Eldridge Cleaver

Leroy Eldridge Cleaver (August 31, 1935 – May 1, 1998) was an American writer, and political activist who became an early leader of the Black Panther Party.[1][2]

In 1968, Cleaver wrote Soul on Ice, a collection of essays that, at the time of its publication, was praised by The New York Times Book Review as "brilliant and revealing".[3] Cleaver stated in Soul on Ice: "If a man like Malcolm X could change and repudiate racism, if I myself and other former Muslims can change, if young whites can change, then there is hope for America."[4]

Cleaver went on to become a prominent member of the Black Panthers, having the titles Minister of Information and Head of the International Section of the Panthers, while a fugitive from the United States criminal justice system in Cuba and Algeria. He became a fugitive after leading an ambush of Oakland police officers, during which two officers were wounded. Cleaver was also wounded during the ambush and Black Panther member Bobby Hutton was killed. As editor of the official Panthers' newspaper, The Black Panther, Cleaver's influence on the direction of the Party was rivaled only by founders Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. Cleaver and Newton eventually fell out with each other, resulting in a split that weakened the party.[5]

After spending seven years in exile in Cuba, Algeria, and France, Cleaver returned to the US in 1975, where he became involved in various religious groups (Unification Church and CARP) before finally joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as well as becoming a conservative Republican, appearing at Republican events.[6]

Eldridge Cleaver
Eldridge Cleaver 1968
Eldridge Cleaver in 1968
Leroy Eldridge Cleaver

August 31, 1935
DiedMay 1, 1998 (aged 62)
OccupationWriter, political activist
Political partyBlack Panther Party (1967–1971)
Peace and Freedom Party (1968)
Republican Party (1980s)
MovementBlack Power Movement
Civil Rights Movement
Kathleen Cleaver
(m. 1967; div. 1987)

Early life

Eldridge Cleaver was born in Wabbaseka, Arkansas; as a child he moved with his large family to Phoenix and then to Los Angeles.[1] He was the son of Leroy Cleaver and Thelma Hattie Robinson.[7] He had four siblings: Wilhelima Marie, Helen Grace, James Weldon, and Theophilus Henry.[7]

As a teenager, he was involved in petty crime and spent time in youth detention centers. At the age of 18, he was convicted of a felony drug charge (marijuana, a felony at the time) and sent to the adult prison at Soledad. In 1958, he was convicted of rape and assault with intent to murder, and eventually served time in Folsom and San Quentin prisons.[1][2] While in prison, he was given a copy of The Communist Manifesto.[7] Cleaver was released on parole December 12, 1966, with a discharge date of March 20, 1971. In 1968 he was arrested on violation of parole by association with individual(s) of bad reputation, and control and possession of firearms[8] Cleaver petitioned for habeas corpus to the Solano County Court, and was granted it along with a release of a $50,000 bail.[7]

Black Panther Party

Cleaver was released from prison on December 12, 1966. He was writing for Ramparts magazine and organizing efforts to revitalize the Organization of Afro-American Unity.[9] The Black Panther Party was only two months old.[7] He then joined the Oakland-based Black Panther Party (BPP), serving as Minister of Information, or spokesperson. What initially attracted Cleaver to the Panthers, as opposed to other prominent groups, was their commitment to armed struggle.[10]

In 1967, Cleaver, along with Marvin X, Ed Bullins, and Ethna Wyatt, formed the Black House political/cultural center in San Francisco. Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Askia Toure, Sarah Webster Fabio, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Avotcja, Reginald Lockett, Emory Douglas, Samuel Napier, Bobby Hutton, Huey Newton, and Bobby Seale were Black House regulars.[11] The same year, he married Kathleen Neal Cleaver (divorced 1987), with whom he would have son Ahmad Maceo Eldridge (born 1969, Algeria; died 2018, Saudi Arabia) and daughter Joju Younghi (born July 31, 1970, North Korea).[2][12]

Cleaver Presidential Electional Poster
Poster from Cleaver's Presidential run

Cleaver was a presidential candidate in 1968 on the ticket of the Peace and Freedom Party.[13] Having been born on August 31, 1935, Cleaver would not have been the requisite 35 years of age until more than a year after Inauguration Day 1969. (Although the Constitution requires that the President be 35 years of age, it does not specify if he need have reached that age at the time of nomination, or election, or inauguration.) Courts in both Hawaii and New York held that he could be excluded from the ballot because he could not possibly meet the Constitutional criteria.[14] Cleaver and his running mate Judith Mage received 36,571 votes (0.05%).

