May 20th marked the 90th physical anniversary of legendary urban activist Robert “Sonny” Carson, affectionately known as “Abubadika” to his comrades within his beloved Brooklyn community, and as “A.B.” to his close confidants. To commemorate the milestone occasion, several of his colleagues reflected on his legacy.
Abubadika joined the ancestors on December 20, 2002, after having suffered a stroke a few months earlier, and the impact his mighty Ogun spirit made throughout the several decades while on this physical plane has continuously been felt ever since.
During August 1998 he reinterred the bones of his paternal ancestor and runaway slave, Samuel Carson in Ghana, Africa.
“The greatest accomplishment in Abubadika’s life was when he turned the door of no return, to the door of the returned,” stated Carson’s comrade, Ali Lamont Jr. as he explained how his friend was inspired by a biblical story. “Ezekiel asked, ‘Can these bones live again?’ He was in the valley of the dry bones, which was America. Sonny pointed the way.”
Whether as a member of “The Lords” street organization as a teen, or as a paratrooper with the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division during a tour of duty in the Korean War while in his twenties, or as a socially conscious activist and community leader throughout the duration of his life, Abubadika boldly stood on the frontline and persevered despite all the obstacles.
“A.B. loved his community, and gave his life for it, and that’s the biggest tribute you can give to him,” reflected Atiim Ferguson, chair, Committee To Honor Black Heroes. “He continued the struggle as long as he lived on this planet. He fought so many battles, especially for education. He was about his people. There’s only one A.B. You see what’s going on in the world today with the gentrification, police brutality, jobs, Board of Education; there’s a lot of work that needs to be done.”
Throughout the torrential crack epidemic of the late ’80s, early ’90s, Carson’s “Black Men’s Movement Against Crack” ensured some semblance of serenity remained within certain sections of the People’s Republic of Brooklyn.
“His teachings were of life-saving qualities,” explained Brother Tarik Haskins, Black Panther.
“He was in the process of re-training us. He would put you on the course to live. He played a very important role in re-educating us.”
Coltrane Chimurenga—the recently late December 12th Movement’s Field Marshal—once assessed, “If you paint a picture, or write a script, as to who Abubadika was to our people and movement you would have to say that he was the guiding light, the spirit, the heart and soul of our people from the time he came on the scene during the Black Power movement.
“We must respect his greatness by counting his legacy by embellishing the principles he taught us—which were reclaim, recapture the Black community, and not keep it in the hands of these pimp, Uncle Tom politicians; keep everything in the hands of the Black nation. We honor his legacy by carrying it on. We look to the ancestors to keep his spirit among us, never let it die. Long live the spirit of Abubadika! See you in the whirlwind!”