Resolution J1547-2013

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

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  • Apr 30, 2013: ADOPTED
  • Apr 30, 2013: REPORTED TO CALENDAR FOR CONSIDERATION
  • Apr 26, 2013: REFERRED TO FINANCE

Text

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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