After 30 years in Philadelphia, Uhuru Furniture, a non-profit economic development project of the African People’s Education & Defense Fund (APEDF) is closed.
Uhuru Furniture has shown what African self-determination looks like, taking it from an idea to a concrete reality that the community can support, grasp and be part of.
Uhuru Furniture & Collectibles (UFC) has provided free donation pick-up services and
Uhuru on the Move’s moving services, resold gently used furniture and household goods at affordable prices, saved thousands of tons of furniture from the landfill and provided volunteer opportunities, job training and work experience for our community.
Hundreds of thousands of people have chosen to shop, donate and volunteer at Uhuru Furniture because they support APEDF’s programs for health, food, education and economic self-reliance by and for the black community.
We consider it a victory for this black-owned institution to have survived and thrived for three decades through conditions that normally keep our community out of the economic arena. This is a statement of the tremendous support from the community for the mission of APEDF.
From APEDF and Uhuru Furniture, we say a heartfelt THANK YOU to every person who has chosen to stand on the side of black working people’s right to self-determination!
Since announcing our closing, we have been overwhelmed by an outpouring of support, showing us how deeply our community not only loves UFC for the great quality furniture and service, but feel it is part of their cultural and political lives! On Oct 26, 2023 Uhuru Furniture was presented with a resolution of support by the Philadelphia City Council.
Because of your ongoing support, there are programs on the ground transforming the conditions of life in our community. The One Africa Marketplace in West Phila will be open again in the spring of 2024. The Black Power Blueprint programs based in St. Louis, MO continue to expand. These programs uplift our community and provide genuine solutions to the disparities we face. APEDF has built an African farmer’s market and community garden, a state of the art basketball court, created a doula training program and women’s health center and much more.
In 2023 throughout the U.S., small businesses and large corporate retail chains alike are closing. The rising cost of living with skyrocketing rents, rising prices of gas, food and goods have created untenable conditions for small businesses and our underserved communities.
In Philadelphia, over 30 percent of the city (485,000 people) was forced into deeper poverty and hunger when the state cut off supplemental SNAP benefits in March 2023.
These conditions have made it impossible for the Uhuru Furniture store to be a sustainable economic development project of APEDF, keep the commitment to our staff to provide a living wage and maintain affordable prices for the people. The cost of doing business and lack of support from the city which subsidizes developers and big corporations while draining African and other impoverished communities has made it impossible for UFC to keep our doors open.
APEDF programs are growing and new ones are being built
Under the slogan “Our Labor, Our Future” the African Independence Workforce Program (AIWP) that we have initiated will reverse the negative impact of the colonial economy and prison system. AIWP will provide training and jobs so our community can contribute to a prosperous future through development of a liberated economy in the hands of our community.
Here’s what YOU can do:
Donate to APEDF programs through the Giving Tuesday Campaign at www.apedf.org/donate. Make a one-time donation or become a sustainer.
Share your Uhuru Furniture story! Email us and we’ll put it on our website.
Support and participate in the One Africa! One Nation! Marketplace in Philly https://oneafricamarketphilly.org