By: Kofi Taharka
On Saturday, March 25, 2017 close to a dozen community organizations united to serve the Southlawn Palms Apartment complex. Hundreds of residents came out to receive free food, clothing, health screenings, games and face painting for children. Speakers, music and barbeque filled the air as children played on the newly donated basketball goal. Over forty volunteers staffed different stations providing services for the residents. The Southlawn community has been in the news over the past few years for the proposed “gang injunction” that would have banned over 90 Black men for life from the area. Due to community push back the effort was thwarted. Activist targeted the area for outreach to help quell crime and violence.
One of the lead organizers, Malik Muhammad, National Vice – Chair of Organizing and Training for the National Black United Front (NBUF) stated “We have to be in the streets serving the people, we have the solutions to our own problems, we are our own saviors.” Spearheading the effort were NBUF, The People’s New Black Panther Party, Melanated Men of Action and Black Lives Matter Houston, Texas. Groups that supported the effort included: The People’s Patrol, The Houston Unity Tribe, The Nation of Islam Mosque #45, The Local Organizing Committee for The Million Man March, No More Blood Shed and The Black Women’s Health Project. A community gardener Brother Kelvin led residents in a gardening exhibition. A peace march wound through the neighborhood along with a community clean up that helped to cap a day of Black Love.