Hekima Ana Kanyama:
Husband, father and grandfather: He has been married to a wonderful Sister, Tamu
Sana Kanyama, for 40 years. Together, they have created a legacy of work and
dedication to community. They have three daughters, two son-in-laws, six beautiful
grandchildren and Hekimas’ mother, Mama McClure, now 86 is still helping to build the
Hekima is a product of the student sit-in movement of the mid 60’s and the Black
Power/Black Nationalist movement of the late 60’s and early 70’s.
Hekima was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. In 1966 he received a B.S.
degree from North Carolina Central University located in Durham, N.C. He was later
admitted to the School of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Hekima has dedicated 40+ years of his life to the liberation of African People. He
began his journey in the mid-sixties as a part of the student sit-in movement in the
South. Even as a youth he saw a need for change. While in college he was drafted to
serve in the U.S. war in Vietnam. Facing imprisonment and ridicule, Hekima stood his
ground, and refused to fight in a war he felt was unjust. With help from the community
he was able to claim conscientious objector status and avert federal prison time.
After college, Hekima became even more involved in the struggles of our people.
During the late 60’s he embraced Black Nationalism and became a citizen and leader in
the PG-RNA. He was later elected to serve as its’ 1st Vice President.
In August of 1971, Hekima was involved in a deadly shootout between the RNA and
Jackson Mississippi police and the FBI. When the smoke cleared, Hekima and ten other
Brothers and Sisters, including his wife Tamu, were facing criminal charges for treason,
murder, conspiracy, assault and a host of other charges. These Brothers and Sisters
became known as the RNA-11.
Hekima was the first to go to trial and was found guilty. He was sentenced to Life in
Mississippi with 15 years of federal time on top of that. Based on a technical error by
officials in Mississippi, Hekima gained his release after 9 years, split between the
infamous Parchman Prison Farm and the Atlanta Federal Pen.
Upon his release in 1980, Hekima started immediately to organize based on new
thinking and a plan developed while in prison. He tested the plan for one year in
Milwaukee. After moving to Atlanta in 1981, Hekima continued to test his plan, but met
with little success until 2003 with the founding of the African Community Centers for
Unity and Self-Determination, Inc. Other Brothers and Sisters have joined with him, his
wife and family to put in place a permanent (intergenerational) system to naturally aid
us in building power to control the economic, political and cultural life of our community.
This permanent system is called “Functional Unity”.
Hekima believes that with Functional Unity, Africa will be redeemed. He believes that
with the growth and maturity of the system of Functional Unity, we will have the proper
tool to forever throw off the yokes of domination and exploitation by others and
establish ourselves as a servant of none but ourselves and The Most High.