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2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Southern California Chapter of the Black Panther Party by Bunchy Carter in 1968. Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter was the least known of the iconic Black Panther Party leaders in the turbulent late 1960s but was arguably the most legendary as the leader of the L.A. chapter of the Black Panther Party who was murdered in 1969 at the age of 26, only a year after founding the chapter.
In recent months, renewed interest in the lives of those who were released to the mainline after decades in California’s infamous SHU torture units has prompted many to ask us the question: How did you survive decades of solitary confinement? To understand how I survived almost two decades of solitary confinement, you must first understand why the state subjected us to these torture units in the first place.
Oct. 12 is the birthday of one of the most talented and promising young men martyred in the massive state repression against the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter. Unlike Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver and George Jackson, Carter has almost been forgotten from the history of Africans in America except for diehards. Carter, then 26 (born Oct. 12, 1942), was assassinated on Jan. 17, 1969 in a Campbell Hall classroom at UCLA in Los Angeles.
International peace activist Cynthia McKinney brought a very important point to me recently when she asked me to think about the fact that every time Black people reach a moral high ground over the police, something tragic happens to the police. It drives home the subliminal point that other ethnicities should be sympathetic to police who are paid to control these Black animals, who, untrained or barely trained and armed, can kill multiple elite, trained officers. Consider the cases of Larry Davis in New York and Lovelle Mixon in Oakland.
The Black August Rebellion is a month that the California state prisoners fast. They fast in the month of August to pay homage to the fallen comrades. Do make sure that this year you honor our comrade and hero lost last Aug. 12, Hugo “Yogi” Pinell. However you mark Black August, do it. You won’t be alone. The next chapter of Black August history is yours to write.
Within the California Department of Corrections (CDCr), the name George Jackson evokes both fear and hate among prison guards. His very name represents resistance – the epitome of our Black manhood – and this explains in part why the CDCr has spent the last 44 years attempting to censor the name George L. Jackson from within its prisons.
“The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution” by Stanley Nelson is a documentary about a Black revolutionary organization in a revolutionary time. It is one of the best documentaries that I have ever seen that intends to tell the history of an organization that shook the world and fundamentally changed the way that Black people in the United States have looked at themselves for nearly half a century. It’s screening in San Francisco, Berkeley and San Rafael on Oct. 2. The Oakland screening is Saturday, Oct. 3, 1 p.m., Piedmont Theater, 4186 Piedmont Ave., followed by Q&A with Stanley Nelson and former Oakland Panther Steve McCutchen.
This upcoming week, on May 19, we will celebrate the 90th birthday of the late great El Hajj Malik El Shabazz aka our beloved Malcolm X, all over the world. But what will not be talked about in most of these celebrations, unrightfully so, will be the murder of his grandson, Malcolm Latif Shabazz two years earlier on May 10, 2013. Here is Hashim Aluddeen’s perspective on Young Malcolm, on the second anniversary of his assassination.
Here is the story of two legends who gave everything to their people for decades and continued to their last breaths. Salute to the Freeman brothers, Roland and Elder. Elder Freeman was a mentor and uncle-like community figure at whose feet I sat for half my life, learning from him and his comrades fundamental lessons: true African communalism and how to sincerely love Black people through action
This documentary was shot by Panther cub Gregory Everett, whose father, former Panther Jeffrey Everett, appears in the film. It gets its name from a five-hour shootout that the LAPD initiated against the L.A. Panthers at 41st & Central on Dec. 9, 1969. This was the first time that any police department in the country used a SWAT team.
A common denominator among individuals who commit suicide is a traumatic event and/or long-term torment which can result in psychosis. If left untreated, it can lead to suicidal thoughts with the intent to end the internal distress and anguish. This same diagnostic assessment is equally applicable to mass suicide.
Taiwo Kujichagulia-Seitu's theatrical piece centers around the story of Harriet Tubman rescuing her brothers from slavery during Christmas-time. “Go Tell It!” paints a picture of what is was like for men who lived through slavery their whole lives getting word from their runaway sister Black Moses, that she was coming to put them on the Underground Railroad to freedom in the North.
Aaron Dixon was the first leader within the Black Panther Party to bring it out of California to Seattle, Washington. He recently authored a book, “My People Are Rising,” which is the memoir of a Black Panther Party captain and a community organizer who also had two blood brothers within the Black Panther Party. Check out Aaron Dixon in his own words ...
Black August Memorial (BAM) is not about senseless acts of violence or gang activity. Black August was inspired by the death of our fallen Black dragons and includes other New Afrikan freedom fighters who gave their lives to our struggle for freedom, who made that ultimate and unselfish sacrifice in the service of our revolutionary struggle.
Jamal Joseph’s “Panther Baby: A Life of Rebellion and Reinvention” is a story of love, revolution, rage and redemption. Joseph’s brilliant, honest, insightful narrative of his coming of age in New York City in the late 1960s at the height of the Black Power movement is so riveting that I had a hard time putting it down, even to sleep. And when I did, it invaded my dreams.”
Comrade was an exceptional individual and driven by his passion for revolution. The immense amount of knowledge he had acquired prior to our meeting he had honed to be as sharp as a samurai sword. While in prison, he studied economics, history and philosophy, transforming himself into a political theoretician and strategist.
Political activists around the country are still absorbing the news of Geronimo ji Jaga’s death. His commitment, humility, clear thinking as well as his sense of both the longevity and continuity of the Black Freedom Movement in the U.S. all stood out to those who knew him.
“COINTELPRO 101” is a recently released documentary that takes a long hard look at the FBI’s Counter Intelligence Program to crush resistance that led to the deportation of Marcus Garvey, the assassinations of Malcolm X, George Jackson, Fred Hampton, Martin Luther King Jr. and more.
Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald, the longest serving Black Panther political prisoner, has ended his hunger strike. Calls from supporters convinced the warden to release him from AdSeg - the hole - and return him to general population at Kern Valley State Prison. He is also being promised the medical care he needs. This is a people's victory!
On Dec. 4, 1969, 40 years ago, Chicago police led by Cook County prosecutor Edward Hanrahan as part of an FBI Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) operation stormed into Illinois Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton’s apartment at 4:30 a.m. Commemorate the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Chairman Fred Hampton and Defense Captain Mark Clark on Friday, Dec. 4, 2009, in Chicago, San Francisco or your city.