The Black Workers for Justice is deeply saddened at the transition of Mrs. Ruby Mayo. She was our oldest member and an inspiration to all. She is the mother of Nathanette Mayo a BWFJ leader, grandmother of Angaza Samora, BWFJ youth leader, and mother-in-law of founder and leader Angaza Laughinghouse. A tribute prepared by Angaza:
DEAR FAMILY, FRIENDS, “BLACK WORKERS FOR JUSTICE”(BWFJ) members and fellow freedom fighters,
It is with much sorrow, I announce that our Mother Ruby Mayo transitioned to join our ” freedom fighter” ancestors. She passed away yesterday… Saturday morning…after a long illness. With her strong, purposeful and independent spirit,” she fought for life to the end of her 94 years…..not just her own life, but for her community, our people and all working people lives”.
As most of you know, we all affectionately called her “Ma Ru or Mother Ruby” because of her matriarch status,sense of extended family, wisdom, grace and vision for a better world for all youth. She always reminded us to “…teach, learn up and work with our young people and children”. She was a shining example of leadership in both her family and community.
As a powerful influence and community leader , I met her in the historic African-American Shiloh Community in Wake County, NC. Ma Ru and her daughter, Nathanette, (later my wife) invited me as a BWFJ guest speaker to a well organized ” Women’s Home Extension Club” meeting in 1982. While the church, local NAACP and men leaders thought they could not address or win the fight for justice against the local Koppers Corporation’s PCP contamination of their well water, and the NC Department of Transportation’s plan to remove 43 African-American family homes (begin the destruction of the Black Community) to build the new NC HWY 540( outer loop), BWFJ recruited Ma Ruby, Nathanette and other community women to join our organization to organize the “Shiloh Coalition for Community Control and Improvement” with a winning vision and plan of action. The church and men quickly followed as we won several battles in this protracted struggle. Ruby Mayo was a key leader in this courageous struggle and mobilization of the Black Community and its allies against “Corporate Toxic Terrorism” and the Corporate /Big Government backed Research Triangle Park effort to erase Black people “2005 Katrina/Gulf Coast”style. She was a consistent and committed BWFJ member, who attended meetings, ML King Labor Banquets,assemblies, youth Hip Hop For Justice events, union meetings and Fruit of Labor Singing Ensemble performances. She was strongly independent,graceful, politically sharp and a freedom fighter to the end. She was beautiful on both the inside and outside. She didn’t possess a single mean bone in her body. She inspired all of us to” keep the faith and hope in our day to day efforts in the struggles in life”. Also, I have never seen anyone face death with such courage and dignity. We all have loved her for this and she will be missed forevermore.
Angaza Sababu Laughinghouse