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Naafra Blog

Connecting and Strengthening Families

NAAFRA SEEKING FOCUSED AGENDA

Posted by Donald Evans
Donald Evans
Dr. Donald Ray Evans, Sr. is a twice retired civil servant, with degrees. One in
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on Friday, 10 May 2013
in Naafra - Connecting and Making Families Stronger

 

The National Afrikan-Amerikan Family Reunion Association (NAAFRA) is a nonprofit movement seeking to legally link all existing Afrikan-Amerikan family reunions into one organization for the purpose of collective development and self-determination. It is an organization with a primary focus of improving the economic situation and condition of the Afrikan-Amerikan family. Having no political, religious or social obligations to any other entity will make it less problematic for staying on point with the primary NAAFRA mission.

History clearly shows that when other agenda get into the formula, black groups end up attempting to serve cross-purposes. This leads to division in the ranks when, in reality, unity is of paramount importance. In our view, the greatest example of Afrikan-Amerikan unity is recorded in the history of Marcus Mosiah Garvey’s “Universal Negro Improvement Association” (UNIA) which had such a high level of success that it caused a very powerful group of hostile forces to move against him. 

 

In fact, other agendas aside from the U.S. government, European governments were involved because they felt the UNIA was a threat to the stability of their colonies. The Communists opposed it because they felt that the UNIA kept black workers out of their grasp. Even the NAAACP and other black groups were against the UNIA.

The UNIA was always wise to be on guard against the unscrupulous opportunists who were always working for their own personal gain. All NAAFRA members must develop the “will” to read and study such works as Tony Martin’s, Race First, which is the best essay on Marcus Garvey and the UNIA.

There are several other organizations we should study in order to understand how those with different agendas will seek to impede the positive progress of those who seem to have the attention of the masses. We must not fail to study the accomplishments of Booker T. Washington and his Tuskegee University staff in Alabama; nor the body of work accomplished by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam. Each one of these organizations can teach NAAFRA much about the pitfalls that lie ahead, both externally and within our own ranks.

For those truly wanting to bring about positive change for our people, you are invited to understand, NAAFRA is not an organization that belongs to any one individual. Each member must feel and believe – and BE – a part of this organization. They will be free to contribute their ideas to shaping the mindset of NAAFRA at any time in order to assist in ringing about our unification.  This will lead to positive change. 

This is how NAAFRA must work. You are invited to get involved, to usher in the change we seek, need, and deserve.

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Black Family Alliance

Posted by Donald Evans
Donald Evans
Dr. Donald Ray Evans, Sr. is a twice retired civil servant, with degrees. One in
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on Saturday, 27 April 2013
in Naafra - Connecting and Making Families Stronger

The National Afrikan Amerikan Family Reunion Association (NAAFRA), the voice of Black Family Amerika, will not continue to accept the present economic status quo for the Black Family; not now; not tomorrow; nor anytime in the future of our existence in this society. Looking forward through the lens of hope, the future may indeed appear hopeless, still I recall the words of my grandmother Cynthia Rogers, “Never look upon yourself as a failure, whenever in doubt of yourself, look inward and find what your family has put in your mind, and you will be alright.” Thus NAAFRA does not step forward onto the stage of humanity to discuss the negativity stigma presently assigned to the Black Family by this society. We come to announce a new path leading to economic security for all Black Family Amerika, security that introduces a new unity waking in Amerika. A unit that recalls the history that we know as “Black Wall Street” out of the state of Oklahoma, with a vision that says, “What our people did once we can and will do again.” Trinity Cross Foundation, out of Los Angeles, California with a vision to establish “Family Reunion Resorts” in the Motherland, in the Afrikan Diaspora and here in Amerika.

Growing inside of this new unity of change is a black Family Alliance umbrella that invites any Afrikan organization to join the alliance, to give strength to the collective voice of the Black Family. Joining strength with the alliance will not interfere with an organization’s charted mission, on the journey of establishing the largest Black Family organization since the Hon. Marcus Garvey. 

The collective voice of Black Family Amerika, NAAFRA, encourages all families, businesses, organizations, and church families to join the movement to build this new unity for positive and lasting change in the spirit of the Afrikan’s ancient ancestors, under the blessing of our Creator.

 

Hotep,

Dr. Donald R. Evans, Sr.

Founder/President

 

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NAAFRA IS…..

Posted by nathaniel perkins-ali
nathaniel perkins-ali
Nathaniel Perkins-Ali is the Co-Founder and Executive Director at The Nnational
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on Monday, 25 March 2013
in Naafra - Connecting and Making Families Stronger

By Nathaniel Perkins-Ali

           When the first African was told he was free, former slaves began seeking to reunite those family members who were sold off and divided as a means of destroying family unity and the means to establishing economic wealth. These searches became known as Family Reunions. For most families it became a life quest. We were close to rebuilding what was stolen with Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma as a model. And once again we were set on a trek of rebuilding families’ self-esteem and self-empowerment.