In the aftermath of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1968, there were riots across the nation. On April 6, Cleaver and 14 other Panthers led an ambush of Oakland police officers, during which two officers were wounded. Cleaver was wounded during the ambush and 17-year-old Black Panther member Bobby Hutton was killed. They were armed with M16 rifles and shotguns.[15][16] In 1980, he admitted that he had led the Panther group on a deliberate ambush of the police officers, thus provoking the shootout.[16] Some reporters were surprised by this move, because it was in the context of an uncharacteristic speech, in which Cleaver also discredited the Black Panthers, stated "we need police as heroes", and said that he denounced civilian review boards of police shootings for the "bizarre" reason that "it is a rubber stamp for murder". Some speculated his admission could have been a pay-off to the Alameda County justice system, whose judge had only just days earlier let Eldridge Cleaver escape prison time; Cleaver was sentenced to community service after getting charged with three counts of assault against three Oakland police officers.[16] The PBS documentary A Huey Newton Story claims that "Bobby Hutton was shot more than twelve times after he had already surrendered and stripped down to his underwear to prove he was not armed."[17]

Charged with attempted murder after the incident, he jumped bail to flee to Cuba in late 1968.[2] Initially treated with luxury by the Cuban government, the hospitality ended upon reports Fidel Castro had received information of the CIA infiltrating the Black Panther Party. Cleaver then decided to head to Algeria, sending word to his wife to meet him there.[7][18] Cleaver had set up an international office for the Black Panthers in Algeria.[18] Following Timothy Leary's Weather Underground-assisted prison escape, Leary stayed with Cleaver in Algeria; however, Cleaver placed Leary under "revolutionary arrest" as a counter-revolutionary for promoting drug use.

Cleaver also cultivated an alliance with North Korea in 1969, and BPP publications began reprinting excerpts from Kim Il Sung's writings. Although leftists of the time often looked to Cuba, China, and North Vietnam for inspiration, few had paid any attention to the secretive Pyongyang regime. Bypassing US travel restrictions on North Korea, Cleaver and other BPP members made two visits to the country in 1969–1970 with the idea that the juche model could be adapted to the revolutionary liberation of African-Americans. Taken on an official tour of North Korea, Cleaver expressed admiration at "the DPRK's stable, crime-free society which provided guaranteed food, employment, and housing for all, and which had no economic or social inequalities".

Byron Vaughn Booth (former Panther Deputy Minister of Defense[12]) claimed that, after a trip to the DPRK, Cleaver discovered his wife had been having an affair with Clinton Robert Smith Jr. Booth told the FBI he had witnessed Cleaver shoot and kill Smith with an AK47.[19] Elaine Mokhtefi, in the London Review of Books, writes that Cleaver confessed the murder to her shortly after committing it.[20]

Cleaver later left the DPRK, claiming that the environment was too oppressive.

In his 1978 book Soul on Fire, Cleaver made several claims regarding his exile in Algeria, including that he was supported by regular stipends from the government of North Vietnam, which the United States was then bombing. Cleaver stated that he was followed by other former criminals turned revolutionaries, many of whom (including Booth and Smith[19]) hijacked planes to get to Algeria.[21]

Split and new directions

Eldridge Cleaver and Huey Newton eventually fell out with each other over the necessity of armed struggle as a response to COINTELPRO and other actions by the government against the Black Panthers and other radical groups. Also Cleaver's interest in North Korea and global anti-imperialist struggle drew ire from other BPP members who felt that he was neglecting the needs of African-Americans at home in the US. Following his expulsion from the Black Panthers in 1971, the group's ties with North Korea were quickly forgotten.[22] Cleaver advocated the escalation of armed resistance into urban guerilla warfare, while Newton suggested the best way to respond was to put down the gun, which he felt alienated the Panthers from the rest of the black community, and focus on more pragmatic reformist activity by lobbying for increased social programs to aid African-American communities and anti-discrimination laws. Cleaver accused Newton of being an Uncle Tom for choosing to cooperate with white interests rather than overthrow them.[23][24][25]

