Bill Perkins's Blog

Tributary Messages for Elombe Brath: Our Living Hero

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Friends, 

As you may already know on Saturday, May 11, 2013 we will be paying tribute to our hero, brother and friend Elombe Brath. Saturday's program is rich with expressions of  love from many who know him and have shared experiences with him over the years.  your feedback has been tremendous and we anticipate a great turnout.

Some of you who are unable to make it have already contacted us with messages for Elombe in your absence.  In recognition of the many who would like to send a message to Elombe or share a thought about all of the many contributions he has made I have dedicated this page on my website.  The page will remain up and will be printed and given to Elombe and his family.  

Please identify yourself with your comment.  Thank you,  

 

Sincerely,

 

Senator Bill Perkins

30th District

STEPS TO POST COMMENTS

1)   If you are not registered with the website you must do so. Look in the upper right part of the screen for the word “Register”. Click it and follow the instructions. If you are already registered with the site then proceed to login by clicking the word “Login” in the upper right part of the screen. Once logged in proceed to Step #2.

2)   Click the tab “Senators” in the upper left region of the page, then scroll down to find “Senator Perkins” and click his name.

3)   On the Senator’s page look for “Top News”. You will see the title “Tributary Messages for Elombe Brath: Our Living Hero”. Click the title.

4)   Scroll down the page until you see a link to view a video (DO NOT CLICK THE VIDEO LINK). Under the video you will see the words “Add Comment”.

5)   Click “Add Comment” and then proceed to follow the instructions on the page.

6)   Once you have completed your message and clicked “Preview”, and then clicked “Save” please email tobriggs@nysenate.gov to inform Tom Briggs that you have completed your posting and would like it to be published on the website.

 If you have any additional questions please do not hesitate to call (212) 222-7315.

See video

Your Comments

Elombe, 

     In the early 1950’s, while growing up in the South Bronx neighborhood of Dawson St., Kelly St., and Longwood Ave., of which you and your family were a part of, certain reflections stand out. Definitely ‘family time’ was one of those memories never to be forgotten. Just to elaborate on this a little more, your family introduced out then smaller community of working middle class families to the worldwide global community-at-large by offering practical home spun economic, friendship, and sustenance to many of us.

     Continuing with that thought, “the elder Mrs. Brathwaite” (your Mom), was known for her outstanding Caribbean culinary skills, including the baking of her dependably delicious loaves of coconut bread. This action especially brought unadulterated pleasure to my family and me every week during our Sunday morning breakfast ritual. I know because I would eagerly dash around the corner to you front door, looking forward to that extra piece of bread I would receive for my pick-up services. Believe me, that taste and quality are still with me today. Each loaf was given ‘Mom’s’ own personal stamp of approval, so there was no chance that anyone could upstage her efforts. Ultimately, it provide for a comforting staple in my house hold. Also, at this time, you brother John and my brother Maurice were actively attending Junior High School #52 in the same vicinity of our respective homes. So they would occasionally engage in an after- school visit or two, on a friendship ‘su casa es mi casa’ basis.

     Elombe, I further remember you and your brother Kwame were my seniors by several years, but your social, educational and cultural sensibilities placed both of you miles ahead of most. In fact, you let no grass grow under your feet. On more than one occasion, I was able to look out of my front window, and see the two of you walking past, leaving the area behind like you were on a mission. Clearly this was the case, as I look back on your achievements.

     As architect of the Nubian vision, called ‘Black is Beautiful’, Elombe, you have worked tirelessly for the liberation the people enslaved by oppressors (notably, on the continent of Africa). Although you certainly have not no done this single-handedly, your efforts to raise the level of awareness among African-Americans in this country is unparalleled. Demonstration of this includes your input in every media source available, such as TV, radio, published works, and news articles.

     Elombe, your Activist Work has been defined in your DNA, not only through your establishment of an on-going network to educate other, but in your zeal to liberate the conditions of all people. Undoubtedly, this profound contribution will mark your legacy for years to come, and will remain relevant for future generations to come.

Peace and Love to You and your Family,

 

Your Former Neighbor,

Pat Robinson.

