what has been done since Harare, to make sure that we keep the pressure going at the national level, and then also to try and prepare the march meeting in Bamako.
Jibril Jello, Senior Advisor with the United Nations Children's Fund. Also while in New York City, I attended the Amadeez, Goray Island Memorial, and Appeal ceremony. Goray Island, off the singonese coast, houses one of the most infamous of the buildings, from which African slaves set out on their journey across the Atlantic. One of the high points of Fespa to be held in Senegal throughout the month of June in 1989 will be the laying of a foundation stone for a monument at this site, representing the unity of Africans and people of African descent throughout the world. The Memorial will be a replica of one to be constructed on the nearby Amadeez headland. Goray has already been designated an historic monument by the government of Senegal, and is on the World Heritage List of UNESCO, as worthy of preservation. The Memorial is intended to represent more than the remembers of the past.
It looks to a future in which all those of African descent can join together to play their role in the history of humanity. The erection of the Memorial is intended to take place within the context of a $100 million restoration of Goray as a cultural and historical complex. The total project is conceived as a symbol of remembers and reunification of the people of Africa and its diaspora. It will comprise a museum, an exhibition center, conference center, theaters, restaurants, and a commercial area. On October 5, 1988, formal ceremonies were held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City to launch the World African Memorial. After the ceremony, I spoke with Dick Gregory regarding the World African Memorial. Mr. Gregory, why is it important for you and other Black Americans to participate in funding Memorial in Goray Island? Well, I think it's bigger than me and other Black Americans.
I think the emancipation population served one purpose. That was to physically free me from slavery. But if you physically free me from slavery and mentally you don't, which you can't. That's my job. Then I will do the same things that I was doing before, except I'll pay for the right to pay rent. I'll pay for the right to eat when I was a slave. You had to do that. And so now this is the first step in freeing up our minds. And once that gets free, the spirit gets free. To give you an example of what happens when you free physically but not mentally. The Black folks is less than 12% of America's population. But last year we was responsible for 73% of all the homicides. Now what do that mean? That means mentally I have tolerated an insulting system to frighten to do anything about it. So every time I kill somebody it looked like me, I'm really killing me. It's me I hate. And so consequently it's kind of sad when we stop as we talk right now. One out of every 21 Black men in America, one of them will be murdered.
One in every 131 white men in America will be murdered. And so as we free ourselves, we lose the hostility that we have for ourselves. We lose the hostility we have for our friends. And then once that mental freedom, this is the first step in being free mentally. That's why it's important. How do you feel in this room with so many Black African dignitaries? Is it celebrating to you to see Black leaders, people from the aspect of meeting together, to coming to a common solution to the problems of the African nations? Yeah. And then in one day when we realized that they have to come to our problem, you see they have an economic problem, all their problems in Africa is physical. I was as mental. You know, I'm still free and ain't left. Is that? And even when they get over with their problem, they own their land. They see Black folks in charge. If someone do something wrong, they're arrested by Black. They tried by Black.
They defended by Black. So we have all together different mentality. So together I have what they can use and they definitely have what I can use. And that is I have all these skills to build a nation. Now, if they can weed out which one of us is crazy and which one is not and take the same ones back to build a nation, it will work now. You can't come over here and just grab Black folks and take back. You got some Black folks that think more like White folks and White folks. And you got some Black folks that will be running dope 20 minutes after they get back. And so, but the salvation of Africa from the physical standpoint is here and the salvation of Black folks, America and the middle standpoint is there. Do you think we've lost some of the vigour every chicken? Our colleagues last year, Africa and this economic problem. The famine was in the news. The networks went over there and did specials. But here in 88, a lot of part of 87, a lack of days ago, attitudes on the part of the news media and still addressing the problems that exist. I've never seen any sustained problems in the news media for a long time.
They peak and then they go down. You have to keep doing something new. They peak and they go down. The only reason people think about being Johnson is because of the steroids. If he just won, I wouldn't have mentioned his name and most folks would talk about it. So they have the peaks and then they go down. And so, you know, especially when it's something they don't want to talk about in the first place. Do you find Black Americans still interested or still have that zest to know where they've come from here in the 80s versus the 60s? Black folks ain't never wanted to do that. I mean, you might be five, did you know? But Black folks ain't never want to do that. You go to party tonight and say, I mean, Black folks, you're talking about South Africa. You go to a meeting of large black groups and say, I mean, you see, I'm talking about South Africa. And yet, if Israel was going through what South Africa was going through, the Jews would be talking about it 24 hours a day. So I think, you know, for us, the city and make like, you know, that's one of the sicknesses. The system that wiped us out so bad that I'm fighting to pay my rent. I'm fighting to find out if I can get this dress for my daughter to graduate with.