           The National Afrikan-Amerikan Family Reunion (NAAFRA), the brainchild of Dr. Donald R. Evans, Sr., an 85 year-old former military strategist and civil servant, 26 years Air Force (retired) and 21 years Postal Service (retired), is an idea whose time has come. NAAFRA is a registry that links family reunions nationally by having their activities posted nationwide for all families connected to that family reunion to see. All families must be registered with NAAFRA remaining autonomous unless participating in a collective economic project. Whenever there is a national project that requires a united effort, the network will be activated and asked to participate after extensive dialogue, investigation and feedback. For instance, a NAAFRA Book Club with a 1 million family membership could: (1) catapult a self-published Black Author to the best sellers list in much the same manner as Oprah’s Book Club does for authors. (2) Black Book Stores nationwide can be sustained and supported with a built-in network of guaranteed success.

           When we think of family reunions today, we envision the images the media has given us over the years. Images of barbeques, competitive activities and fun and game environments, images of one big feel good session leaving you emptied until next year. Then, we meet up again to repeat these routine unsatisfying rituals.

          This concept is cutting edge for 21st Century job creation and maintaining economic control of production, distribution and selling. Families are not asked to pay a dime for this exclusive membership. The only requirement is that you go to the website and register your family. Your family must have a designated contact who will manage your account and activities. When signing up your family reunion, you must create a group profile with a pin for other family members to sign onto the group. The uniqueness of NAAFRA is that any family can create products and services that are marketable from this network.

For more information about NAAFRA go to www.naafra.org., or contact Dr. Donald R. Evans, Sr. at 213 247-4189, e-mail: dr.drevans@yahoo.com or Nathaniel Ali at 323 495-8605, e-mail: nathanielali33@gmail.com.   

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Neighborhood Reunion

Posted by Neighborhood Reunion
Neighborhood Reunion
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on Thursday, 07 March 2013
in Naafra - Connecting and Making Families Stronger

Men from the neighborhood. L-r Benny, Frank, Bird, John, Cookie.

Men from the neighborhood. L-r Benny, Frank, Bird, John, Cookie.
Photo credit: 
by Tony Hicks


This past labor day weekend, a group of families who grew up together in the Los Angeles area celebrated twenty-four years of hosting a Neighborhood Reunion Picnic. Parents have a lot of ways to share their history, and culture with their children. But one of the best ways is to do what one neighborhood group has been doing for many years. Back in 1987 a group of friends had an idea to host a picnic for the neighborhood(s) they grew up in. Originally the plan was to invite family and friends from the neighborhoods of Temple, Flats, and J-Flats. Temple is located near Echo Park - west of downtown L.A., The Flats is located near the infamous original Tommy's Hamburger stand and also Rampart Police station, and the J-Flats is located near Griffith Park, where all but two year's of the annual neighborhood reunions have been held.

The unique thing about the Neighborhood Reunion Picnic is that it is different than a "Family Reunion" in that family's are part of the reunion - but in addition to the biological and/or legal families attending, also included is family and friends who grew up together in those same neighborhoods during the 50's through the 80's. Many of them went to the same schools (union ave., rosemont, virgil, starr, belmont, marshall) attended the same churches, and hung out at the same places. And although a school reunion might attract some of the same people - the neighborhood reunion attracts more of the same people who used to socialize with one another, outside of school hours.

Up until the neighborhood reunions started, the only time many of the neighborhood(s) group would see one another is at a friend or relatives funeral. And no one could have imagined that after the initial reunion, we would still be having them year after year? It's a testimony to the unique relationship that was seeded many years ago. Almost everyone grows up in a neighborhood, or a town, etc. But how many continue to get together with people they share a unique history with? That's right, very few. And that's why this type of reunion is so special. Its basically a family of families, and friends who come together once a year to reminisce, socialize, share food, music, and other activities, and give thanks to our special relationship.

Since the very first reunion, there have been more neighborhoods joining us such as Dogtown, and other parts of the greater L.A. area because those neighborhoods are ones we all visited from time to time or others who grew up during the same time period can identify with. And although when you attend a Neighborhood Reunion you will always hear played throughout the day the theme song "Family Reunion by the O'Jays" and other R&B oldies, you will also find that because many of the younger generation has been attending the reunion's too...... contemporary music is also part of the festivities. One thing is clear.......when you bring together old friends, food, music, and activities, be prepared for a fun filled event. Thank You Neighborhood, for all the memories!  

Contact author at: tonyhicks32@yahoo.com

*This article and photo is from the Neighborhood Reunion held on September 4, 2010.