Cleaver left Algeria in 1972, moving to Paris, France, becoming a born again Christian during time in isolation living underground.[1][26] He turned his hand to fashion design; three years later, he released codpiece-revival "virility pants" he called "the Cleavers", enthusing that they would give men "a chance to assert their masculinity".[27] Cleaver returned to the United States in 1977 to face the unresolved attempted murder charge.[19] By September 1978, on bail as those proceedings dragged on, he had incorporated Eldridge Cleaver Ltd, running a factory and West Hollywood shop exploiting his "Cleavers", which he claimed liberated men from "penis binding". He saw no conflict with his newfound Christianity, drawing support for his overtly sexual design from 22 Deuteronomy.[28] The long-outstanding charge was subsequently resolved on a plea bargain reducing it to assault. A sentence of 1,200 hours' community service was imposed.[2]

Later life

In the early 1980s, Cleaver became disillusioned with what he saw as the commercial nature of evangelical Christianity and examined alternatives, including Sun Myung Moon's campus ministry organization CARP.[29] He later led a short-lived revivalist ministry called Eldridge Cleaver Crusades, "a hybrid synthesis of Islam and Christianity he called 'Christlam'",[1] along with an auxiliary called the Guardians of the Sperm.[30]

Cleaver was then later baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) on December 11, 1983,[31][32] periodically attended regular services, lectured by invitation at LDS gatherings, and was a member of the Church in good standing at the time of his death in 1998.

By the 1980s, Cleaver had become a conservative Republican. He appeared at various Republican events and spoke at a California Republican State Central Committee meeting regarding his political transformation. In 1984, he ran for election to the Berkeley City Council but lost.[6] Undaunted, he promoted his candidacy in the Republican Party primary for the 1986 Senate race but was again defeated.[33] The next year, his 20-year marriage to Kathleen Neal Cleaver came to an end.[19]

In 1988, Cleaver was placed on probation for burglary and was briefly jailed later in the year after testing positive for cocaine.[34][35] He entered drug rehabilitation for a stated crack cocaine addiction two years later, but was arrested for possession by Oakland and Berkeley Police in 1992 and 1994. Shortly after his final arrest, he moved to Southern California, falling into poor health.[34]


Cleaver died at age 62, at 6:20 AM on May 1, 1998, at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center in Pomona, California.[35][36] He is buried at Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena, California.[37]

Soul on Ice (1968)

[W]hen I considered myself ready enough, I crossed the tracks and sought out white prey. I did this consciously, deliberately, willfully, methodically -- though looking back I see that I was in a frantic, wild and completely abandoned frame of mind. Rape was an insurrectionary act. It delighted me that I was defying and trampling upon the white man's law, upon his system of values, and that I was defiling his women...I felt I was getting revenge. From the site of the act of rape, consternation spread outwardly in concentric circles. I wanted to send waves of consternation throughout the white race.

— Eldridge Cleaver, Soul on Ice, 1968[2]

While in prison, he wrote a number of philosophical and political essays, first published in Ramparts magazine and then in book form as Soul on Ice.[4] In the essays, Cleaver traces his own development from a "supermasculine menial" to a radical black liberationist, and his essays became highly influential in the black power movement.

In the most controversial part of the book, Cleaver acknowledges committing acts of rape, stating that he initially raped black women in the ghetto "for practice" and then embarked on the serial rape of white women. He described these crimes as politically inspired, motivated by a genuine conviction that the rape of white women was "an insurrectionary act".[4] When he began writing Soul on Ice, he unequivocally renounced rape and all his previous reasoning about it.[1][2]

