Rosalind Kilkenny McLymont, executive editor of The Network Journal and CEO of newly launched AfricaStrictlyBusiness.com, received the 44th Annual Malcolm X Black Unity Award for her “consistent, concrete work through the decades to build, teach and develop pan-African economic, as well as literary projects and businesses.”
McLymont received the award along with her husband, Fritz-Earle McLymont, managing partner, McLymont, Kunda & Co. and CEO of Brittonearth Energy Ltd., from the New York Chapter of the National Association of Kawaida Organizations (NAKO) at an Awards Program on May 17, the 88 anniversary of the birth of human rights activist Malcolm X (also known El Hajj Malik Shabazz) and 37 years after his assassination. The Awards Program was held in conjunction with the International African Arts Festival (IAAF) at Restoration Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
“Receiving the Malcolm X Black Unity Award is a tremendous honor. I could not have imagined that I would be considered worthy enough to stand alongside such iconic individuals as historian John Henrik Clarke, who have received it in the past. While my commitment to pan-Africanism is unwavering, this award adds a mighty spring to my step on this road that we must continue to travel,” said McLymont, who has authored two books on Africa — the award-winning novel, Middle Ground, and the groundbreaking title, Africa Strictly Business, The Steady March to Prosperity.
In presenting the awards, Segun Shabaka, Ph.D., chair of the New York NAKO and secretary of the International African Arts Festival, congratulated the couple for their accomplishments and contributions to the Black community in the United States, Africa and the Caribbean. “The Malcolm X Black Unity Award is given annually to sung and unsung heroes of the community whose lives exemplify the spirit of Malcolm X in building unity and community,” he told a full-house audience at Restoration Center.
Renowned scholar and activist Maulana Karenga, Ph.D., professor and chair of Africana Studies at California State University, Long Beach, and creator of the pan-African/African-American holiday, Kwanzaa, delivered the keynote address at this year’s 44th Annual Awards Program. During his address, Karenga read excerpts of his upcoming book, “The Liberation Ethics of Malcolm X: Critical Consciousness, Moral Grounding and Transformative Struggle.”
“Listening to Dr. Karenga – the entire evening, for that matter – brought back memories of the Friday night ‘rap sessions’ we held in Brooklyn in the late 1960s and early 1970s. We would engage in long, wonderful discourse with the likes of historian Dr. Yosef ben Jochannan, Elombe Brath and the old-time Garveyites from Harlem, and officials from various African Liberation groups who were visiting the US at the time,” McLymont said.
“Oh yes! The global Black community has benefited from the activism and thought leadership of these individuals and many others, but the business of uplifting our community is a never-ending business. In that vein, my prayers are with the family of Malcolm X as they mourn the loss of young Malcolm Lateef Shabazz, who was killed in Mexico City just ten days before what would have been his grandfather’s 88th birthday,” McLymont added.
In addition to her roles at TNJ and AfricaStrictlyBusiness.com, McLymont is a partner in McLymont, Kunda & Co., a business development strategies firm with clients in the United States, Africa, and the Caribbean, and a member of the sub-Saharan Africa Advisory Committee of the United States Export-Import Bank, the country’s official credit agency. She is a 1992 participant in the prestigious European Union Visitors Program, and a former executive board member of the U.S.-based Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation, which supports and promotes the creation of a culture of peace throughout the world in the spirit of its founder, Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and in collaboration with the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre in South Africa.
Born in Guyana, McLymont previously served as a high school teacher in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo and as an entrepreneurship development consultant to the Gender Program of the United Nations Development Program’s Africa Bureau. She has received numerous awards for journalism and community service, including from the New York Association of Black Journalists, the International Black Women’s Congress, the Guyana Cultural Association, the New York Chapter of the National Association of Health Services Executives, the Caribbean-American Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the National Minority Business Council, the CEJJES Institute and the City of New York Office of the Comptroller.
Photo: Solwazi Afi Olusola