 

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Creating the Economic Vehicle

Posted by Donald Evans
Donald Evans
Dr. Donald Ray Evans, Sr. is a twice retired civil servant, with degrees. One in
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on Friday, 21 December 2012
in Naafra - Connecting and Making Families Stronger

The NAAFRA staff pushes forward to remind its membership that our aim is not to create another protest movement; ours it to create a unity of purpose movement, bringing into collective action a totally focused movement of “progress.”

This is an economic effort that seeks to produce products from our efforts, bringing change in our way or thinking, our way of seeing into the future and knowing we are the change we have waited for so many years. In the past we may have encountered some disappointment, but we persist. Each morning as we thank our God for making it possible that we are able to stand before our mirror and look into our faces, here is the change looking back at me.

Now it becomes necessary to make the decision: “am I willing to join others to do the body of work required to bring about the change I want?” If so, we all must aggressively reach out to other Afrikan-Amerikans and recruit them to join our movement of change, letting them know that the change is in our hands because the true God of our ancient ancestors has already blessed us to will ourselves to work hard to bring forward that change.

Take a look at the story of “Black Wall Street of Tulsa Oklahoma.” The accomplishments of our brothers/sisters of that period is the model we can use to bring about the change we seek. That’s what our purpose must become throughout the NAAFRA journey. We must usher in a new way of trusting one another, a new brotherly/sisterly love of reach other, one that can reach the neediest families within the membership of NAAFRA. 

Awhile we are completing the in-gathering process of getting our reunion families signed up in our NAAFRA movement, we must start putting a master plan around our ideas for change. The Chairperson in each of our reunion families can be an important part of putting together this master plan for progress. By submitting a list of priorities of ideas that NAAFA should focus on, would be the beginning of the change we seek.

Once our chairpersons are aware of what we can accomplish, we are trusting they will get busy making their desire to become a working participant of the building process immediately. Ideas must flow from throughout the membership body in order for NAAAFRA to become a relevant organization, capable of ushering in change that can impress the mind-set of the membership.

To create an economic vehicle to run on the tracks of economic plenty – we all will have to be on our best game from day one, on into the future of the NAAFRA journey. 

 

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A New Reality

Posted by Donald Evans
Donald Evans
Dr. Donald Ray Evans, Sr. is a twice retired civil servant, with degrees. One in
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on Saturday, 15 December 2012
in Naafra - Connecting and Making Families Stronger

Many among our Afrikan-Amerikan families are overjoyed that our sitting President will remain in place for yet another four years. I, too, am thrilled he and his beautiful family will continue to occupy the House our people built during times when we were held in bondage.

Now that the high-flying is a part of history, our work on behalf of our President must immediately begin. This work we fail to accomplish during his first four years because we wanted him to bring about our change for us. Consequently, we now realize that no change is forthcoming without a helping hand from Afrikan-Amerikan families around the nation. No one man is going to bring about the change that black people in this country need and deserve. 

Our objective now should be to get our families registered in NAAFRA so that we may provide a basis from which the President can assist the people without it having to be a “politically-motivated” move.

In order for change to come among our people, we must become the vehicle for the change we are seeking while the image of our President is still fresh in the minds of our families. Perhaps, the most difficult task confronting NAAFRA is getting our families convinced that we are the change we seek. Fused into this change we seek can also be a form of the reparations we seek; making it possible for more Black youth to become productive citizens, and not locked away behind iron bars is one of the many ways that can be viewed as a form of “reparation.”

Encouraging our youth to attend two year trade schools with the help for the NAAFRA base and the government can also be viewed as another form of reparation. The NAAFRA families shall do all that is within our power to provide our youth a strong helping hand so that they may become deeply involved in “giving back to the communities from whence they came” and, in doing so, assist in bringing about the change we seek and need.

We need a new burst of interest in the building industry in order to get our contractors to hire more of our youth without having to go outside of our people to find youth willing to do construction type work. We need to bring our people back into a “Black Wall Street” frame of mind, and in doing that, our families will come to understand that in order to grow wealth we are going to have to make the money that comes into our hands stay in our hands much longer.

This is another reason why it is so important that the leaders of each family become aware of the importance of having a “Master Plan” spelling out what we need to do as NAAFRA. We must never stop celebrating and paying homage to the history and structure of each family during our annual reunions. But our situation calls for us to do more than celebrate. We can make one community’s or one family’s concerns our collective concern and then, as a national organization, move in and provide whatever help, resources and assistance that might be needed to address that concern. This is what we did when Trayvon Martin was shot down in Florida; this is what we did when we not happy with the decision regarding Rodney King’s beat down; this is what we did when the Civil Rights laws were in need of changing. Black people, as a group, have long been battering rams for human and civil rights in this country and then, once the doors are broken down and change has been made, everyone else marches through that door while we remain on the outside.

