A Civil Rights campaigner, she was active in many areas, including defending those wrongly accused of crimes. She gave a voice to the oppressed in her magazine.
Growing up in a strict religious family she became a singing superstar in the1950s, breaking down race barriers. She moved into opera before becoming a recluse – the forgotten superstar.
Two years before the Rosa Parks incident, Martha was persecuted on a bus in Baton Rouge. It led to a bus boycott and inspired the Civil Rights Movement.
Part of the Windrush generation coming to the UK from the Caribbean, he organised the Bristol Bus Boycott , which led to the first race relations legislation.