Honoring Elombe Brath upon the occasion of his designation for special recognition

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  • 26 / Apr / 2013
  • 30 / Apr / 2013
  • 30 / Apr / 2013

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative



LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION honoring Elombe Brath upon the occasion of his
designation for special recognition after a lifetime of loyalty and
distinguished service as a community, national and international civil
and human rights leader

WHEREAS, A great community is only as great as those persons and organ-
izations that provide exemplary service, whether through participation
in voluntary programs, through unique personal achievement in their
profession or other endeavors, or simply through a lifetime of good
citizenship; Elombe Brath is one such individual; and
WHEREAS, This Legislative Body is justly proud to honor Elombe Brath
upon the occasion of his designation for special recognition after a
lifetime of loyalty and distinguished service as a renowned activist,
locally, nationally and internationally; and
WHEREAS, Born in Brooklyn, New York, on September 30, 1936, to parents
who had immigrated to the United States from Barbados, the Caribbean
Island geographically closest to the African continent, his early train-
ing of a political character was hearing his mother speak of her first
cousin, Clennel Wickham who was the editor of the renowned HERALD news-
paper; and
WHEREAS, In his autobiography, READY FOR REVOLUTION, the acclaimed
revolutionary Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture) referred to Elombe Brath
as the "dean of Harlem nationalists"; while such a tribute from Ture is
admirable, Brath's Black Nationalism, his Pan-African thought, as many
will attest, extends well beyond Harlem with a special resonance among
freedom fighters around the globe; and
WHEREAS, Brath's political commitment evolved in 1956 simultaneously
with the struggle to eliminate "Negro" as the nomenclature of African
American people; from this moment of Black consciousness it was an easy
and logical step for him to create the "Black is Beautiful" campaign
(1961) following the creation of AJASS (African Jazz-Arts Society and
Studios) with his brother, Kwame and a cadre of other local advocates in
1956; and
WHEREAS, Removing "Negro" from the lexicon, insisting on the beauty of
Blackness, and refusing to accept the Eurocentric worldview, Elombe and
his associates were in the vanguard of change as they launched the Gran-
dassa Models and "Naturally Shows"; and
WHEREAS, All of these activities were the foundation for his total
involvement in African affairs, including his association with FOPANO
(Federation of Pan-African Nationalist Organizations), which eventually
set the stage for African Liberation Day and the development of the
African Liberation Support Committee (ALSC) which played such a critical
role in educating and organizing thousands in the fight against imperi-
alism, colonialism, and neo-colonialism on the African continent; and
WHEREAS, One of the pivotal moments in Elombe's constantly evolving
political philosophy, an outlook grounded in the ideas and actions
promoted by Marcus Garvey and Carlos Cooks, was the formation of the
Patrice Lumumba Coalition (PLC) in 1975; and
WHEREAS, The PLC came at a most propitious time when there was much
confusion about which liberation movement to support in the war against
colonial domination in Africa; it was a matter of separating the truly
progressive organizations from the reactionary ones, and Elombe and
members of the PLC were indispensable in providing the correct guidance
and understanding of the often fractious and contentious forces vying
for control; and
WHEREAS, For more than a generation Elombe, as the chairman of PLC,
helped to coordinate hundreds of forums with the purpose of educating

the masses, not only about the struggle in Africa but also about the
conditions oppressed people faced all over the world; and
WHEREAS, Despite his total immersion on the international front as
well as countless battles against racism at home, Elombe was employed at
WABC-TV where as a graphic artist, skills he had acquired in high school
and at the School of Visual Arts, he was a vital consultant, particular-
ly on African affairs, to Gil Noble, the esteemed host of "Like It Is";
Elombe was instrumental in facilitating the presence of many of the
African leaders on the show; and
WHEREAS, None of these activities, however, detracted Elombe from
taking care of his family, and along with his wife, Nomsa, they raised
six very successful young men, and a daughter; and
WHEREAS, Many of Elombe's followers and comrades admit missing their
leader who was always burdened down with the books, magazines and news-
papers, always ready to dispense with the latest information on social
and political matters, both at home and abroad, and always ready to
stand his ground; and
WHEREAS, Though stilled by a massive stroke, Elombe's legacy, his
inspiration remains as significant today as it did when his voice was a
clarion call advising individuals along the right path to total liber-
ation and independence; and
WHEREAS, Rare indeed is the impressive dedication shown by an individ-
ual for the benefit of others which Elombe Brath has displayed through-
out his life; and
WHEREAS, Those who enhance the well-being and vitality of their commu-
nity and have shown a long and sustained commitment to excellence
certainly have earned the recognition and applause of all the citizens
of the community, the State, the Nation, and the world; now, therefore,
be it
RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
honor Elombe Brath upon the occasion of his designation for special
recognition after a lifetime of loyalty and distinguished service as a
community, national and international civil and human rights leader; and
be it further
RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to Elombe Brath.


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