Ethel Minor, A quiet storm!
29 September 2022
Ethel Minor made her transition on September 21, 2022. The All-African People’s Revolutionary Party (GC) and Bob Brown, who worked with her, send condolences, and best wishes to Judy and Bob Starks, her sister and Brother-in-law, and to her biological and movement Family. An official Obituary, and information about her Funeral / Memorial Service will be provided soon. In the meantime, the A-APRP (GC) briefly and proudly introduces her to five generations of African and Other radicals and revolutionaries, especially women, and to future generations as yet unborn.
She was born in 1933, into a large and extremely accomplished Episcopalian Family in Chicago. She converted to Catholicism later in life and remained extremely religious. Lorne Cress Love, Francis Cress Welsing, and Barbara Cress Lawrence are three of her distinguished and accomplished cousins. Ethel studied mass communications in Chicago and in Colombia, South America from 1960 to 1962. She became extremely proficient in the Spanish language and served for more than three decades as a journalist, editor and organizer, translator, and Spanish / English teacher.
While in Colombia, Ethel met a who’s who of Arabs, especially Palestinians and Syrians, who had moved there in the wake of the 1948 Israeli war against, and occupation of Palestine. The relationships she developed and her love for Africa, Palestine and the Middle East blossomed, and grew even stronger when she returned to the United States.
She worked with but did not join the Nation of Islam from 1962 to 1964. She served, among other capacities, as a Spanish language translator for the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. She met and worked with a who’s who of the Nation’s members, including Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan, Akbar Muhammad, and Sister Christine Johnson, the then principal of the Nation of Islam’s school. Sister Christine knew and was close to Kwame Nkrumah from his student days in 1935 at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania to his transition in Bucharest, Rumania in 1972.
An accomplished journalist, editor, translator and organizer, Ethel met and worked with a who’s who in the African Media community in Chicago, including Lerone Bennett, Hoyt Fuller, David Lloren’s, and others at Ebony and Jet magazines, and the Negro Digest, later named Black World magazine. She also worked closely with E. Rodney Jones, Wesley South, Don Cornelius, and others at WVON, and with Bobby Sengstacke at the Defender newspaper.
Ethel moved to New York in 1964, and she served as one of Malcolm X’s secretaries and translators. She also served as the office manager of the Organization for Afro-American Unity, and as a liaison to the African, Spanish speaking and Arab / Palestinian communities in New York, and to the United Nations and the media. Malcolm X’s murder on February 19, 1965, had a profound impact on her and changed her life forever.
At 33 years of age, in 1966, shortly after the Black Power March in Mississippi, Ethel moved to Atlanta and joined the national staff of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. She became Kwame Ture’s secretary, editor of SNCC’s newsletter, and served as a staff member in its National Communications Department from 1966 to 1968. Among countless other assignments, she coordinated Kwame’s speaking engagements, worldwide, for almost a decade; and wrote or helped edit many of his speeches, correspondence, articles, and books. She responded to and helped manage thousands of media requests and interviews. Ethel helped make history. She was a “quiet storm.”
She also played a critical role in determining who would speak at the events that Kwame could not fulfill, and in assisting SNCC staff, volunteers, friends, and allies in their media work across the United States, and the world. Ethel worked with and alongside, and helped mid-wife, nurture and develop countless organizers and organizations within the Black Power, Pan-African, socialist, anti-repression, peace, student, and women’s movements from 1967 to 1975 – 1976. The release of the list of organizers and organizations she helped, and the documentation of their and her contributions to and achievements in the Movement will shock the world, and change the historical narrative, forever.
Seventeen of these SNCC and BPM organizers, including Ethel, who worked with Kwame from 1966 to 1972, served as the initial members of the Central Committee of the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party from 1972 through 1976. This list includes Cleve Sellers, Freddie Greene, and Willie Ricks in Atlanta, Greensboro, and DC; Jan Bailey, Koko Farrow-Barnes and Steve Farrow, Helen Leaks-Woodruff, and Paul and Evelyn Monroe in DC; Seku “Chico” and Renee Neblett in Boston; David Brothers, Bill Hall, Babu and Atim in New York and New Jersey; Lamin Jangha in Conakry; and Bob Brown in Chicago.
The A-APRP was called for in The Handbook of Revolutionary Warfare by Kwame Nkrumah in 1966-67; and he struggled to build it until his transition in 1972. It was publicly announced to almost 2,000 students, fifty years ago, at Howard University on September 17, 1972. Ethel and Jan, and the other members of the A-APRP’s DC cadre, organized announcement; and launched a worldwide recruitment drive.
The All-African People’s Revolutionary Party (GC) proudly proclaims that we inherit and continue the revolutionary theory and practice of Kwame Nkrumah, Ahmed Sekou Toure and Kwame Ture. Truth be told, and it will be told one day, Kwame Ture did not come into or leave this world and the movement alone, and he did not navigate its commanding heights or treacherous depths alone. From 1966 to 1975-76, Ethel Minor was “a quiet storm” beneath his wings; a “fire storm,” protecting, enabling, and empowering him; and we are only now beginning to learn about, and enjoy the fruits of the seeds that Ethel helped sow. Ethel traveled to Guinea several times, and met and worked with, Nkrumah and Toure, albeit briefly.
The All-African People’s Revolutionary Party (GC) does not mourn Ethel’s passing. Too much blood, sweat and tears have been shed, and will be shed; we will not cry. There are over 1.8 billion young people in the world today, 90 per cent of whom live in Asia—including Palestine and the Middle East—and Africa, and their Diasporas. There are more than 235 million youth in India, 225 million in China, and 108 million in the Middle East today; 211 million in Nigeria, 35 million in Sudan, 26 million in Egypt, 19.6 million in Azania (South Africa), 11.5 million in Ghana and 00 million in Guinea (Conakry); 50 million in Brazil, 43 million in the United States, and 20 million in Colombia (South America), alone. More Ethel Minors, of all colors, are being born every day and coming of revolutionary political age, much, much more.
It will be a great day when we see the smiles on young girls faces, not just African girls who live and suffer, study and struggle in 125 countries, islands, territories and dependencies in Africa and the African Diaspora, when they discover Ethel Minor, and learn about her work, study and struggle, her contributions, and achievements. From that dialectical moment, that revolutionary moment, they will know what they can do, what they must do to help liberate and unify African and Oppressed Humanity.
Armies of African, Palestinian, Indigenous, Hispanic, and Latino, European, and Other young, revolutionary women must be inspired, enabled, and empowered to help archive, write, and film Ethel’s story. We are sure that young, revolutionary men will also help. We trust that Judy and Bob Starks, and Ethel’s friends and family worldwide will make that happen, soon, very, very soon. In the meantime, as Nkrumahists-Toureists, we continue Ethel’s, Kwame’s, and our work, study, and struggle. We continue to fight for revolutionary Pan-Africanism and socialism, and to help build the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party (GC).
Victory is inevitable, but not in our lifetime!