The essays in Soul on Ice are divided into four thematic sections:[38] "Letters from Prison", describing Cleaver's experiences with and thoughts on crime and prisons; "Blood of the Beast", discussing race relations and promoting black liberation ideology; "Prelude to Love – Three Letters", love letters written to Cleaver's attorney, Beverly Axelrod; and "White Woman, Black Man", on gender relations, black masculinity, and sexuality.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Gates, Henry Louis; Higginbotham, Eveleyn B. (2004). African American Lives. Oxford / New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 173–175. ISBN 019516024X. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Kifner, John (May 2, 1998). "Eldridge Cleaver, Black Panther Who Became G.O.P. Conservative, Is Dead at 62". The New York Times. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  3. ^ Patterson, Lindsay (April 27, 1969)."Eldridge Cleaver; Post-Prison Writings and Speeches", The New York Times. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c Cleaver, Eldridge (1991) [1968]. Soul on Ice. Dell/Delta. ISBN 0-385-33379-X., p. 106.
  5. ^ Bloom, Joshua; Martin, Waldo E., Jr. (2013). Black Against Empire. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 370. ISBN 978-0-520-27185-2.
  6. ^ a b "Eldridge Cleaver Announces Bid for U.S. Senate Seat". Jet. 69 (23). Johnson Publishing. February 24, 1986. p. 25. ISSN 0021-5996. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Cleaver, Eldridge Cleaver; edited by Kathleen Cleaver (2006). Target Zero: A Life in Writing. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 1-4039-6237-5.
  8. ^ Court of Appeal, First District, Division 1, California. IN RE: Leroy Eldridge CLEAVER on Habeas Corpus. PEOPLE of the State of California, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. Leroy Eldridge CLEAVER, Defendant and Respondent.
  9. ^ Gun-barrel Politics: The Black Panther Party, 1966-1971 – Report, Ninety-second Congress, First Session. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1971. p. 22. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  10. ^ Cleaver, Eldridge (1969). Post-prison Writings & Speeches. Vintage. ISBN 978-0-394-42323-4.
  11. ^ Baraka, Amiri (1984). The Autobiography of Leroi Jones. Lawrence Hill Books. ISBN 1-55652-231-2.
  12. ^ a b Young, Benjamin R. (December 20, 2012). "The Black Panther's Secret North Korean Fetish". Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  13. ^ Warren, Jenifer; "Former Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver Dies at 62", The Los Angeles Times, May 2, 1998.
  14. ^ Jones v. Gill (1968) 50 Haw. 618, 446 P.2d 558; Garst v. Lomenzo (N.Y. County Supm. Ct. 1968) 57 Misc.2d 1040, 294 N.Y.S.2d 33, aff'd (1968) 22 N.Y.2d 956, 242 N.E.2d 482, 295 N.Y.S.2d 330.
  15. ^ Gates, Henry Louis, Jr.; "Interview with Eldridge Cleaver", Frontline, PBS, Spring 1997.
  16. ^ a b c Kate Coleman, "Souled Out: Eldridge Cleaver Admits He Ambushed Those Cops", New West, May 19, 1980.
  17. ^ "Bobby Hutton", PBS.
  18. ^ a b "Leroy Eldridge Cleaver". Retrieved 20 February 2014.
  19. ^ a b c d Rosenzweig, David (24 February 2001). "Ex-Panther Says He Saw Cleaver Kill a Man". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  20. ^ Mokhtefi, Elaine (June 1, 2017). "Diary". London Review of Books.
  21. ^ Cleaver, Eldridge (1978). Soul on Fire. Waco, Texas: Word Books.
  22. ^ Vanderwall, Jim; Churchill, Ward (2002) [1990]. The COINTELPRO Papers. South End Press. ISBN 0-89608-648-8.
  23. ^ Katsiaficas, George; Cleaver, Kathleen (2001). Liberation, Imagination, and the Black Panther Party. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-92784-6.
  24. ^ David Horowitz, Peter Collier (1989). Destructive Generation: Second Thoughts about the 60’s. Free Press. ISBN 978-0-684-82641-7.
  25. ^ Newton, Huey (2009). To Die for the People. San Francisco: City Lights. pp. 44–53.
  26. ^ Jeff Bailey, "Leroy Eldridge Cleaver (1935–1998)", The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture.
  27. ^ "Eldridge Cleaver Designs Paris Virility Trousers". Jet. Johnson Publishing. August 28, 1975. p. 55.
  28. ^ "Eldridge Cleaver Designs Pants 'for Men Only'". Jet. Johnson Publishing. 21 September 1978. p. 22.
  29. ^ Neale "One Journey Home: Eldridge Cleaver's Spiritual Path", EarthLight Magazine no. 50, Spring 2004.
  30. ^ Horacio Silva, "Radical Chic" The New York Times, September 23, 2001.
  31. ^ Familysearch.org Archived February 22, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. Shows date of the baptism of Leroy Eldridge Cleaver.
  32. ^ "From Black Panther to Mormon: The Case of Eldridge Cleaver" Archived December 16, 2010, at the Wayback Machine at Mormonmatters.org.
  33. ^ Hamilton, Neil A. (2002). American Social Leaders and Activists. New York: Infobase Publishing. p. 84. ISBN 1438108087. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
  34. ^ a b Taylor, Michael (May 2, 1998). "Ex-Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver Dies". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved August 26, 2011.
  35. ^ a b Haynes, V. Dion, "Ex-Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver", Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 19, 2014.
  36. ^ "'He was a symbol': Eldridge Cleaver dies at 62". CNN. May 1, 1998. Retrieved October 6, 2018.
  37. ^ Dunn Bates, Colleen; Gillis, Sandy; et al. (2006). Hometown Pasadena: The Insider's Guide. Pasadena: Prospect Park Publishing. p. 87. ISBN 097539391X. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  38. ^ Andrews, William L., Frances Smith Foster, and Trudier Harris. The Oxford Companion to African American Literature. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Further reading

