Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Congress of Afrikan People

Report From CAP’s Central Committee Meeting

First Published: Unity and Struggle, Vol. V, No. 4, April 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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February 1, 1976 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania the Congress of Afrikan People held an historic Central Committee Meeting. We view this meeting as a qualitative step in CAP’s move to Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse Tung Thought, because we made some basic changes in organization structure and social practices intended to further our development as a communist organization.


A new organizational structure was adopted, which will allow closer follow up on political work. This also included reorganization of the Central Committee for more equitable representation. At the meeting Organization Committee was charged with doing more research and work to represent a fully developed proposal defining the scope and duties of Commissions that will continue the ideological and political work in major areas, i.e., Afro-American National Question, Party Building, The Woman Question, Labor Organizing, International Questions, Agitation & Propaganda and Organizational.

In line with these structural changes, there were important recommendations for cutbacks in mass work, continuing changes in social practices, stabilization and priority on theoretical study and reduction of expenses. One social practice we voted to abolish was the umiizi system, a collective or communal living system (the term & idea based on study of the Bantu communal living system). Originated in CAP during its nationalist period, the umiizi system was one attempt to development collective consciousness and share economic responsibility among organization members by moving together in houses of several families and houses of single members. But when we created the umiizi system we were not Marxist-Leninists. Now using the science of Marxism-Leninism we can understand that the concept of an umiizi system under monopoly capitalism is idealism, because it is an attempt to force new social relationships without changing the economic base. It was not done with a clear understanding of the existence of classes and class struggle. While this social practice did have some positive features, in the main it has given rise to a heightening of petit bourgeois irresponsible attitudes, elitism and parasitism, and separated us from the masses of working people.

Part of this report was also the recommendation that more cadres find employment. There is ongoing work being done on the need for more developed lines and practice in labor organizing and we are struggling against handicaps of previous under-emphasis on this area, and the present economic crisis which makes it more difficult to get jobs. But this will be pursued because we know it is fundamental in Party Building.

CAP also had other aspects of Afrikan Traditionalism and Kawaida Nationalism which had been instituted as an opposition to cultural aggression that accompanies imperialism, but which we can now see as practices that support petit bourgeois ideas, separation from the masses and bourgeois nationalism. Among these practices officially eliminated at this Central Committee meeting was the performing of marriage ceremonies and naming of the children by the Chairman. These practices are too cult-like and would continue presenting the Chair in a priest role and the organization as quasi-metaphysical. Also we decided that comrades should drop their titles (these were indications of ranks or stations in the organization stemming from Kawaida Nationalism para-military practices), unless they want to use them as names; and that comrades no longer have to use the swahili name they took during the cultural nationalist period but can use American-names if they want, or keep the swahili names, &c.


At our last General Assembly, October 1975, CAP had voted to have a National Conference in February 1976 to take up two main questions, The Afro-American National Question and The Woman Question. At this Central Committee Meeting comrades heard a Report on the National Conference, which gave a brief overview of where we stand in relationship to the world situation and the need to build a Revolutionary Vanguard Communist Party. The summation correctly pointed out that while in reality since October 1975 we had enough time to plan the National Conference, we did not have enough clarity. Due to this lack of preparation – ideological, political and organizational – we had to cancel the Conference. The continuing struggle within CAP to firmly grasp Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse Tung Thought has been obstructed by right opportunism. Before we can move forward with such a conference that would have to be viewed in relationship to the overall party building motion, we must struggle harder inside CAP to defeat opportunism and bourgeois ideology, to have self-criticism and criticism and principled open and above board discussion on questions, and gain the theoretical clarity demanded of a genuine communist organization.


A recommendation for CAP withdrawal from the Puerto Rican Solidarity Committee was accepted. PRSC is a well known committee originating after the organizing of the Puerto Rican Solidarity Day Demonstration and Rally, October 27, 1974 at Madison Square Garden. The National Board of PRSC is largely petit bourgeois Social Democrat types, and heavily influenced by Puerto Rican Socialist Party. Briefly, our reasons for withdrawing from PRSC are based on its present line being dominated by the PSP whose line now seems clearly aligned with the Soviet Union detente, revisionist policies (based on analysis of the last PSP Party Congress reports on line struggles within PRSC). The PSP line on Puerto Rican independence is reformist, not clearly stating the necessity for armed struggle to overthrow colonialism & imperialism, but posing armed struggle as “one of the possible forms of struggle”, along side electoral processes, for achieving an independent Socialist state in Puerto Rico! This line has manifested in many PRSC programs and propaganda and CAP cannot be a part of an organization whose politics is dominated by such reformism and collaboration with Soviet Social Imperialism. The Central Committee decided to print a full criticism (appearing in the U & S and send a letter or resignation to PRSC).

The Central Committee also received a report on work being done at that time for International Working Women’s Day weekend activities, a Black Women’s United Front Conference and the Anti-Imperialist Coalition March & Demonstration at the UN. A brief summation of the line struggles in several New York coalitions was reported and these were to be fully summed up after that weekend.

The National Question Committee gave out some additions and corrections to the main line document they are developing on the Afro-American National Question, to be circulated and discussed for final decision at the next Central Committee Meeting.

Our final decision was on a new name for the organization! Each district had been charged with having discussions and coming with recommendations for a new name suitable for a Marxist-Leninist organization. The importance of using Marxist-Leninist references in taking up all major questions was raised, and there were important questions arising from the discussions in the districts such as, whether to have Communist in the name, whether to reflect multinational character, and the use of M-L or M-L-M as a part of the name. There was emphasis on the significance of this last question throughout the World Communist Movement, and a Central Committee directive that detailed research and analysis must be done regarding the use of M-L-M in an organization’s name. A committee was designated to do a total summation on the new name that was finally decided on. After this summation is thoroughly discussed throughout CAP, our new name will be publically announced.

During this time CAP will continue to struggle internally to make more necessary changes in practices, continue the struggle to defeat opportunism and bourgeois ideology in order to firmly grasp Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse Tung Thought. We will strive to develop correct political lines on major questions, and re-build the organization to take our stand alongside other comrades in the Communist Movement, to forge principles Marxist-Leninist solidarity and do our part in building the Revolutionary Vanguard Communist Party USA.