Elombe Brath, a world-renown Pan-Africanist who promoted the national liberation of all African people from racism, neo-colonialism and imperialism, died at the age of 77 in Amsterdam Nursing Home in Harlem, New York. Born and raised in Harlem, Brath suffered a number of strokes since 2009. It is ironic that he died on May 19 — on what would have been the 89th birthday of the great Black Nationalist and internationalist, Malcolm X, whom Brath admired greatly, as he did Marcus Garvey.
In 1975 Brath founded the Patrice Lumumba Coalition, which helped to initiate African Liberation Day here and worldwide annually during the latter part of May. The coalition was named after the first democratically elected prime minister of Congo, which won liberation from Belgium in 1960; Lumumba was assassinated by U.S.-backed Belgian colonialists in 1961. The coalition was one of the main hosts of Nelson Mandela during his visit to New York in 1990, following his release from imprisonment for 27 years under apartheid South Africa.
Brath was a brilliant historian of the many revolutionary struggles on the African continent.
He worked as a graphic artist and served as a consultant on African affairs to the late Gil Noble, who hosted the New York-based TV show “Like It Is.” Brath was also a producer on WBAI, the New York station of Pacifica radio, and his show had a large listenership of progressives and activists.
Brath will be honored on May 31 at a 10 a.m. memorial service at the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church, 132 Odell Clark Place at 138 Street, located between Malcolm X Blvd. and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. in Harlem. A more detailed obituary will appear in a future issue of Workers World.