Pan Africanists in N.Y. pay tribute to late Ambassador Dudley Thompson

Cecile Thompson, widow of Ambassador Dudley Thompson

By Isseu Diouf Campbell

The African Union, with the African Union Diaspora Task Team and the World African Diaspora Union, hosted a posthumous tribute to longtime pan-Africanist Ambassador Dudley Thompson on May 14, 2012 at the African Union headquarters in New York.

The event started with a libation ceremony by Chief Priest Akintunde Afaniyi, followed by a music performance by Haitian soul and jazz singer Rachelle Jeanty and a welcome address by H.E. Tete Antonio, the permanent observer of the African Union to the UN.

Invited guest speakers included ambassadors from the African Union and CARICOM, such as H.E. Ismael A. Gaspar Martins of Angola, H.E. Perezi Kamunanwire of Uganda, and H.E. Raymond Wolfe of Jamaica, Panafrican activists James Turner, Ron Daniels and Viola Plummer, students, faith leaders, and intellectuals.

Dudley, a former Jamaican cabinet minister, a senator, and ambassador to African nations, died at 95 on January 20, 2012 in New York. He was buried in Jamaica after an official funeral and other special tributes.

At the New York event, all the speakers testified about the ambassador’s love and commitment to Africa and his unifying efforts in the African Diaspora, which continued into his 90’s. His widow, Cecile Thompson, who was present at the tribute, closed the event with an emotional speech.

Photos of the event