Interview with Ben Chavis

What did it mean to be Nation-time?


Well, what, what, what it meant, ah, to be Nation-time: one, that we all had to work together more. That we had to hook up all of these local struggles that were represented at that convention. So we had some work to do. Because keep in mind, Jesse said, "It was Nation-time. It's Nation-time" at the beginning of the convention. So that put a lot of responsibility on those of us that delegates to make this a Nation-time convention. That this won't be the politics of now, this will be no social gathering. This is a working gathering. I remember the theme of the convention was "Kaze," it's that Black is of our all, Swahili for work. Work is that Black is our all. We have to work at this convention. Work around our difficulties. Because we were all not the same. There was a diversity in this, in this audience. Even n the state delegations. You know, I want to keep emphasizing there was not a monolithic crowd. Because we are a diverse people. And certainly we have been divided by the, ah, ploys, ah, that have been posed on our community. And so, "It's Nation-time. It's Nation-time" meant that we had to have the energy and the will to override some of the divisions in our community. To come together with a new sense of unity. A new sense of a purpose. And to leave Gary with an agenda that we all would be committed to around the nation.