Community celebrates activist Baba Mukasa Dada’s 80th birthdayAtlanta City Council Michael Julian Bond (right) announces Feb. 18 has been declared Mukasa Dada Willie Ricks Day. Photo by Sue Ross, provided courtesy of the Davis Bozeman Law Firm.
Stonecrest, GA — Activist Baba Mukasa Dada, formerly known as Willie Ricks, celebrated his 80th birthday on Saturday, Feb. 18. Over 300 family and community members celebrated Dada at the New Black Wall Street in Stonecrest, Ga.
Dada is a legendary activist, community organizer, and leader in the struggle for rights for African people around the world, according to a press release. He began his work by participating in local sit-ins in Chattanooga as a teenager. He was recruited to be an organizer in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.
When the 1960 sit-in movement started against apartheid segregation in the South, Dada became involved in the protests, and was an organizer of the 1966 “March Against Fear.” He helped with the registration of Black people to vote. Dada continues to travel the world with his wife, Mama Maimuna Dada, promoting Pan-African Unity and self-determination.
The city of Atlanta and DeKalb County declared “February 18th, as Mukasa Dada Willie Ricks Day.”
Members of the Student Non-violent Coordination Committee, Beacon Hill Black Alliance For Human Rights, and Atlanta Pan- African Coalition read resolutions and tributes during the celebration. Video tributes were received from all around the world, including the All African Peoples Revolutionary Party and African Women Organization from Guinea Bissau in West Africa. Tributes were also received from the National Black United Front based in Houston, Texas. The African dance and drumming company, Soweto Street Beat, also honored Dada with a performance.
Dada addressed the crowd by shouting “Black Power” and said “This isn’t about me, it’s about all of us. We are here to serve the people.”
Sponsors for the celebration included the Honorable Shirley Franklin, Mike Ross, Let Us Make Man, Black Man Lab, Davis Bozeman Law Firm, Derrick Bozeman, New Black Wall Street, and JustEldredge Media.
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