Organization of Afro-American Unity
MX and the OAAU Aims & Objectives
1OAAU Aims and ObjectivesMalcolm X (1964)
The Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU) was a Pan-Africanist organization founded by Malcolm X in 1964. The OAAU wasmodeled on the Organization of African Unity, which had impressed Malcolm X during his visit to Africa in April and May 1964. Thepurpose of the OAAU was to fight for the human rights of African Americans and promote cooperation among Africans and peopleof African descent in the Americas.Malcolm X announced the establishment of the OAAU at a public meeting in New York's Audubon Ballroom on June 28, 1964. Hehad written the group's charter with John Henrik Clarke, Albert Cleage, Jesse Gray, and Gloria Richardson, among others.] In amemo dated July 2, 1964, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover described the nascent OAAU as a threat to the national security of the UnitedStates.Malcolm X, along with John Henrik Clarke, wrote the following into the Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU) Basic UnityProgram: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."Reorientation: "We can learn much about Africa by reading informative books."Education: "The Organization of Afro-American Unity will devise original educational methods and procedures which will liberatethe minds of our children. We will ... encourage qualified Afro-Americans to write and publish the textbooks needed to liberate ourminds ... educating them [our children] at home."Economic Security: "After the Emancipation Proclamation ... it was realized that the Afro-American constituted the largesthomogeneous ethnic group with a common origin and common group experience in the United States and, if allowed to exerciseeconomic or political freedom, would in a short period of time own this country. We must establish a technician bank. We must dothis so that the newly independent nations of Africa can turn to us who are their brothers for the technicians they will they willneed now and in the future."The OAAU pushed for Black control of every aspect of the Black community. At the founding rally, Malcolm X stated that theorganization's principal concern was the human rights of Blacks, but that it would also focus on voter registration, school boycotts,rent strikes, housing rehabilitation, and social programs for addicts, unwed mothers, and troubled children. Malcolm X saw theOAAU as a way of "un-brainwashing" Black people, ridding them of the lies they had been told about themselves and their culture.On July 17, 1964, Malcolm X was welcomed to the second meeting of the Organization of African Unity in Cairo as a representativeof the OAAU.When a reporter asked whether white people could join the OAAU, Malcolm X said, "Definitely not." Then he added, "If John Brownwere still alive, we might accept him."