  • The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, a documentary about the Black Panther Party released in 2015.

External links

Preceded by
Peace and Freedom nominee for
President of the United States

Succeeded by
Benjamin Spock
Black Panther Party

The Black Panther Party (BPP), originally the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, was a political organization founded by Bobby Seale and Huey Newton in October 1966 in Oakland, California. The party was active in the United States from 1966 until 1982, with chapters in numerous major cities, and international chapters operating in the United Kingdom in the early 1970s, and in Algeria from 1969 until 1972.At its inception on October 15, 1966, the Black Panther Party's core practice was its armed citizens' patrols to monitor the behavior of officers of the Oakland Police Department and challenge police brutality in the city. In 1969, community social programs became a core activity of party members. The Black Panther Party instituted a variety of community social programs, most extensively the Free Breakfast for Children Programs, to address issues like food injustice, and community health clinics for education and treatment of diseases including sickle cell anemia, tuberculosis, and later HIV/AIDS. The party enrolled the most members and had the most influence in the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Philadelphia. There were active chapters in many prisons, at a time when an increasing number of young African-American men were being incarcerated.

Federal Bureau of Investigation Director J. Edgar Hoover described the party in 1969 as "the greatest threat to the internal security of the country." He developed and supervised an extensive counterintelligence program (COINTELPRO) of surveillance, infiltration, perjury, police harassment, and many other tactics designed to undermine Panther leadership, incriminate party members, discredit and criminalize the Party, and drain the organization of resources and manpower. The program was also accused of assassinating Black Panther members, including Fred Hampton.Black Panther Party members were involved in many fatal firefights with police: Huey Newton allegedly killed officer John Frey in 1967, and Eldridge Cleaver led an ambush in 1968 of Oakland police officers, in which two officers were wounded and Panther Bobby Hutton was killed. The party suffered many internal conflicts, resulting in the murders of Alex Rackley and Betty Van Patter.

Government oppression initially contributed to the party's growth, as killings and arrests of Panthers increased its support among African Americans and on the broad political left. Both groups valued the Panthers as a powerful force opposed to de facto segregation and the military draft. Black Panther Party membership reached a peak in 1970, with offices in 68 cities and thousands of members; it began to decline over the following decade. After the leaders and members were vilified by the mainstream press, public support for the party waned, and the group became more isolated. In-fighting among Party leadership, caused largely by the FBI's COINTELPRO operation, led to expulsions and defections that decimated the membership. Popular support for the Party declined further after reports appeared detailing the group's involvement in illegal activities, such as drug dealing and extortion schemes directed against Oakland merchants. By 1972 most Panther activity centered on the national headquarters and a school in Oakland, where the party continued to influence local politics. Though under constant police surveillance, the Chicago chapter also remained active and maintained their community programs until 1974. The Seattle chapter lasted longer than most, with a breakfast program and medical clinics that continued even after the chapter disbanded in 1977. Party contractions continued throughout the 1970s, and by 1980, the Black Panther Party had just 27 members.The history of the Black Panther Party is controversial. Scholars have characterized the Black Panther Party as the most influential black movement organization of the late 1960s, and "the strongest link between the domestic Black Liberation Struggle and global opponents of American imperialism". Other commentators have described the Party as more criminal than political, characterized by "defiant posturing over substance".

Bobby Hutton

Robert James Hutton (April 21, 1950 – April 6, 1968), also known as "Lil' Bobby", was the treasurer and first recruit to join the Black Panther Party.

