Celebration of the Life of Richard Brown

by Scott Braley

Richard-Brown-speaks-hunger-strike-solidarity-rally-California-State-Bldg-SF-070111-by-Revolution-Newspaper-200x300, Celebration of the Life of Richard Brown, Culture Currents
Richard Brown could be counted on to support a good cause, and here he is speaking at a solidarity rally outside the California State Building in San Francisco at the kickoff on July 1, 2011, of the first of three California Hunger Strikes. – Photo: Revolution Newspaper

Richard Edward Brown was a father, grandfather, friend and revolutionary. He was born March 23, 1941, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Roberta Doris Tucker and Paul Brown.

Richard resided in San Francisco beginning at a young age and joined the Black Panther Party for Self Defense. He served and protected his community and his people in it. There was a creed the Panthers lived by called the 10 Point Program. The very first point described Richard and his life:

“Point One: We want Freedom. We want the power to determine the destiny of our Black Community.”

Richard fought for freedom for Black people and for human rights for all people. He continued to work and educate in the Fillmore community where he lived for over 50 years.

Some of the work implementing his principles and promoting change included working at Ella Hill Hutch Community Center; the African American Community Relations Board; Community Judge Arbiter; and the Committee for the Defense of Human Rights, which came out of the five-year defense of Richard and the other members of the San Francisco 8.

1n 2014 Richard testified in Geneva at the UN Human Rights council review of the US human rights record, specifically about the existence of political prisoners in the US.

Richard’s celebration was on July 20, 2018, at Third Baptist Church in his beloved Fillmore. He is greatly missed by the many people he touched.

Richard-Brown-Celebration-of-Life-Third-Baptist-072018-by-Scott-Braley-1-300x225, Celebration of the Life of Richard Brown, Culture Currents
At Richard Brown’s Celebration of Life on July 20, 2018, from left in back, are author and professor Curtis Austin, Terry Collins of KPOO, Sandino Thompson, Hank Jones of the SF8, Harold Taylor of the SF8, Richard O’Neill, Richard Brown Jr. and Francisco Torres of the SF8. In front are Lonna Thompson and Deshaune Bowman, son of deceased SF8 member John Bowman. – Photo: Scott Braley
Richard-Brown-Celebration-of-Life-Third-Baptist-072018-by-Scott-Braley-2-300x227, Celebration of the Life of Richard Brown, Culture Currents
SF8 members and supporters at the funeral, from left in back, are Bill Crossman, Pierre Labossiere of the Haiti Action Committee, Terry Collins of KPOO, Judy Siff, Hank Jones of the SF8, Richard O’Neil of the SF8, Benny Stewart, Cisco Torres of the SF8, Claude Marks of Freedom Archives and Diana Block of the California Coalition for Women Prisoners. In front are Judith Mirkinson of the National Lawyers Guild, Edy Scripps and Robert Roth of the Haiti Action Committee. – Photo: Scott Braley
Richard-Brown-Celebration-of-Life-Third-Baptist-072018-by-Scott-Braley-3-300x222, Celebration of the Life of Richard Brown, Culture Currents
Richard’s family on the front pew are, second from right, Varisa Brown, Richard’s daughter, Jabarhi Jenkins, Richard’s sister’s son, Tiny Powe, Richard’s sister, and Richard Brown, his son. – Photo: Scott Braley

Writer and photojournalist Scott Braley can be reached at scott@scottbraley.com.