Poem by Abiodun Oyewole

                   ELOMBE
ELOMBE IS A TRUE BROTHER
WHO LIVES HIS BLACKNESS
WALKS AND TALKS AND WEARS HIS BLACKNESS
LIKE A ROBE OF HONOR
A TRUE CHAMPION OF AFRICAN LIBERATION
THE MAN BEHIND GIL NOBLE
THE NOBLE WORDSMITH
WHO DEPARTED A SHORT WHILE AGO
TELLING IT LIKE IT IS
PUTTING SILVER BULLETS IN GIL'S TV GUN
ELOMBE WAS HIS ELEGBA
OPENING UP THE ROADS TO A BLACK WORLD
WE DON'T SEE ON TV
WITHOUT BEING SEEN 
BUT BEHIND THE SCENE
ELOMBE IS THE BREATH AND FORTITUDE OF THE MOVEMENT
BECAUSE OF HIM THE MOVEMENT WILL NEVER DIE
AND AFRICA HERE AND ABROAD WILL ONE DAY BE TRULY FREE
 
                                                         ABIODUN 5-27-13

 

I heard about Elombe before I met him in person in the early 1980's . 

I heard about him in Reverend Daughtry's Church where I used to go for the weekly history lectures. One evening when Dr Clark was lecturing , this is what he said about Elombe : "Elombe Brath is the Foot Soldier and the General of the Pan African Movement" After I heard this, I knew I had to find Elombe somehow. I did not have to look very long, because in the early 80's there were weekly announcements on WLIB radio of the weekly Patrick Lumumba Coalition meetings in Harriet Tubman School in Harlem. 

I was born and raised in socialist Hungary.I was already 29 tears old when I came to live in NYC. It was a great surprise and a great joy for me to listen to Elombe discussing local and international events because all the basic historical and political principles he was talking about were exactly the same which I learned in Hungary from my teachers in high school and in university. I was in High School in during the 60,s and that was the time when so many African countries became independent . In socialist Hungary if you went to a movie, before the movie there was the newsreel, and these newsreels bought us the pictures of African people who were becoming independent one country after the other .Those news reels were a great influence on me , and when Elombe was speaking in the Harriet Tubman school, I knew exactly what he was talking about colonialism. 

Elombe gave me one of my greatest recognition of my life, when he put my photo of my life size sculpture of Marcus Garvey on his flyer of the P.L.C. meeting on August 25 1995. The names of the speakers on this event were : Marcus Garvey Jr., AB S. Carson, Samori Marksman, Viola Plummer Serge Mukende, Elombe Brath Moderator. 

When I was working on the Malcolm X sculpture for the former Audubon Ballroom in 1996 , I invited Elombe to come to see my work.

He came with AB S. Carson, and they were very happy when they saw the Malcolm X and the Marcus Garvey sculpture.Soon after Gil Noble came to my studio , and later I used to visit him in ABC to report my progress with the Malcolm X sculpture, and later with the Frederick Douglass sculpture. 

I have the deepest respect and love for Elombe Brath " the Foot Soldier and General of the Pan African Movement," and I feel very fortunate because I was able to listen to him for so many years in Harriet Tubman School and on WBAI. and WLIB radio.I loved the humor of Elombe a lot and the choice of his international music was fantastic. Africaleidoscope was great on WBAI. Elombe was my international,political , compass . When I was not sure about something , I was waiting to hear from Elombe first on the radio, or at Harriet Tubman School.. Elombe was " the walking encyclopedia.".His wast knowledge of international history and the Pan African struggle was great and commended admiration. 

Thank you for the family of Elombe for all the sacrifices they made during the last 40 + years when Baba Elombe was not with them because he was fighting for Pan African and international human rights in the U.S.A. and around the World. 

Gabriel Koren, sculptor

This reading resolution is amazing.I was on my way to the tribute on saturday but it rained so hard and the flooding messed up everything for me at home in Brooklyn.I am watching this tribute and I just want to cry. I am hearing that the program was a gala affair from somebody I know who was there and I am just so mad. I hear it was stepped up with free food also, what I thought our community was poor. Watching this video and hearing what I missed I feel so bad that I let all of the rain stop me. Can I get a tape of the program? I am willing to pay up to 100 dollars.

I learned a lesson thou, rain will never stop me from doing something I WANT TO DO EVER AGAIN. Very upset that I missed this Senator Perkins thank you

C.Hemming