Black Lawyers for Justice and Shabazz link with prominent local leaders without permission
Malik Shabazz, leader of Black Lawyers for Justice, expects 10,000 protesters to join him in a rally at Baltimore’s City Hall on Saturday.
Although a flyer lists several prominent African-American community leaders and organizations as sponsors of the rally, BLFJ did not ask permission from many of those listed. The flyer has since been replaced with one that lists no organizations other than BLFJ.
Del. Jill P. Carter was among those surprised to see her name on promotional materials, as was attorney and former Maryland delegate Aisha Braveboy.
“We are not affiliated with this event and have demanded that our names be removed,” Braveboy wrote on her Twitter account. In another tweet Braveboy wrote that she, Del. Carter and other lawyers “were appauled (sic) to [have] our names on the flyer.”
Doni Glover, publisher of Bmore News and a leader in the Sandtown neighborhood, was also listed as a sponsor without permission, and The Baltimore Sun reported that attorney Gabriel J. Christian and Dayvon Love of Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle and Marvin L. “Doc” Cheatham, a former Baltimore NAACP leader, also renounced sponsorship of Shabazz’s event. At least half of the organizations and people listed on the flyer were not consulted and several names were misspelled.
William Thomas, co-founder and director of the Tipper Foundation, was asked to speak at the BLFJ rally. His organization provides financial relief and emotional support to victims and their families after traumatic injuries, something Thomas has experienced first-hand. Thomas, an electrical engineer, spends time promoting science and math education to young African-American students in Baltimore.
After doing some background research on Shabazz and BLFJ, Thomas declined to speak.
“So far what I’ve heard is not in line with my message of trying to be a positive example,” he said. “What I’ve heard is that … Shabazz’s message is a bit more radical for my tastes.” Thomas also reached out to several colleagues to find out more about Shabazz’s rally.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization with roots in the anti-segregation movement that monitors and battles hate groups, lists Malik Shabazz in its “Extremist Files.”
The profile describes Shabazz, born Paris Lewis, as “a racist black nationalist with a long, well-documented history of violently anti-Semitic remarks and accusations about the inherent evil of white people. He is also particularly skilled at orchestrating provocative protests.”