The Universal African Peoples Organization was founded as an extension of three major legacies. The first was the profound legacy left by the Honorable Marcus Garvey, who created an unprecedented mass movement of Black people during the 1920's and 30's. The Universal Negro Improvement Association as he named it, had a membership of millions of Blacks who heeded Garvey’s uplifting call for them to develop economically, politically, culturally, internationally, and spiritually. Thus, it is in the spirit, and with the example of Marcus Garvey that we have committed ourselves to the fulfillment of his dream.
Speaking of dreams, we chose April 4, 1987 as our founding date, in respect of the legacy left by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who, as most of us know, was assassinated on that date in 1968. We recognize vividly, that Dr. King’s dream of racial equality and justice within the United States is a “dream deferred.” Therefore, we have dedicated ourselves to carry forth with that commitment; the fervor and the skills so vital for the liberation and advancement of our people, as we move progressively through the 1990's and into the 21st century.
The third and final legacy that had a positive effect upon the development of the UAPO was based on the principles of Missouri’s first and second Statewide Black Peoples Conventions held in St. Louis, Missouri in 1984 and 1986. Ironically, these two important historical events took place in the former slave state where the infamous Dred Scott Case began. As a result of these historical events, the grassroots candidacy of Lavoy “Zaki” Reed for Governor of Missouri was launched. The candidacy was based upon an eleven point platform of issues addressing the needs of people which proved fruitful with the accumulation of over 87,000 votes. Therefore, it is with brave souls of my comrades from the campaign committee, along with other recruits, that we shall attempt to organize, through coalitions, networking and other cooperative ventures, the 87,000 votes in Missouri into a meaningful movement under the auspices of the Universal African Peoples Organization. Once Missouri has been organized, we shall extend outwardly to the masses of our people who yearn for the day of liberation, prosperity and peace.