Remembering Sonny Carson [Video]
Abubadika Sonny Carson: Brooklyn Warrior – Insistent, Consistent & Resistant!
May 20th marked what would have been the 81st anniversary of the physical manifestation of one of the greatest representations of the Ogun warrior spirit to ever cause changes in the People’s Republic of Brooklyn.
The Black Nationalist was a serious community-minded man who was very influential in making changes that would benefit his beloved people which he adored so much.
While he is well respected amongst his fellow freedom fighting Diasporan Africans within the metropolitan area; not just for combating against thirsty drug dealers, trigger-happy krooked killer kops and exploitive foreigners to his community – he was also deeply despised by the opportunistic bloodsucking politicians, preachers and school officials as well.
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Although he was born Robert Carson Jr. in South Carolina, his family migrated north a few years later, where he shined his light and will forever be known as “Sonny Carson,” one of Brooklyn’s greatest Sons/Suns.
After completing his formal education he soon enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving a tour-of-duty in the Korean War during the ‘50s, where he encountered… “an opposing Korean soldier who questioned him – ‘Why would a Black man fight for a country that would not let you drink from the same water fountain in Mississippi?’” recalled Carson’s comrade, Ali Lamont, Chairman – Committee To Honor Black Heroes [CTHBH].
Back in Brooklyn, Sonny was very active within his community, fighting for; proper education always correcting errors of the youth in the schooling system; and also against the rampant police-executions of young Black men in the ‘hood. “He was there to make sure we fought against police brutality,” reflected Atiim Ferguson, Chief-Of-Staff – CTHBH.
By the ‘60s, ‘street organizations’ such as ‘The Jolly Stompers’, ‘The Lords’ and ‘The Tomahawks’ were running things in the concrete jungle of Medina – the Land Of The Warriors – as Brooklyn is known to the Nation of Gods & Earths/5%ers, which he also had an alliance with.
“Sonny used to say, *Never mind the messenger. We must begin to look at and pay attention to the message!” affirmed Ali Lamont. The groups were helping the youth take control of their communities. These prior experiences would later prove to be very valuable.
Having already established himself as an influential community activist, he was further immortalized when he detailed his experiences as a man/child coming of age in his 1974 true-to-life book – “The Education Of Sonny Carson”, and the urban classic bio-flick by the same name, which soon followed.
Although he primarily worked out of Bed-Stuy and Ocean Hill/Brownsville, he carried the plight of Afrikans from throughout the entire Diaspora, on his back. His continued search for ‘the truth’ eventually took him back home to the Mother Land – Alkebulan – where his Afrikan consciousness led him to embrace his original way of life, and acquiring the name – Mwlina Imiri Abubadika, A.B. to close comrades, to reflect doing so.
“A street should be named after ‘Abubadika’. He is one of the strongest examples of the work done by the ancestors. Once inspired by them, he dropped his slave name, took a free Afrikan name, and made himself emotionally and educationally mature. Abubadika significantly contributed to our efforts to be free. All of us are going to have to go down that same road,” asserted Brother Tarik Haskins, longtime colleague.
“No Justice! No peace!” – was Abubadika’s trademark famous phrase, as he organized communities to combat police-led executions and racially motivated attacks by Caucasians against Amerikkkanized-Afrikans in N.Y.C. He was also instrumental in orchestrating various public demonstrations where thousands of upset people, who were tired of living under oppressive, imperialistic conditions, converged on the Brooklyn Bridge-The Day Of Outrage, City Hall and other vital city locations – to jam up traffic, suppress their dollars and let their voices be heard.
“Abubadika was a straight up man who didn’t pull no punches. He loved to help his people the best way he could. He visited prisons to help those people any way he could. He’d speak to the youth to keep them from going back. He did a lot of work that he didn’t get recognition for,” observed Pop Gaskins – Events Coordinator- CTHBH.
During the late ‘80s, A.B. led mass protests following the racially-motivated murders; including, Howard Beach – [the murder of 23 year-old Michael Griffith (12.20.86)- and Bensonhurst – [the murder of 16 year old Yusuf Hawkins (8.23.89)- who were killed because of angry Caucasian mobs.
