Press release, 9 September 2002
A mighty daughter of Africa makes her transition to greet the Ancestors of Mbalia Camara, Fannie Lou Hamer and Kwame Ture. Sista Mawina Kouyate will forever be remembered for her Revolutionary African personality, her revolutionary love and her revolutionary commitment to humanity and especially to the African masses. Give thanks to the Almighty Creator for sending her to us to make such an exceptional revolutionary contribution to the upliftment and advancement of our peoples sacred liberation movement. On behalf of the All-African People's Revolutionary Party and the All African Women's Revolutionary Union we raise our voices high in honor of Sista Mawina. And to our family, friends, comrades and all freedom loving militants who were blessed as we were to have known her and to have been touched by her life and powerful inspiration we bring you these few words in her honor.
The daughter of Norma McLaughlin and Allen Ferguson, Mawina was born on in 1941 in Boston, Massachusetts. Her son Michael Sowa and grandson, Yero Sowa, survive Sista Mawina. Join the AAPRP and the AAWRU in pouring this revolutionary libation for one of African's Mighty daughters and Pan African Freedom Fighters, Sista Mawina Kouyate. Fortunately we were able to help her realize her pan-African dream of living her final days at home in Africa. On September 3, 2002 in The Gambia, West Africa our dear sista made her transition. On September 12, 2002 there will be a memorial held in The Gambia. Following this will be another celebration of Sista Mawina's life in Harlem, New York at the end of September 2002.
It is our responsibility to never forget our ancestors and to never let their names die. In the spirit of African culture, which our dear Sista Mawina embodied completely and dynamically each and everyday of her life, we pour these words on this page as a libation to her and her hard work, to her beautiful spirit and her clear understanding, to her vision of the revolutionary path. If only we can walk in her footsteps we are sure to reach our objective of Pan Africanism, World-wide Socialism and Women's Emancipation.
Sista Mawina represented each of these revolutionary aspirations with each breath and step of her entire walk through the journey of life. Sista Mawina brought all she had learned from her humble beginnings to spark a fire and shine a light so bright it could only lead her to organize for African people in everyway she could. By 1964 Sista Mawina took her experiences and began her freedom march in Boston Massachusetts working for The National Tenants Rights Organization. Representing the poor and oppressed, especially African women, she rose through the ranks of this organization to become Regional Coordinator for the Northeast (representing the masses from Boston to D.C.).
Sista Mawina will always be remembered for her fighting spirit and strong gentle loving arms that if you were lucky, hugged you tight and touched your soul. At a Tribute to her life held in Harlem New York March 2002, numerous individuals mentioned Sista Mawina's loving arms that seemed to have the capacity to reach across oceans and not only support you politically, but socially, culturally and spiritually as well. Her fiery spirit inspired and calmed us as we readied ourselves for all battlefronts and battlefields.
After moving from the battlefield of Tenants Rights she moved consciously into the Pan African Movement and joined the AAPRP in 1973. The fight for African Women's Liberation was her rally cry. She was one of the first AAPRP voices to understand the significance of an African Women's Union within the AAPRP. Into the AAPRP she brought with her, skills as an organizer of the masses and so for every African Liberation Day (ALD) she organized bus loads of students, women and workers to this event in D.C. Never forgetting her roots in Tenant organizing, her neighborhood, whether Boston or later the Lower East Side or Harlem were on those ALD buses as well.
Sista Mawina is well remembered for using her life, her house and her organization as a vehicle for serving the masses. Her revolutionary love was so broad and deep that her place of residence was known as a “Safe House” for anyone in need, especially African women. So much so did she live by example, the masses of women in the AAPRP voted her in as our first Women's Union representative in 1980. Again in 1983 she was one of two sistas to be the first women elected to the AAPRP Central Committee.
In 1990 at the lead of our Women's Union Sista Mawina guided us towards one of the most significant mass meetings of the AAPRP. The ten-year anniversary of The AAWRU was held outside of the u.s. in London, England. But this was only the preparation for yet another historical moment. Union 2000 took the AAPRP home at Sista Mawina's determination to have a mass meeting with other revolutionary sister organizations at home, Africa in Guinea Bissau.
Never tired and always seeing the vision of a United Socialist Africa, Sista Mawina understood how to implement Pan-Africanism on local levels. After the assassination of Amadou Diallo, this true revolutionary woman demonstrated the most conscious example of African love. As the enemy's cancer continued to try and stop her, she responded by creating another instrument to fight. Sista Mawina was a significant part of creating another African organization. This weapon was called, Women for Justice, and it was comprised of the mothers and women tired of seeing the police massacre our African men.
Sista Mawina's thirty-eight years as an activist and twenty-nine years of organizing for the AAPRP were critical to advancing the Party's Anti-Zionist, pro-African United Front lines to significant heights. She is remembered by one Palestinian comrade for blasting the zionist enemy even as her illness progressed in 2001 when she gave a passionate speech in Texas. The December 12th Coalition will also never forget the dedication and commitment of Sista Mawina as a principled tireless worker of the masses. She has led AAPRP/AAWRU delegations to Libya and Kenya and been instrumental in supporting critical AAPRP work in Azania, South Africa. She often worked two jobs one of them assisted thousands of us with travel arrangements to get home, to Africa.
Long Live Mighty Daughter of Africa Mawina Kouyate!!
Forward to One Unified Socialist Africa!!