Cleaver (surname)

Cleaver is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Anna Cleaver, triathlete from New Zealand

Cleaver Bunton (1902–1999), Australian politician

Billy Cleaver (1921–2003), Welsh rugby union player

Eldridge Cleaver (1935–1998), American writer and political activist

Emanuel Cleaver (born 1944), U.S. Representative for Missouri and United Methodist pastor

Euseby Cleaver (1746–1819), Anglican Archbishop of Dublin

Gerald Cleaver (musician) (born 1963), African-American jazz drummer

Gerald B. Cleaver, physics associate professor at Baylor University

Gordon Cleaver (died 1994), British Second World War fighter ace and skier

Harry Cleaver (born 1944), economics associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin

Hughes Cleaver (1892–1980), Canadian politician

Kathleen Neal Cleaver (born 1945), American professor of law

Naomi Cleaver (born 1967), British design consultant and interior designer

Richard Cleaver (1917-2006), Australian politician

Solomon Cleaver (1855–1939), Canadian minister and storyteller

Sue Cleaver (born 1965), English actress

Val Cleaver (1917-1977), British rocket engineer

William Cleaver (1742–1815), English bishop and academic

El Biar

El Biar (from the Arabic "الأبيار" meaning "The Wells") is a suburb of Algiers, Algeria. It is located in the administrative constituency of Bouzaréah in the Algiers Province. As of the 1998 census, it has a population of 52,582 inhabitants. The suburb's postal code is 16030 and its municipal code is 1610.

Eldridge Cleaver, Black Panther

Eldridge Cleaver, Black Panther is an Algerian documentary film made in 1969, in which Black Panther activist Eldridge Cleaver speaks from exile in Algeria, where he had moved after the state of California tried to charge him with intent to murder. In the documentary, Cleaver discusses revolution in the United States and speaks against such political enemies as Richard Nixon, Spiro Agnew, Ronald Reagan and Richard J. Daley.

Free Breakfast for Children

The Free Breakfast for School Children Program was a community service program run by the Black Panther Party as an early manifestation of the social mission envisioned by founders Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale along with their founding of the Oakland Community School, which provided high-level education to 150 children from impoverished urban neighborhoods. Inspired by contemporary research about the essential role of breakfast for optimal schooling, the Panthers would cook and serve food to the poor inner city youth of the area. Initiated in January 1969 at St. Augustine's Church in Oakland, California, the program became so popular that by the end of the year, the Panthers set up kitchens in cities across the US, feeding over 10,000 children every day before they went to school.The Free Breakfast Program became the central organizing activity of the group. The reach and success of the program in so many communities underscored the inadequacies of the federal government's then-flagging and underresourced lunch programs in public schools across the country. Despite its successes, Federal authorities attempted to discredit and derail the Free Breakfast Program. Among other actions, authorities raided breakfast program locations while children were eating.

As depicted in the 2015 documentary The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, it was Huey P. Newton, upon release from jail in 1970, who revitalized the breakfast program as a key social focus for the Panthers in Oakland; from exile in Algeria, Eldridge Cleaver protested that prioritizing the breakfast program diluted the true mission of the Black Panther Party, which Cleaver emphasized had to remain an "any means necessary" political opposition to U.S. government practices, thus concretizing a schism in the leadership of the Black Panther Party – into Cleaver vs. Newton factions – that led to its eventual demise.

Judy Gumbo

Judy Clavir Albert, known as Judy Gumbo, (b. June 25, 1943 in Toronto, Canada) is a Canadian-American activist. She was an original member of the Yippies, the Youth International Party, a 1960s counter culture and satirical anti-war group, along with fellow radicals Anita and Abbie Hoffman, Nancy Kurshan and Jerry Rubin, and husband Stew Albert Judy received her nickname, "Gumbo," from Black Panther Party leader Eldridge Cleaver. Cleaver first referred to her as "Mrs. Stew," finding her refusal to use her husband's surname unacceptable. When Judy objected, Cleaver nicknamed her Gumbo, because "Gumbo goes with Stew."Gumbo arrived in Berkeley in the fall of 1967, and became involved with the activist community. She worked at the 60’s underground newspaper, the Berkeley Barb and helped found the offshoot Berkeley Tribe. In Spring of 1968 she joined the Yippies in Chicago to run a Pig named Pigasus for President at the protests during the Democratic National Convention. When she wrote a feminist piece for the Barb’s publisher Max Scherr, he made his feelings about women’s liberation clear when he titled it with a double entendre, "Why the Women are Revolting." She helped stage the People’s Park protests in Berkeley after Stew wrote the Barb article that initiated those protests. She continued to advocate for women’s rights through W.I.T.C.H. (Women’s International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell), a Yippie guerilla theater feminist group.