He was also the primary individual who led the economic boycotts during the late ‘80s-early ‘90s against Korean grocers in Flatbush that constantly harassed Amerikkkanized-Afrikan patrons who they distrusted, yet set up stores in their neighborhoods to get rich off of.
Additionally, Carson helped quell the 3-days Crown Heights riot which erupted on August 19th 1991 after a 22 year old Hasidic Jew named Yosef Lifsh, driving a station-wagon, rushed through the intersection of President St. & Utica Ave., running a red light, as he attempted to remain a part of a 3-car motorcade.
The driver lost control of the car, jumped the curb, struck 7 year-old Gavin Cato and his same-aged female cousin, Angela. A Hatzolah ambulance crew arrived at the scene, but was not willing to help Cato, who later died as a result of the injuries he sustained.
A founding member of The Republic of New Afrika, A.B. advocated the importance of being a self-determining people. Often referred to as being anti-Semitic by the mainstream media, Carson clarified the issue when questioned about it – “Don’t confine my ‘anti’ to the Jews, I’m anti-white!” he clarified.
Along with his son, Lumumba a.k.a. Professor X of Hip-Hop revolutionary group X-Clan, were responsible for shutting down many illicit crack dens throughout the city as the torrent epidemic continued to engulf communities across the 5 boroughs. It was a well-known fact that local residents could make a call out to Abubadika at any hour of the day or night and he, along with members of The Black Men’s Movement Against Crack, would approach and close-down illicit drug dens within the Black communities.
Abubadika‘s organization, ‘CTHBH’ (1360 Harriet Tubman Blvd., Ste 15 Brooklyn, NY 11216, 718.783.1824) is responsible for naming many streets and schools after some prominent freedom-fighters, including: Sumner Ave. to Marcus Garvey Blvd, a stretch of Utica Ave. from Fulton to Broadway changed to Malcolm X Blvd., as well as initiating the on-going effort to rename Fulton St. after Harriet Tubman.
Also, formerly Public School 262 is now El Hajj Malik El Shabazz, because of him, and he contributed to having Medgar Evers College named after the Civil Rights leader.
“Abubadika felt that renaming the streets and schools was a part of the total effect to put back into Black people what has been beaten out of us,” assessed Tarik.
He also fully understood the importance of guiding the youth. “Sonny fought for community control of our schools… for each community to control what happens in the schools and to make sure each kid gets a good education,” confirmed Atiim.
The Education Of Sonny Carson Trailer
A.B. didn’t just flex his powerful influence in the schools. It actually began in the streets where the everyday people are from. “Sonny did a lot of things for people, he was very caring. He cared about his race, his people and was very respectful to the females,” remembers longtime acquaintance, Mama Lubaba. “He was an organizer, he had so many great attributes, yet he was tuff. He knew how to deal with the police and politicians, and they all respected him.”
He was paid further homage in recent years by the current Hip-Hop generation when Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA utilized samples lifted from Sonny’s flick, all over Ghost Face Killah’s 1996 classic solo-debut-album Iron Man. Also, The Fugees female vocalists, stated in an interview that the title to her 1998 solo album… “The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill” was partially inspired by Sonny’s own-story.
If still physically alive today, what would Sonny say?
“Sonny would not have been for mayoral control of the schools. That’s too much power in one man’s hands. Where the parents and the teachers have no say so about the curriculum, but these are our tax dollars,” established Atiim.
“One of the last great things that he did was to bring the continuity that we need with the Continent,” assessed Atiim. “He took his ancestors back to Ghana, through the door of no return and brought the connection between the Afrikans in North Amerikkka and the ones in Afrika, to become one family. That was a spiritual thing that he brought. That was the climax in the Education Of Sonny Carson.”
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He continued, “With the current mayor, the schools are in worst shape than before he took it over. These are the things Sonny would be fighting for right now, which his organization is still fighting for at the same time. Sonny would’ve been on the forefront. He is missed because only Sonny can be Sonny. There won’t be nobody like him again.”
“I used to be very moved when I used to hear him do a presentation. His intent was to immediately communicate to Black people that great harm has been done to us and we must unite to put the brakes on any future pain. I am so sorry Abubadika is no longer with me.”
Mrs. Mae Caron reflected on her husband’s calling,
“I understand that we were married, but I also knew that he belonged to the people!”
LONG LIVE ABUBADIKA!