Andito Wambu Siwatu
BALTIMORE, MD — On December 23, Africans occupying a variety of ideological and political positions came out to the funeral of Sister Andito Wambu Siwatu, a member of the Uhuru Movement, African People’s Socialist Party and a symbol of anti-colonial resistance throughout the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. area.
In addition to the friends and ordinary Africans who attended the funeral to show respect for the woman who had touched their lives in a thousand different ways through her defense of the rights of the general colonized population of Africans in the area, others present included representatives of the Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika, the National Black United Front, the Eddie Conway Support Committee and Sojourner Douglas College.
A group of women who knew Andito from the Black Panther Party and Three Generations of Struggle, a group of women resisters of which Andito was a part, were also present.
Sister Andito succumbed to cancer on December 19, leaving behind two sons, 31-year-old Samuel Hayes and 33-year-old Tyrone Turner. Her remaining sister is Frances Porter who was her caretaker during the last weeks of Andito’s life.
Sister Andito, whose colonial name had been Shirley Hayes, had been a member of the Black Panther Party in Baltimore in the 1960s. On January 29, 1988 she became a member of the African People’s Socialist Party, starting out as the Financial Secretary of the Baltimore Party organization and later becoming the Chairwoman of the Party’s Baltimore organization. She also became the president of the Baltimore branch of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement, a mass organization of the Party formed to lead the struggle for democratic rights for African people.
“She was fearless in the face of any opponent, and her honesty and forthrightness were loved and appreciated by the masses and hated and feared by our oppressors and their lackeys, who Andito never hesitated to challenge and call out.”
Sister Andito was well known for her tremendous courage, both political and physical. She was always prepared to do whatever was necessary to contribute to the liberation of African people. She was fearless in the face of any opponent, and her honesty and forthrightness were loved and appreciated by the masses and hated and feared by our oppressors and their lackeys, who Andito never hesitated to challenge and call out.
Sister Andito led tenant’s struggles, organized against colonial police terror and violence in the African community and was a vocal and consistent advocate for reparations to the African community for slavery, colonialism and their consequences.
Andito Siwato loved her people and her Party. Her dedication to the struggle was shown in a thousand different ways, but none more seriously than her commitment to get The Burning Spear, the Party’s journal, into the hands of the African masses.
The Central Committee and membership of the African People’s Socialist Party recognize the loss of Sister Andito that is being experienced by the family, friends and community of Sister Andito. However, anyone who actually knew Sister Andito would know that she would disdain any commemoration of her life that did not include joining the struggle to overthrow our colonial oppression by U.S. imperialist white power.
We call on you, as she would and did, to live like Andito Wambu Siwatu.
Andito Lives! Death to Imperialist White Power!
Strike a Thousand Blows for Liberation!
Izwe Lethu I Afrika!