Sonny Abubadika Carson: Revered Ancestor

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[Passage To Victory]

As a revered ancestor, Sonny Carson has left an imprint in the United States as well as in  Ghana, West Africa,  that always  reminds us of the merits of working for people.

This in itself is a great  reward as real time events are challenged. On this Sonny’s birthday, May 18,  juxtaposed to Malcolm X’s birthday May 19, we are reminded of one indisputable fact that bucks the modern trend, especially in New York  City. For some time, New  York City has honored deserving individuals by having some edifice named after them. As an example, even streets were named to honor these individuals.

For  that matter, sometimes an entire street was named after such personalities. However, New York City politics is always changing, sometimes for the  worse. As Mayor, and in his  run on the people, Rudy Giuliani restricted the naming of streets to co-naming  and then to a block or two.

This became the standard from his time onwards. Sonny Carson, as a thinking activist and realizing the significance of motifs and the cultural and philosophic consciousness of historical personalities soon realized there was no visible public evidence of noteworthy Black figures in  Brooklyn and elsewhere in New York.

He therefore created an organization called The Committee to Honor Black Heroes. He further realized old style building techniques engraved the names of  significant historic personalities on the cornice of façade  of buildings and even on lower Broadway  in New York City, the names of distinguished visitors to the city were engraved  on the sidewalk indicating the dates of their visit.   

Amidst his activist duties, Sonny “Abubadika” Carson, through his novel organization and demands  was able to quickly change street names that resulted in Malcolm X Boulevard and Marcus Garvey Boulevard in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. He successfully lobbied for a school named Malcolm X and one for Toussaint L’Ouverture, the  great Haitian liberator.

In this vein, however, the most significant  accomplishment he initiated was laying the foundation to name Fulton Street in  Brooklyn, after Harriet Tubman, the great African American  liberator.

Only recently, it  became apparent to this writer, instead of the customary block or two named  after an individual, Harriet Tubman Avenue stretches from Flatbush Avenue to Utica Avenue. This achievement was significant because of the now operational  law limiting the naming of such streets that Mayor Giuliani had implimented.

Clearly  the work of Robert “Sonny” Abubadika Carson was quietly behind this co-naming. It's as if  he had said, “I may not be there but we
can still beat the system” if we remain  active and vigilant.

Equally, let us not  underestimate the role Sonny Carson has played in institution building such as: the  establishement of Bed-Stuy Restoration Corporation to revitalize that community; the achieved 4-year status of Medgar Evers College, and; the repatriation of the Bones of Runaway Slave Samuel Carson to Ghana, West Africa, to create a site of pilgrimage and departure for African Americans seeking their roots in Mother Africa.

In this gallant and triumphant act Sonny Carson had created the “Door of Return” as a counter to the “Door of No Return” of the horrendous slave trade experience.

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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