NAACP Mourns the Passing of Dr. Annie B. Martin

The NAACP mourns the loss of Dr. Annie B. Martin, former first vice president of the Black Trade Unionists Association and longtime member of the Association’s National Board of Directors.

Dr. Martin was a tireless leader in the labor and civil rights movements. She served 15 terms as the President of the New York City Branch of NAACP and sat on the NAACP National Board of Directors since 1993.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of a civil rights and labor heroine,” said Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman of the NAACP Board of Directors. “Dr. Martin blazed a trail for women in the labor and civil rights movements, and we are all indebted to her for her tenacity, leadership and commitment to serve others. We will continue to find inspiration in the life she lived as we continue our fight for justice.”

Dr. Martin was a preeminent voice in the U.S. labor movement, serving with the New York City Central Labor Council, as first vice president of the Black Trade Unionists Leadership Committee, and as a member of the New York City Coalition of Labor Union Women. In addition, Dr. Martin served as state assistant commissioner of labor under Governors Rockefeller, Wilson and Carey. As secretary-treasurer of Local 8-138 Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union, she was one of the first women to hold high office in the labor movement.

“Dr. Annie B. Martin was a pillar of the NAACP’s interwoven community,” said Benjamin Todd Jealous, NAACP President and CEO. “From civil rights to labor rights, she devoted her life to advancing the interest of all people. She worked to not only be a part of her community, but to lead it well. She will be missed.”

Her history in both movements dates to her childhood. Dr. Martin was introduced as a young girl to A. Philip Randolph, an associate of her father’s and the founder of the International Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, and an architect of the 1963 march on Washington. She said she understood from an early age the ties between the rights of workers and the civil rights movement.

“Dr. Annie B. Martin was a beloved and dedicated colleague,” said New York State Conference President Hazel N. Dukes. “She will be remembered as a true civil rights icon.”

A native of Eastover, South Carolina, Dr. Martin's long and illustrious career in civil rights, labor and community affairs has won her over 200 awards, including the honorary Doctor of Humane Letter from Claflin College in Orangeburg, S.C., and one of the first persons to receive the coveted national Ellis Island Medal of Honor and also the first to receive the Celebrate Africa Foundation’s Humanitarian Award. Dr. Martin’s accomplishments were further celebrated with her recognition as a member of Who’s Who in Black America.