Anthony (Tony) Martin (1942–2013)

Tony Martin
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Anthony (Tony) Martin, lawyer, author, professor, and scholar was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, in 1942. He migrated to England where he earned a Bachelors of Science in Economics from the University of Hull and qualified as a barrister (attorney) at the Honorable Society of Gray’s Inn (1968). Subsequently, he made his way to the United States in order to pursue additional education and teaching.

At Michigan State University, Martin earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in History (1973). Then he began a thirty-four-year career as a professor at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. At Wellesley, he assisted in pioneering the newly-emerging Africana Studies Department and continued to teach within that discipline until his retirement in 2007.

Before Wellesley, Martin had taught at the University of Michigan-Flint, the Cipriani Labour College in Trinidad, and Saint Mary’s College, also in Trinidad. He was a visiting professor at Brown University, Brandeis University, the University of Minnesota, and Colorado College and took on the role of research fellow at the University of West Indies, Trinidad.

Martin’s articles have appeared in The Journal of Caribbean History, The Journal of American History, and The American Historical Review. In addition to writing and teaching, Martin also was a longtime board member for the Journal of African American History.

Throughout his life, Anthony Martin (better known as Tony Martin) authored and edited a total of fourteen books. Considered a principal scholar on the literary works of Marcus Garvey, professor Martin produced one of his most important titles in 1976, Race First: The Ideological and Organizational Struggles of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association. He would follow up with his 1983 Literary Garveyism: Garvey Black Arts, and the Harlem Renaissance. The latter publication was particularly important because it familiarized its audience with noteworthy contributions that Garveyism had toward the New Negro Literary renaissance of the 1920s.

Martin’s other works include The Poetical Works of Marcus Garvey (1983); Marcus Garvey, Hero: A First Biography (1983); African Fundamentalism: A literary and Cultural Anthology of Garvey’s Harlem Renaissance (1983); and The Pan-African Connection: From Slavery to Garvey and Beyond (1983). In 2007 he published two biographies of Garvey’s first wife, Amy Ashwood-Garvey: Pan Africanist, Feminist, and Mrs. Marcus Garvey’s No. 1 or A Tale of Two Amies. His last work, Caribbean History: From Pre-colonial Origins to the Present, appeared in 2012.

Professor Anthony Martin died on January 17, 2013, at West Shore Private Medical Hospital in Cocorite, Trinidad. He was seventy, and his cause of death remains undisclosed. He is survived by ex-wife Dr. Paloma Mohammed, a son Shabaka, his nieces, and other family members who reside in the United Kingdom.