Farewell Betty Dopson, Warrior Queen

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Prof. James Blake, Betty Dopson, Mr. and Mrs. John White, and Dr. James McIntosh in rear.

In a splendid and colorful turnout members and friends of CEMOTAP came to the Robert Johnson Life Center in Queens, New York,  to recognize, complement, praise, honor and offer a heartfelt Thank You and Farewell to Betty Dopson at her Going Away Party.

She has moved back to Ohio.

More importantly, however, these people came out not simply to celebrate Betty Dopson, Co-Chair of CEMOTAP along with Dr. James McIntosh for their unrelenting, uncompromising and steadfast nurturing of an organization brought to adult manhood/womanhood while standing unflinching in the face of misdirected, pernicious and deplorable depiction of African people in the various modes of media, whether TV, print or radio. They came to praise a movement nurtured in an oasis of intellectuality and activist daring that challenged false representation of African people.

This courageous leader of men and women, Betty Dopson, standing next to  her Co-Chair, Dr. James McIntosh, for some three decades demonstrated and spoke truth to power. Their message was clear. Stop mischaracterizing our people in your presentation or we will use every strategy in our arsenal, whether to boycott you and your sponsors, picket your place of establishment to shine the light of truth and correction  or, write and publish exposure of  your malicious depiction of African people.  This message remained consistent and has not let up.

While CEMOTAP simultaneously educated its members by inviting and presenting, in enriching discussion, untold numbers of trained and effective professionals and activists baptized in the arena of fire which made enemies of African people stand up and take notice. Appearing on TV, whether “Like It Is” or other programs, on the radio or presenting carefully crafted position papers, conducting college tours to expose young people to this higher form of liberation, holding forums, sponsoring activist outings, etc., CEMOTAP enshrined its image and stature in the annals of African American activism and education with a resolve designed to achieve success in every endeavor to promote African upliftment and mental liberation.

In the Opening Prayer, Rev. Simmons characterized Betty Dopson as possessing tenacity, courage, stick-to-it-iveness while emphasizing  “Faith without works is dead.” Recognizing that she is a gem he asked the Creator to sustain and bless her insisting we give thanks for Betty Dopson. He thanked the Lord for filling our time with joy, peace, hope and his unending love for us and the world. That “Your blessing is food for us and the mingling of our spirits is a testament of how great a Creator you are.”

Dignitaries on the Dais included: Professor James Blake, Chairman of Queens Million Man March; Sister Betty;  Mr. and Mr. John White ; Reverend Charles Norris, Spiritual father of the CEMOTAP movement; The People’s Chancellor Warrior Queen Mother Adelaide Sanford; Reverend Herbert Oliver; and, Sister Frederika Bey.

Those in attendance,  easily recognized, included Dr. Arthur Lewis and Wife; Dr. Jack Felder and son; Michael Greys of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care; Attorney Dr. Joseph Mack; Prof. James Smalls; Pam Africa; Sister Viola Plummer; Omowale Clay and others too many to mention. These original CEMOTAP members were also there:  Brother Fuller, Razakhan Shaheen, Father Lawrence Lucas, Brother Harold, Brother Bryan, Sister Penny, Olmeda and Shazanne Williams and Ed Ward.

There was the New Jersey crew with Sister Frederika Bey including Brother Ladine Calibah as well as Radio personality Bernard White, NAKO representative Bokim, Shadini, Brokaby, Richadena Theodore and  Molefi, among the “Sons of CEMOTAP.” Artist Brother Lucian Pinckney was in the house.

Throughout Stephanie Juneau and Shawn Broughata sang “Love Train,” “Just My Imagination Running Away with Me;” “My Girl” and many other old sentimental favorites.

Dr. Adelaide Sanford began with her customary “Beloved,” and acknowledged the opportunity to be with Sister Betty all over the world. She pointed out, Betty Dopson brought a lightening rod spirit to activism. Equally, as Co-Chair of BEPAA (Board of Education of People of African Ancestry) at Dr. Clarke Elders’ House she strove to promote liberation through education for our people. She established policies for education for liberation. On a more lighter note, “She makes fantastic biscuits. You must taste those famous Betty Dobson biscuits.”

Reverend Oliver was happy to celebrate this wonderful occasion. He classed Betty Dopson as “mediating on young, gifted and black. She is educated and black. A community activist and black. A woman of character, a woman of integrity, compassion and beautifully black. Personable and black. Black, proud and happily Black.”

The St. Alban Church congregation offered a heartfelt “Thank you for blessing us in a wonderful way. Yours is a foundation of faith.”

Rev. Norris praised the Beacon School, IS 8, affiliated with CEMOTAP, and offered his continued praise, support and elicited a wonderful blessing. Jokingly he mused that his “Teeth are like the stars that come out at night.”

Mr. John White offered a praise that Betty Dopson and CEMOTAP were “There when we needed them. They supported so many groups there and then.” His wife classed Betty as gorgeous, a warrior woman. She is a giant alongside people who appreciate freedom. More especially, ‘You look beautiful. Happy Birthday’”

Prof. James Blake thought, “Jitu even made this event. Give me my flowers while I’m alive.” Speaking of Betty, he insisted “She is a flower. She pollinates. She challenged Mayor Koch. She closed strip joints and racist merchants. Closed drug dens. She organized college tours after the Million Man March. She has tenacity, continuity and consistency. ‘God brought you into this world to help our people,’” he reminded the beautiful lady.

Inez Baron thought Betty Dobson the complete, thoughtful package, being bold, innovative and on the battlefield in all our struggles. She was fortunate to work with Charles Baron, Chukwe Lumumba, Sonny Carson, Jitu Weusi, Dr. Ben Jochannan and Dr. Clarke. Viola Plummer of the New York 8 and the December 12 Movement insisted she “Keep it going”

Mr. Bernard White characterized Betty Dopson with Dr. McIntosh as a “Tag Team.” He confessed, “They recognized I was worthy of support.” Father Lucas in paying tribute to “Our warrior sister” explained “The wives are known by their wisdom but the great are known by their actions and work. And in this Betty Dopson was supreme.”

Sister Shahid offered Asante Sana and thought it was an honor and privilege to know and work with Betty. Molefi McIntosh recounted “She took care of me” and that “Betty the Belly Dancer” is a beautiful lady.

Yusuf Salaam-Hanlon reflected, “They were moving people who were intellectuals while depicting filthy images of our people and CEMOTAP stood up.”      Professor James Smalls reminded, “Betty you are a goddess having a human experience. We make a pact with god. You have done your duty.”

Michael Greys of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care confessed, “I am  because we are. CEMOTAP is like home. Once there is a need, CEMOTAP is there. God speed sister.” Attorney Mack insisted, “Great women are known by what they do and leave behind. We must do and continue the work of Betty.”

While her brother reminded, “We made Betty fight boys not girls!” and Dr. Arthur Lewis mentioning “Africans Helping Africans” offered, “We Love You Betty”

The artist classed Betty Dopson as among “People who bright light to everything.” She was connected to her African-ness. She cracks the whip and make people stand at attention. On her own behalf, Betty offered a promise and that the “Remarks are so remarkable and reassuring, of which I am very appreciative. I thank you from the bottom of my heart where Betty Dopson was a mere 81 years old, you made me feel good.”

In total, all wished Betty Dopson the very best in the future and she promised to be back in New York at every opportunity time and circumstance permitted.

The ceremony was held on May 31, 2015.

 

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