And when you have these immediate problems, man, you can't see past the street. I mean, you got Black folks ain't called their cousin in Memphis, you know? And so we got Black folks going to talk to each other right around the corner. And then you got another group of Blacks is relating with Africa because it's a compound. You know, they getting treated bad here. So as an act of man who they want to run over there, but see, in time, I come back to your house to visit because my house ain't in all of that in a true visit. Where do you see Black America here in 1988? Oh, I see that fantastic change in priorities. And if we don't do that, then we might as well have fun because it's over. I mean, money, you can ask for no more money than Black folks making America. I mean, we are America's greatest customer, not China, not Japan, not Russia. And we spend more money with America than anybody else. Now, if we don't have the sims to make America treat us with a dignity according to our dollars, we spent $1.9 billion with Coca-Cola last year. Don't tell me we can't bankrupt Coca-Cola. And Coca-Cola should know that.
28% of every Cadillac stole the American Black folks' buses. We should have 28% of the job, but we're not asking for it. Until we harness our raw economic power, not political power. Politics don't mean nothing if you ain't got no money. In the example of it, there's less than five million Jews in America. Yet 38 Congress people is Jewish. There's over 35 million Black folks in America. We ain't got 25 Congress people. And so when you sit and look at that raw naked power is there. If we can change our priorities, if we can belong to the NAACP and the Urban League and SCLC. You know, when you look at alumni participation, 34% of everybody graduate from colleges in America, send money back. Black colleges less than 4%. That's disgraceful. Now we're not talking about some third grade dropout. We're talking about some Black brothers and sisters that would not be successful if it weren't for those Black colleges. And yet, they are so corrupt inside. They won't even reach back and send money, which is a tax write-off. And so where do we go? If we can change our priorities, we will move ahead.
Like we never move. Because there's no group of people in history that has made progress. That we Black folks have made in the last 20 years. I mean, the things, you get a five-year-old child and try to convince them that such a such a thing happened. Just 15 years ago, they won't believe you. Who could have planned to come to the Black community? Now, they can laugh that. They light a fire. Black folks go out and roast a weedy on it. And so what is beginning to feed now is Black folks have lost the fear that would have held us back for so long. I'm born and raised in San Luis. I've never seen a climate, but I was scared of them. Okay? Black folks are scared of the clansmen. And that's why the clansmen cannot function as an organization. Because the clans never did function on the white folks' clans' trim. They function on Black folks' fear. That's resolved now. So now we can move to other levels now. Because we got to lose small faith. How do I go from Chicago to Memphis to my grandmother's funeral? You know, there's no hotel. I can go in. I better not be caught on the highway. You know, all those are going now.
So now if we can come together with the leaders here. I mean, we've got to give money to the NAACP. We've got to give money to the Urban League. We've got to give money to the SCLC. Because all of us who don't when we get in trouble, those are the ones. You know, when we look out at a little town called Yonk, this is making worldwide news. You understand? I mean, the NAACP does in that. And so if any group had the record that the NAACP had, they'd be in history. You could not go to school. And 76 years, there's nobody cared as many cases to the Supreme Court as the NAACP. And they never lost a case. Man, if General Motors could boast of that, you would be reading about it in the kindergarten. And so I'm just saying that somewhere we have to change our priorities. And above all means change our diets. We don't change our diets. Then we in trouble. And once we change our diets, if we had all the freedom and everything we wanted, and I died, stayed the same in 30 more years, most of us would be wiped out. In 1984, when Jesse Jackson made his first bid for the presidency,
a lot of black elected officials, somewhat shun Jesse, saying he wasn't prepared. It never held elective office. And 88, it was a different story. In your opinion, what transcendent those four years for those black politicians that take a new attitude towards Reverend Jackson? Jesse's strength. And you know, you're aware of this, you know, when the new bank opened up, there's a lot of people don't put money in the new bank. You know, and once that bank is there, and they can look at it. And remember, it was the black politicians had the most to lose. I mean, me out here as a politician, he calls me not to go with Jesse. But here's some cats out of here that they livelihood comes out that democratic structure. And so you got black folks right now, that if they found out where it was working, there was a chemical gas that they would catch, cancel, they couldn't quit. So I mean, that money there, man, that buckmaker, a whole lot of people do crazy things. The beautiful thing is Jesse understood that and kept moving. Then they had to catch up with his wagon.
