Alkebu-Lan Revivalist Movement
Freedom Begins with the Freeing of the Mind and Soul
c/o 282 High Road, Leyton, London E10 5PW
Tel: 020 8539 2154; 07908 814 152
Prof. Tony Martin
Joins the Ancestors
21st February 1942 - 17th January 2012
It is with great shock and deep sadness that the Alkebu-Lan Revivalist Movement receive the news of the passing of Baba Prof. Tony Martin, the foremost scholar on the life and legacy of the Most Eminent Prophet and King - His Excellency: Marcus Mosiah Garvey and official UNIA historian.
According to various sources, he departed while being hospitalised at the West Shore Medical Hospital, in Trinidad and Tobago. Although to date we have seen no reports on the circumstances.
Baba Tony Martin, the man upon whom this Movement bestowed the title of The Apostle of The Prophet (Papa Garvey), is most renowned for his life long devotion to and monumental research on the life and legacy of The Prophet. From this wellspring of information, flowed his prolific authorship and publication of numerous books, including: Race First, Marcus Garvey Hero, Message to the People – A Course in African Philosophy, Literary Garveyism, the Poetic works of Marcus Garvey, African Fundamentalism and The Pan-Afrikan Connection among others. Such works span the breath and depth of this colossal legacy, placing Baba Martin, without a doubt, at the forefront of the fight to rescue Papa Garvey from the evil designs of those who would seek to distort the truth about the man and his Race 1st, Nationalist Pan-Afrikanist message.
In addition, the professor of Africana Studies at Wellesley College, Boston Massachusetts, USA, has traversed the globe lecturing on the phenomenal works of the man he regarded as "The most outstanding Pan-Afrikanist of the 20th century." This included several trips to the UK, where he lived and studied in the 1960s. In 1987, he joined us in commemorating the centenary of the birth of Papa Garvey addressing several events. In 1995 he was in Britain again participating in the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the fifth Pan-Afrikan Congress, in Manchester. He has also been the guest of the Pan-Afrikan Congress Movement (PACM) on several occasions and has on occasions been the special guest speaker at their annual Afrika Liberation Day.
In 2003, Baba Tony Martin became the centre of a controversy which gave rise to one of the most powerful events in the history of pan-Afrikan activism in the UK. Having invited Baba Martin to speak at the 'First Voice Conference,' ostensibly marking Black History Month (October), Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, ventured to dis-invite him, on the pretext that he had shared platforms with a certain 'holocaust denier' from the US. Of Course the real issue was that the US-Jewry was up in arms against Baba Martin, calling for his dismissal from Wellesley College and even for his death, for introducing into the curriculum the Nation of Islam's book, 'The Secret Relationship between Blacks and Jews,' chronicling the disproportionate Jewish involvement in Afrikan enslavement. True to his spirit, this warrior scholar remained resolute in defence of the integrity of Afrikan scholarship and right to tell our own story.
It thus transpired that Livingstone was bowing to pressure from the UK Jewish lobby, acting in tandem with its US kith and kin. This sparked a massive public outrage from the Afrikan community-UK. More importantly, we 'The People' led by a coalition of Pan-Afrikan organisations (ARM, PACM, AAPRP, APLO, EWF, NBPP, etc) mobilised and organised the pooling of our resources to bring and host Baba Martin ourselves. To crown this decisive act of self-determination, over 1,000 people turned out to hear Prof Martin and stood in book signing queues for more than two hours, registering two resoundingly successful event: a celebrated moment for Pan-Afrikan unity, procuring a small but significant victory over a powerful international Jewish lobby. (see: www.blacksandjew.com/TMLondon [London Disinvitation]).
In Mosiah (August) 2007, Baba Martin was back in the UK as a guest of The Alkebu-Lan Revivalist Movement's (ARM) Mosiah celebration, themed 'The Afrkan Empire Strikes Back' - a resistance to the UK government's sinister bicentenary of the 'Slave Trade Act,' celebrations. On Umoja-day (Sunday), 19/08/2007, ARM paid tribute to Baba Martin by awarding him an 'Order of Distinction,' on behalf of the Afrikan Community-UK. In addition to an OoD trophy, Baba Martin was gifted a Mosiah plaque and gold chain with a custom built Soul Force logo-pendant (combining Afrika, the Ankh, and the sun). At this event he spoke on 'Slavery, Abolition-Deceit and the Garvey Movement,' exposing British government hypocrisy around the fictitious Abolition of slavery and its fiendish efforts to destroy Papa Garvey and the Garvey Movement.
This privileged proximity to the Apostle enabled us to get to know him beyond the platform a bit more, thus acquainting ourselves with a man whom for all his academic brilliance, professorial status and international renown, was humble and devoted to maintaining meaningful connections with the grass-roots, whom he greatly valued. In the tradition of the Afrikan Griot, this living library allowed us to tap him for hours, and patiently oblige us with reams of historical information.
Last Mosiah (August, 2012), we were blessed to have The Apostle of The Prophet on our show, Afrika Speaks with Alkebu-Lan, on Voice Of Afrika Radio (94fm; www.voiceofafricaradio.com; every Monday 8:00pm-10:00pm). In this interview he informed listeners of his newly completed book 'Caribbean History – From Pre-Colonial Origins to the present' and that the long awaited 'Global Garveyism' – an anticipated masterpiece - was near completion. The possibility of 2013 was mooted, in hope of a UK launch. Alas, this was not to be. The predictable celebration of the centenary of the UNIA 2014 was also alluded to, without a thought that the man whose gigantic contributions, served so well to vindicate the sacrifices of its founder might not be with us.
Baba Tony Martin was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. He received a B.Sc. honours degree in economics at the University of Hull (UK) and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in history from Michigan State University. He began lecturing at Wellesley in 1973, was tenured in 1975, became a full professor in 1979 and retired in 2007. He is also a barrister-at-law from Gray's Inn, London. He is the author of many scholarly articles on Afrikan History and the recipient of various awards and honours, one of the most important being from the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations (ASCAC).
The news of the sudden departure of this warrior scholar in the heat of battle has rocked the homes and pierced the hearts of the ARM members, as it will have done throughout Afrika-UK and the entire Afrikan world-community. Naturally, we are inclined, nay, duty bound, as freedom fighters to enquire beyond what might seem plausible; knowing the nature of an enemy that is notoriously unforgiving, relentless, ubiquitous and stealthy. We note that Baba Martin's birthday is on the anniversary of Papa Omowale Malcolm X's assassination and that he passed on the anniversary of Papa Patrice Lumumba's assassination .
Notwithstanding our deep sense of loss, there is cause for celebration. The celebration of the return of a vigorous, victorious and liberated spirit to the realms of the Ancestors – 70 years young – to continue to empower our liberation fight.
We celebrate a life well lived worthy of our honour and praise, on earth and beyond the grave. Ceremonial drums should therefore be pulsating throughout the Afrikan world in honour and memory of this consummate Garveyite. In context, it is fitting that Afrika-UK should gather for this purpose at the soonest possible date.
Updates to follow.
We remember at this time his family, especially his wife, Sis Paloma and his son Prince Shabaka (aged 6yrs) and send them our love and condolence.
Long live the unconquered spirit of Baba Prof. Tony Matin. And:
May he rise on the wings of Maat, After a favourable judgement in the council of Asar: Ase! Amen-Ra! It is done!
Unite, Organise Now or Perish!
Rise, You Mighty People!
Bro Ldr Mbandaka
(Spititual Leader – Alkebu-Lan Revivalist Movement)