The National Black Political Convention Plans New Black Agenda

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GARY — Black leaders renewed a call for an end to wealth inequality, mass incarceration and restrictions on black voting Thursday at the opening of the National Black Political Convention.

“We are back,” former Gary Mayor Richard G. Hatcher told more than dozens of convention delegates who gathered at the Genesis Convention Center, 44 years after the first Gary convention he hosted.

In 1972, the first National Black Political Convention was held in Gary and developed an agenda that included such items as a call to eliminate capital punishment and establish a national health insurance system. It also was believed to have led to a dramatic increase in the number of African-Americans holding public office.

The gathering didn’t draw any presidential candidates as organizers earlier hoped and a number of speakers expected to attend have instead traveled to Louisville, Ky., for memorial services for African-American boxing champion Muhammad Ali.

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