Gumbo was put under surveillance by the federal authorities. In 1972, the FBI described her as "the most vicious, the most anti-American, the most anti-establishment, and the most dangerous to the internal security of the United States." In 1975, she discovered that a tracking device had been placed on her car. Her home was broken into and a listening device was installed. It was active for 8 days. As a result, she was part of a lawsuit that successfully challenged warrantless wiretapping.

In 1970, while the war in Vietnam still raged, Judy and two other Yippie women visited the former North Vietnam. In 2013, Judy returned to a unified Vietnam to help celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Paris Peace Accords.Gumbo married historian Arthur Eckstein in 2017. She and Albert were married from 1977 until his death in 2006. She was married to actor David Hemblen from 1966-1968, and David Dobkin, a co-founder of Berkeley Co-Housing, from 2008 until his death in 2014.

Kathleen Cleaver

Kathleen Neal Cleaver (born May 13, 1945) is an American professor of law, known for her involvement with the Revolutionary movement and the Black Panther Party.

List of members of the Black Panther Party

This is a list of members of the Black Panther Party, including those notable for being Panthers as well as former Panthers who became notable for other reasons. This list does not include outside supporters, sympathizers, or allies.

Mumia Abu-Jamal, Lieutenant Minister of Information, Philadelphia chapter. In prison for the alleged murder of a police officer.

Sundiata Acoli, Finance Minister of the Harlem chapter who is serving life in prison for murdering a New Jersey state trooper.

Ashanti Alston, Anarchist activist.

Richard Aoki, Field Marshal and rumoured FBI informant. Committed suicide in 2009.

Charles Barron former member Harlem chapter, community activist and Democratic New York City Councilmember

Veronza Bowers, Jr., serving life in prison for murdering a park ranger.

William Lee Brent, hijacked a plane to Cuba in 1968, lived in exile there until his death in 2006

Elaine Brown, Chairwoman, Minister of Defense (mid 1970s), for a time was a 2008 Green Party Presidential candidate.

H. Rap Brown, Former SNCC leader, Justice Minister, currently serving life sentence for murder.

Stokely Carmichael, Former SNCC leader and Honorary Prime Minister. He lived in exile in Africa from 1969 until his death in 1998.

Bunchy Carter, Deputy Minister of Defense, Southern California chapter, killed in 1969.

Mark Clark, Defense Captain, Illinois chapter, killed by police in 1969.

Eldridge Cleaver, Minister of Information Died in 1998.

Kathleen Neal Cleaver, Party spokesperson and law school professor.

Marshall "Eddie" Conway, Minister of Defense of the Baltimore chapter. Served 44 years in prison for the murder of a police officer, until his conviction was overturned.

Aaron Dixon, community activist, former captain of the Seattle chapter of the Party. Ran with the Green Party for U.S. Senate on his opposition to the Iraq War

Emory Douglas, Party artist and cartoonist

Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin, Anarchist activist.

Fred Hampton, Deputy Chairman, Illinois chapter; killed in a 1969 raid by the Chicago police and the FBI.

Tim Hayes, Founder of Atlanta chapter, writer and community activist.

David Hilliard, Chief of staff, university lecturer and party archivist.

Elbert Howard, A founding member of the party and first editor of its newspaper, The Black Panther.

Ericka Huggins, Longtime party leader, professor of sociology.

John Huggins Los Angeles chapter leader. Killed in 1969.

Bobby Hutton, First party recruit, Treasurer; killed by police in 1968.

George Jackson, Author and prison activist. Killed in prison in 1971.

Jamal Joseph, Film professor, author and Oscar nominee.

Judy Juanita, Author who served as editor of The Black Panther

Chaka Khan, Singer who has won ten Grammy awards.

Warren Kimbro, convicted in the murder of Alex Rackley, prisoner rehabilitation activist; died in 2009.

Robert Hillary King, Author, lecturer and former member of the Angola Prison Chapter

Lonnie McLucas, Bridgeport, Connecticut member convicted in the murder of Alex Rackley.

Huey P. Newton, Minister of Defense, co-founder. Killed in 1989.

Pete O'Neal, Chairman, Kansas City chapter, who lives in exile in Tanzania.

Larry Pinkney, served nine years in prison in Canada and the U.S., and was also a member of the Republic of New Africa.

Geronimo Pratt, Deputy Minister of Defense, died in 2011.

