Carson a community activist whose life was the subject of
a Hollywood motion picture passed away on Friday December
20, 2002. Carson was youth gang member, and convicted criminal.
However in Malcolm Xs fashion he turned away from
crime and became a dedicated community servant.
Robert Sonny Carson Jr. was born on May 20, 1929, in Orangeburg,
South Carolina. Sonny was the oldest of his 5 siblings.
His son Lumumba Carson is a hip-hop artist, and part of
the X-Clan rap group.
When Sonny was three years old, he and his family moved
from Orangeburg, South Carolina to Brooklyn, New York. As
a kid he went through the New York City primary and secondary
schools. He graduated from Alexander Hamilton high school.
In his teenage years, Sonny was a member of a gang called
the Lords. After his high school graduation Sonny joined
the United States Army. In the service he was a wartime
paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne during the Korean War.
Sonny did a lot of positive things to improve the community
however he wasnt always a good guy. In 1974 Sonny
was arrested on murder, attempted murder and kidnapping
charges. Although he was acquitted of the murder charges,
he was sentenced to seven years for kidnapping. At the time
he was filming the movie of his autobiography, The
of Sonny Carson.
Because Sonny knew about the racial inequalities in his
community he set out for change. The Bedford-Stuyvesant,
Ocean Hill Brownsville areas were places where Sonny fought
over community power of control schools. He was a founding
board member of the oldest community development corporation
(CDC) in America, the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation.
He was also one of the founders of Medgar Evers College
Sonny was a phenomenal event organizer. He was specifically
good in organizing rallies for justice and equality regarding
police brutality. He was mad at the thought of economic
exploitation. As a result he made commercial boycotts for
the advancement of consumer services for the community.
He created the Black Mens Movement Against Crack a
group dedicated to fighting drugs. He was a part of the
protest of the reburial of the African ancestors in the
African Burial Ground.