George Ware
(1940 — 2012)

Traditional Funeral Rites Booklet and Video

As remembered by Karen Spelman
October 7, 2012

SNCC Family,

It is with great sorrow that I inform you about the loss of another of our colleagues, brother George Ware. George worked as the head of the campus travelers program for SNCC beginning in 1966. He Trap and Schultz, along with Kathleen Neal constituted the campus travel program for the years Kwame and then Rap were the chair of SNCC.

George was a gifted chemist and attended Tuskegee where he became active with SNCC. He attended the SNCC 50th anniversary conference dressed in his ceremonial whites and was accompanied by his son and wife. He was captured on one of the SNCC 50th Anniversary DVDs speaking about self- determination in response to a comment by Bob Zellner. If you didn't see this, its' one of the interesting exchanges during the conference.

I will pass on his services arrangements as I get them. He lived and worked in Philadelphia.


As remembered by Alashe Michael (Wright) Oshoosi
October 9, 2012

Dear SNCC Folk,

I share your sentiments about George Ware ("Abofe" in the Haitian religion of Vodun; George was a deeply initiated hougan in Vodun). I most recently saw him at the 50th Anniversary celebration of SNCC, after a period of having lost touch with him for the previous 12 years or so. May his soul join those of our honored ancestors and may he return to us soon. In the distant past we shared the same interests and, at times, the same disagreeableness, but I always trusted him to be analytic with an edge and very insightful. And, of course, his commitment to the edification of our African cultural legacy while, at once, including in his analysis our current political issues and Hip-Hop culture that are outgrowths of that heritage, was most impressive to me indeed. (George was the publisher and editor of the country's first journal of Hip Hop Culture!).

May I also extend my deepest sympathies to his son and his wife and their extended family in Philadelphia. George was a gifted leader and intellect, with deep spiritual groundings. And if anyone knows of his family's address or e-mail information, I for one would appreciate it.

About five weeks ago I had the occasion to give an address commemorating the life an martyrdom of Sammy Younge Jr. at Tuskegee. I was pleased to honorably mention George as one of a group of heroic leaders in the black belt Movement for civil rights and black power in 1965, and thereafter, whose mobilizations in Tuskegee (substantially led by George) was the final spark and catalyst for the passing of the 1965 Voting Rights act because of their role in the marches on Montgomery, Alabama, in March of that year.

Annie Pearl Avery, Scott B. Smith, George Parris, and other SNCC folk were there. And Dr. Gwen Patton was on the program. For your interest and convenience, I am attaching the essay (and a picture from the event). For those of you who may not recall the environment that George worked in and — in a manner of speaking — cut his teeth in regard to his Movement activities, this essay may jog your memories.

Let us carry on in George's name because he was unmatched in creativity, tenacity, and dedication to our people. We could not ask for more from a man than a life of principled consistency .

Warmest regards
Alashe Michael (Wright) Oshoosi

As remembered by Reber Boult
November 1, 2012

On their travels for SNCC in the summer of 1967, George and Trap (now deceased too) would often stop by my and my wife's house in Nashville. Often we'd share a joint. One time we cooked up a fund raiser for SNCC to be held there at the house.

At that fund raiser on a Saturday night George, always articulate, undertook to explain black power to a liberal white lawyer. His explanation included some phrase like "by any means necessary." Monday morning that lawyer teamed up with a highly conservative white lawyer who of course hadn't been at the fund raiser. They went down to the courthouse and swore out a warrant for George's arrest for sedition. The cops promptly arrested him. George refused to post bond and we (I was his lawyer on this even though I suppose I could have been charged too as a conspirator or aider an abettor) had an exciting week in the courts and local right wing newspaper; while he was in jail the State Department wrote him a letter revoking his passport for having been to Cuba. The excitement culminated with the sedition charge being dropped.

A year or so ago George asked me what black power had meant to me. I gave it some thought and replied "One of the best things that ever happened to me." George responded "Beautiful."

George was beautiful and, I'm sure, remains beautiful in his invisible state.

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