Had they swung with him before, then he would have been indebted to them. And they might have been even talking about him not running the second one. So I mean, he's on time. There's been a lot of talk about how we've elected a president. Should there be any change in the system? I mean, in your opinion, the way we elected a president like we do. We said that's communism for you. And let me give you an example. Bush can win every American vote but one. So that means the carcass wife didn't vote for him. No black folk voted for him. Only himself. And yet, he's not the president until the electoral colleagues decide. And when the electoral colleagues come inside, they can say, did Gregory's the president? And if you don't like it, we bring the army out because that's the law of the land. Now, the sad part about it, if you took your mic and went across America and talked about this freedom and said, I got $10 million to give to anybody that can name three people that's on the electoral colleagues, you'd have your $10 million.
Now, I want to say no more than that. When this group of people determine who the president is going to be and they happen on that twice, pick somebody else and Americans don't know who they are. Then that kind of tells you about what our election is about. How has the hemean diet been receptive around the country? Oh, the hemean diet is the best diet out there. But above and beyond, there's a lot of people got good things that don't get out. Mine made it because of the publicity. Mine, I was blessed by God. I mean, I took fat folks that the world was looking at. And they saw them wait one thing one day and something else the next day. So I mean, I have one of the few diets on the market that, you know, don't about have to ask what it will do. They know. Civilized activists and comedian did Gregory. The Omnities Goryale Memorial will be by competition and open to any individual or team from Africa or of African descent. 10 winners will be selected during the first round each receiving a prize of $8,000. A further round of judging will be held to select a design which will be the basics of the memorial.
Registration to participate in the competition will take place between October 17, 1988 and December 17, 1988. The closing day for receipt of design entries will be March 17, 1989. If you have a comment, write us. Remember views and opinions expressed on this program do not reflect those of this station or the University of Texas at Austin. Until we meet again for production assistant W.J. Scott and in Black America's technical producer Cliff Hargrove, I'm John L. Hanson, Jr. Please join us again next week. Music Cassette copies of this program are available and may be purchased by writing in Black America cassettes. Longhorn radio network, communication building B, UT Austin, Austin, Texas 78712.
From the Center for Telecommunication Services, the University of Texas at Austin, this is the Longhorn radio network. I'm John Hanson, join me this week on in Black America. And also, I would like to establish, I've had a lot of questions from the journalists as to what is the relationships between festbuck and children. You know, why is UNICEF involved and so on. So, you know, I'd like to also give you some ideas. Building a grand alliance for children in Africa and the Armades,
Gory Island Memorial, and appeal this week on in Black America.
In Black America
The Grand Alliance For Children In Africa
Producing Organization
KUT Radio
Contributing Organization
KUT Radio (Austin, Texas)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/529-kd1qf8ks6m).
The Grand Alliance for Children in Africa: Djibril Diallo, United Nations' Children's Fund, and Dick Gregory regarding UNICEF efforts towards children in Africa and the Alamadies/Goree Island Memorial and Appeal
Created Date
Asset type
Social Issues
Race and Ethnicity
University of Texas at Austin
Media type
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Copyright Holder: KUT
Host: John L. Hanson
Interviewee: Dick Gregory
Interviewee: Djibril Diallo
Producing Organization: KUT Radio
AAPB Contributor Holdings
KUT Radio
Identifier: IBA50-88 (KUT Radio)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 0:28:00
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “In Black America; The Grand Alliance For Children In Africa,” 1988-10-26, KUT Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 12, 2024,
MLA: “In Black America; The Grand Alliance For Children In Africa.” 1988-10-26. KUT Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 12, 2024. <>.
APA: In Black America; The Grand Alliance For Children In Africa. Boston, MA: KUT Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from