Nearly seven years after making her transition onto the ancestral realm, prominent community activist, Mother Kefa Nephtys Jones’ body was exhumed from a nearby cemetery and reinterred at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, N.Y., on Tuesday May 17. Along with her husband, Bill Jones, they co-founded Harlem’s innovative grassroots lecture platform known as the First World Alliance, during the early 1980s.

“She led one of the largest educational programs in the city,” recalled African scholar warrior Professor James Small. “We won the case in court, so [we’ve moved] her body from a cemetery in New Jersey to Ferncliff Cemetery near Dr. Ben’s body. Most people don’t know what happened to this lady. [Her neighbors] wrote a fake will and stole her money and valuables. They gave her books to Dr. Jeffries to put in his collection.”

After several years dealing with failing health, Mother Kefa passed on Aug. 14, 2015. Not having any immediate relatives to curate her estate allowed neighbors to loot her apartment, and her memorial services were disorganized and she did not go home in an honorable fashion. Her body was unceremoniously interred at Forest Green Park Cemetery in Morganville, N.J.

LaTrella Thornton, Mother Kefa’s spiritual daughter, spearheaded the campaign, and was assisted by Dr. Leonard Jeffries, Prof. Small and Dr. Reggie Mabry.

“Something happened that is being rectified,” Mrs. Thornton stated. Adding that she “went to the funeral parlor and they said the funeral had been canceled. We had no idea. Everything we did on the day of the funeral, impromptu. We went every year to visit on her birthday.”

She added, “Mother Kefa has been guiding me through this whole process. It has been a long and spiritual journey. She was getting sick and they stole her money, canceled the funeral.”
Dr. Mabry explained, “We won the court case and got some money to reinter her. There was no funeral, they dumped the body. We went to a probate and got enough money for a grave and coffin.”

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  1. Was there for both occasions. We honored Mother Kefa the best we could the first time, in spite of the confusion. We danced, drummed and shared memories. The re-interment was beautiful. The site is serene and befitting the Queen Mother. She is at peace. Blessings to Mother LaTrella, Elder Jeffries, Drs. Small and Mabry. The community is grateful. Amin.

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