Too many of our youth are dropping (and being pushed out) of school. In either case, far too many end up being fodder for the prison-industrial complex. NAAFRA, therefore, has the task of creating a different reality for your youth and work with them to become an important link in the creative process. Without our base having a hand in creating jobs for our people, our existence will continue to be from the bottom looking up, instead of at the top looking around to see what we can and will build next.

If, indeed, we are 40 million strong, shouldn’t the question be: “Can there be another ‘Black Wall Street’ like the one that used to exist in Tulsa, Oklahoma? If so, when?

 

 

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Dear Afrikan-Amerikan Family

Posted by Donald Evans
Donald Evans
Dr. Donald Ray Evans, Sr. is a twice retired civil servant, with degrees. One in
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on Tuesday, 04 December 2012
in Naafra - Connecting and Making Families Stronger

My name is Dr. Donald R. Evans, Sr., a man who has spent his first 26 years of my adult life serving in the Armed Services of the United States. I left the military four years shy of 30 years, which would have been my retirement point. However, my burning desire to obtain a college education led to my premature departure. 

On a quest seeking mission to find “self” and my place as an Afrikan born in Amerika, I ventured to obtain a degree in Afrikan-Amerikan studies with a minor in history. The knowledge that I obtained would give me the foundation by which I could easily find answers to questions that had long given me grief as a Black man in this country. Therefore, I need you, my beloved viewer, to understand that this posting isn’t to tell my life story, but to help you to understand my plight and why it is such a pressing matter. We seek all Afrikan-Amerikan families who sponsor and hold reunions (whether they be annual, bi-annual or sporadic) as a part of your existence as a Black family, to become joined with all other Black Reunion families across our great nation.

THUS, OUR APPEAL IS AS FOLLOWS:

Several fellow Afrikan-Amerikans, working with me, have put our minds together to begin building on an idea that was born in my spirit at my last family reunion, which was held August 9-11, 2012 I Fordyce, Arkansas. The idea was to organize a movement to link all “reunion families” together into an organization that would provide the Afrikan-Amerikan family its own national organization. This would give us a national voice to our families that would enable us to address our concerns in a way that they have not been addressed since our departure from physical bondage.

The name of the organization is, “The National Afrikan-Amerikan Family Reunion Association (NAAFRA), and our website is www.naafra.org.

Our first priority is to get the attention of families and invite them to come to our website and register with us so that we would know that you stopped by and also, so that you can check out what it is that we are seeking to accomplish and facilitate at absolutely NO FEE to you!

After making a strong statement for Black families during this last election, understanding our lasting purpose immediately got underway. Giving total focus to getting all of our families signed on as NAAFRA members, we began this goal immediately after the last vote was cast.

On the very next day after the election, on my 85th birthday, we sent out over 500 press releases, e-mails, faxes and made numerous phone calls, informing the public that NAAFRA was here to make a difference. With you walking alongside NAAFRA, in building the strongest Black Family organization across the nation, we could truly make a difference. We cannot forget the blood and sweat of our ancestors on this land and such an approach is much needed.

How could any conscious-minded Afrikan born in this land not live it with all his/her heart? Black Amerika needs NAAFRA, and all Black Amerikans need to stand shoulder to shoulder with each other and speak in a collective voice for those issues that are important to our people: unemployment and underemployment, rising tuition keeping our kids from having a chance to attend quality schools, more support for Black colleges and universities, rising drug abuse in our communities, teen pregnancy rates, HIV/AIDS, poor health care – and so on. 

These are but a few of the issues facing us and that we will be able to address through NAAFRA> Once we are the organization we have the potential to be, when you and others have joined, we can become an unsinkable phenomenon! 

If you are indeed willing to dedicate a portion of your life into making this journey into the change we seek and need, let us know by contacting NAAFRA with your thoughts, time and energy!!!

Much solidarity,

Dr. Donald R. Evans, Sr. 

 

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Welcome to Naafra.org

Posted by Donald Evans
Donald Evans
Dr. Donald Ray Evans, Sr. is a twice retired civil servant, with degrees. One in
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on Tuesday, 27 November 2012
in Naafra - Connecting and Making Families Stronger

Welcome to Naafra.org.  Each day hundreds of members connect with other family members to get the most news, information, and tips for their family reunion events.  NAAFRA.org is the largest African American Reunion network available online today.  Reunion planners, organizers, and participants rely on us for ideas, information, and resources.  

We can help if you need the following:

  • Help and information with organizing a family reunion
  • A social network where family members can share information about themselves, their families and their reunions.
  • Services or products for family reunion organizers
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