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The H3O/Art of Life Blog

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Queen Mother/ Warrior Queen: Marion Nzinga Stamps

Updated: May 10, 2021

By AbdudDharr Abdullah *

Presented by Omni-University

Ancestor Marion Nzinga Stamps

It is our privilege to draw attention to the contributions made by some of the foremost of the brave, courageous, selfless and valiant ones from amongst their ranks who gave their lives: all to the struggle for the humanity of, and justice and peace for, all people, in general; and many in support of the struggle for the independence, liberation, national sovereignty and self-determination of American Born People of Afrikan descent, in particular.

May the life-long struggles they endured provide an example, for all of us who remain under the yoke of oppression in this 21st century, as to what is required to fulfill one’s humanity when faced with the evils of injustice and tyranny.

The ‘Will of GOD will be done on earth as it is heaven’ when enough of us ‘stand-up’ in defiance of wrong in a manner exemplified by these ‘Champion – Warrior Queens’ who stand tall amongst, both, men and women.

May they be compensated and rewarded by The Creator for all they've done in the Cause of Truth and Justice.

‘A Luta Continua!’ – The Struggle Continues

Born in Jackson Mississippi, [Ancestor] Marion Stamps became involved with the civil rights movement at 13 under the guidance and direction of her former neighbor, famed civil rights activist, Medgar Evans. Marion moved to Chicago in 1963 and quickly became involved in the local civil rights movement. She moved to the Cabrini-Green Housing project at 1230 North Burling Avenue where she began fighting for better living conditions and many other issues faced by Cabrini residents.

More radical than most, Stamps became a member of the Black Panther Party, working alongside Fred Hampton and Mark Clark . On the north side of Chicago, Stamps became associated with the Party's work with the Rainbow Coalition, a group that included the Young Patriots and Young Lords. A group of tenants, including Stamps, founded the Chicago Housing Tenants Organization (CHTO). The CHTO fought the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development/HUD. Her work extended to housing issues throughout the city. In the 1980s, through collaboration with other housing rights organizations, her efforts became nationwide, and eventually she played a significant role in the first and only successful nationwide rent strike against HUD ..

Along with several other women, Stamps helped establish and organize the Tranquility Marksmen Memorial Organization (TMMO), which had evolved from CHTO and was named in honor of late activists Tranquility Phillips and Professor Edwin Marksman. Marksman, a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago Jane Addams School of Social Work, was murdered in 1981. It has been speculated that Marksman was murdered by Chicago Police officers for the work that he and his students were doing on police brutality in Chicago involving former Chicago police commander John Burge.

“The spirit of Marion Nzinga Stamps, one of Chicago’s great activists, is much needed today. Marion possessed the kind of fighting spirit in her organizing work that is truly missing in our struggles, in these contemporary times.”; said [Ancestor] Dr. Conrad Worrill, former Director/Professor, of the Chicago Northeastern Illinois University's Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies (CCICS), in an article written shortly after her death.

He went on to explain how: “Marion was part of a cadre of activists in Chicago that challenged successfully, in the 1970s and 80s, the Chicago Board of Education and its racist policies, the Chicago Housing Authority and its racist practices, the Chicago Police Department and its racist practices, and numerous other agencies and institutions in this city.”

Marion Stamps spent much of her adult life fighting for equal rights for housing-rights residents in the Cabrini-Green housing project on the Near-North side of Chicago, Illinois. She helped to elect Chicago's first African American Mayor, [Ancestor] Harold Washington, by organizing a massive voter registration drive in 1983. She was aggressive in her fights to make sure that residents of housing developments had voices regarding their violent and harsh living conditions in public housing. In 1993, Stamps began working with many gang leaders throughout Chicago to help end growing violence. In 1994, she and others successfully navigated what remains the only citywide gang truce in Chicago's history.

Stamps was born with a heart condition that worsened until she died in her sleep on August 28, 1996. She was the mother of five daughters, all of whom became active as teachers, youth program directors, youth programming, and in juvenile justice in impoverished neighborhoods.

*Reprinted by permission from:"Monthly 'P.P/P.O.W' Commentary & Roster (editor's emphasis).

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