For All Points-Of-The-View.
De Lacy Davis, a former Newark police sergeant who went head-to-head with the police department to address police brutality.
-- Most of the Black community on the east coast of America is familiar with the group of women, so inspired by the historical Million Man March; they started an organization called WISOMMM-Women in Support of the Million Man March. With the hard work and focused leadership of the women, they acquired valuable properties in the heart of downtown Newark, New Jersey. The three edifices today are worth millions of dollars and is a testimony to how the 1995 march not only inspired men but also women. However, with the scourge of gentrification sweeping inner city communities across the country, there is a city and state-wide battle to thwart the work of WISOMMM and take the buildings, apparently with the help of some who benefited from the institution.
WISOMMM established an exemplary Pre-School Center and Charter School. They house several community programs and activities, including a strong mentoring program with a rites of passage project for young men, and have become a beacon of light to help remedy some of the social ills facing the greater Newark community. In an ongoing effort to reach out to conscious individuals who can add to the development of our children in their institution, the women of WISOMMM worked with their longtime brother and friend De Lacy Davis. He was, once upon a time, a man that many in the black community had great respect and admiration for. As a former police sergeant, he went head to head with the police department to address police brutality that is pandemic in the black community. His speeches, along with his book, were praised as he moved around in America speaking against police brutality. The sisters embraced him and accepted him as a trusted comrade.
It was his association with WISOMMM which helped to catapult De Lacy Davis to the prominent stature he enjoyed in the black African revolutionary community. For 20 years, he was revered as a beloved member of the family. He hosted many WISOMMM functions and was a permanent fixture in and around the organization. He was nurtured, safeguarded, trusted and harbored by the organization; therefore he was nurtured, safeguarded, trusted and harbored by the community. So much so that he was entrusted to run WISOMMM’s charter school. With high expectations and hope he was brought on as the leader of the Charter School by the group.
However, in the current battle for WISOMMM’s future - which includes a Justice Department lawsuit against it, that many believe is politically motivated - serious internal dynamics arose between Mr. Davis and the group.
There was a conciliatory session between the parties hosted at the Chicago home of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam. The meeting with the Minister sparked hopes of healing the problems that jeopardized the accomplishments and sacrifices of the women. After many tears and hugs, the delegation left Minister Farrakhan's table with the resolve to move forward. Plans for the WISOMMM fundraiser held May 3-5, 2012 with the Minister keynoting were underway and there was a renewed spirit among community leaders to save the institution from its onslaught.
On the other hand, Mr. Davis on his return to Newark went in another direction - a strange and counterproductive direction - where, for reasons unknown to WISOMMM, he turned to bite the hand that was feeding him. Questions have arisen about Mr. Davis’ integrity and loyalty to the community based on actions he undertook with forces working to destroy WISOMMM.
It is widely believed that Mr. Davis supported an attack on WISOMMM for using the Nation of Islam Historical Exhibit as a feature during the weekend of events. It is widely believed, that he encouraged the calling of Newark city and New Jersey state officials, alleging that inviting the students to the historical display was violating separation of Church and State laws. Perhaps this was only a political move by a disgruntled employee.
But critics question these moves by Mr. Davis who is usually celebrated for being on the right side of justice, which makes this such a strange case. It is obvious that WISOMMM ‘s buildings do not fit into the future plans of downtown Newark and maybe Mr. Davis is being used in a more cynical plot by the city and state against progressive leadership and organizations, but considering his history, the question is why.
The strange case of De Lacy Davis is a cautionary tale about trust, truth and faith. The work of the Women In Support of the Million Man March speaks for itself. They have been steadfast in their faith in Almighty God, and in their tireless dedication to our community. They are earth rebel mothers, educators, activists, facilitators, entrepreneurs, and spirit filled warriors.
But unfortunately, the entire episode contradicts the spirit of the vision behind the programs that WISOMMM established to save our youth and respond to the conditions of an economically challenged city like Newark, NJ. Moreover when efforts to undermine forward thinking groups like these Black women is done by otherwise forward thinking Black men like him, this makes it the strange case of De Lacy Davis.
by Akbar Muhammad. He can be reached for comments on firstname.lastname@example.org
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