The Organization for Black Struggle (OBS) was founded in 1980. A group of veteran activists, students, union organizers and community members in St. Louis were seeking to address the needs and issues of the Black working-class. There was a vacuum of Black radical leadership that could boldly speak and act, unencumbered by government or corporate structures. In retrospect, this was a challenging period.
The FBI’s CounterIntelligence Program, known as COINTELPRO, wreaked havoc on the leaders and organizations of the Black Liberation Movement. By 1980 the right was beginning to consolidate its power politically, with a conservative in the White House for the next 12 years. The country was struggling to get out of the economic recession. It was out of this abyss that OBS was born.