On Saturday August 19, 2023, a newly renovated four family flat was dedicated in honor to the late Mafundi Lake, a revolutionary who never wavered in his love and fight for African Liberation. Mafundi was born in 1940 and grew up in Birmingham Alabama in the 1950’s during the height of the civil rights movement and the emergence of the Black Power Revolution. During those times white police officers regularly lied on, beat, shot and framed many Black men who were speaking out on police brutality, oppression, inequality, systemic racism and murder of innocent Black people.
The fourplex grand opening began at 10am in Akwaaba Hall, 4101 West Florissant Ave. There were several grass roots leaders, organizers and elected officials who gave their solidarity statements on behalf of Mafundi’s surviving family. Of the many in attendance was Zaki Baruti, President General of UAPO (Universal African People’s Organization). Baruti gave a passionate speech about how African Americans should unite and start supporting grass roots organizations. Jesse Todd, former alderman of the 18th Ward, gave a fiery solidarity statement which galvanized the audience about issues the community needs to take action on.
The keynote presentation was given by Chairman Omali Yeshitela who passionately retraced the history of Mafundi Lake and the Attica prison revolt in which Mafundi was a main dissident. Chairman Omali went on to speak about how Mafundi actively challenged the establishment and its political agendas.
The fourplex was the brainchild of Ona Zené Yeshitela, President of APEDF (African People’s Education and Defense Fund and AIWP (African Independence Workforce Program). The Mafundi Lake fourplex will house African Americans released from prison along with training programs that will give them the skills and education to secure employment and to become successful entrepreneurs.
Mafundi Lake, freedom fighter and beloved member of the African Community, has a newly renovated fourplex dedicated in his honor. The fourplex’s four apartments are fully furnished by Uhuru Furniture and each apartment is dedicated to an African Political Prisoner: Matulu Shakur, Dessie Woods, Sundiata Acoli and Assata Shakur. This is all part of the ongoing work to build the north side of St. Louis and its residents.
Images courtesy of Keith L. Watkins