About Robert Carson
Mwlina Imiri Abubadika (May 22, 1936 — December 20, 2002), best known as Sonny Carson, was a controversial activist and a community leader in Brooklyn. A black nationalist, he was best known for his autobiography, The Education of Sonny Carson (1972), which was made into a 1974 film and as the father of Professor X.
Robert Carson was born in 1936 in South Carolina, but moved to Brooklyn as a child.
His autobiography, The Education of Sonny Carson, was made into a movie in 1974. The film chronicled Mr. Carson's early life in Bedford-Stuyvesant, where he joined a gang called the Bishops. In the book, the climax of his early life of street crime, which he described with brutal candor, came when he robbed a Western Union messenger, who was black. He spent the money on clothes and a girlfriend, then was arrested and sent to a juvenile-detention institution for the crime.
Mr. Carson, who later served in the 82nd Airborne Division of the Army, recounted that after the robbery, his political awakening began, in part because his victim was black. It culminated, he wrote, in the fight for community control of the schools.
He fought in the Korean War with the 82nd Airborne Division. Carson claimed to have met a Korean soldier who asked him, "Why would a black man fight for a country that would not let you drink from the same water fountain in Mississippi?" This pivotal question led Carson to become a black activist after returning to civilian life. For a while he sold drugs, ran illegal gambling, and committed muggings; however, he eventually began working for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and by 1967 he was the executive director of the Brooklyn CORE.
In 1974, when Mr. Carson was filming the movie version of his autobiography, he was arrested on murder, attempted murder and kidnapping charges.