Alex Rackley, New York member murdered by fellow Panthers in 1969. His killing resulted in the New Haven Black Panther trials.

Malik Rahim, early New Orleans chapter organizer, currently a co-founder of Common Ground Collective, a post Hurricane Katrina relief organization.

Nile Rodgers, guitarist for rock/disco band Chic and music producer.

Bobby Rush, Minister of Defense, Illinois Chapter, and since 1993, U.S. Representative for Illinois's 1st congressional district.

George W. Sams, Jr., convicted in the 1969 murder of Alex Rackley. He testified for the prosecution.

Reggie Schell, Defense Captain, Philadelphia chapter

Bobby Seale, Chairman and co-founder of the Black Panthers

Robert Trivers, evolutionary biologist

Denise Oliver-Vélez, professor, Contributing Editor for Daily Kos, and former activist and community organizer

John Watson, Detroit chapter leader and activist with the League of Revolutionary Black Workers.

List of people who made multiple religious conversions

This is a list of people noted for having converted to two or more religions or religious movements. Their original religion is mentioned first when applicable. In certain cases the individual considered themselves to be of more than one religion at a time.

Skanderbeg - Albanian monarch and military leader, National Hero of Albania, was born as Serbian Orthodox, converted to Islam in his early years, but reverted to Christianity later in life, dying as a Catholic.

Nicolas Antoine - Started in Catholicism; conversions Protestantism and Judaism. (not officially admitted to the last one)

Augustine of Hippo - Mixed Catholic/Pagan background with Catholic upbringing; conversions to Manichaeism, Neoplatonism, and finally baptized Catholic.

Eldridge Cleaver - Conversions/Associations to Nation of Islam then Evangelical Christianity then Mormonism.

Rod Dreher - Started in Methodism; conversions to Catholicism then Eastern Orthodoxy.

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross - Jewish parents; conversions to Islam then Christianity.

Newt Gingrich - Lutheran to Baptist to Catholic

Tom Hanks - Raised primarily in Catholicism then Mormonism; conversions to "born again" Christianity and eventually Greek Orthodoxy.

Martin Harris - Undetermined Protestantism; Conversions to the Quakers, Universalists, Baptists, Presbyterians, and several denominations of Mormonism, Also may have been Methodist for a time. Known among Mormons as one of the Three Witnesses.

Lex Hixon - Not raised religious; Conversions to Vedanta, Sufism. Eastern Orthodox Christianity, and possibly Zen.

Muhammad Khodabandeh (Oljeitu) - Nestorian Christian upbringing; Buddhism, Sunni Islam, and Shia Islam

David Kirk - Originally Baptist; became a deacon in the Melkite Greek Catholic Church and later converted to the Orthodox Church in America.

Debi Mazar - Originally Catholic; Actress who reportedly converted to Buddhism, Judaism, and briefly the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Ibrahim Njoya - Bamum people religion; back and forth conversions from Islam to Christianity. Also created his own religion.

Sinéad O'Connor (Shuhada' Davitt) – Irish singer-songwriter; a former excommunicated Roman Catholic before becoming as Nondenominational Trinitarian Christian for several years and later [Sunni] Islam due of theological reasons

J. D. Salinger - Started in Judaism; converted or experimented with Zen Buddhism, Advaita Vedanta, Dianetics, and Christian Science.

Ignaz Trebitsch-Lincoln - Born an Orthodox Jew, he converted to Lutheranism to escape Austro-Hungarian authorities, and then converted to both Presbyterianism and Anglicanism and then finally converted to Buddhism towards the end of his life.

Theophan Prokopovich - Born and raised an Orthodox Christianity, he converted to Eastern Catholicism in order to achieve better educational benefits, but reverted to Orthodox Christianity later in life.

Terry A. Davis - Raised as Catholic before becoming as Atheist and later into his distorted version of Nondenominational-like pseudo-Fundamentalist Christianity for remainder of his life due of suffering from Schizophrenia.

Marvin X

Marvin X (born May 29, 1944) is a poet, playwright and essayist.

Born Marvin Ellis Jackmon in Fowler, California, he has taken the Muslim name El Muhajir. His work has been associated with the Black Arts/Black Aesthetics Movement of the 1960s.

Michael Tabor (Black Panther)

Michael Aloysius Tabor (December 13, 1946 – October 17, 2010) was an American member of the Black Panther Party who was charged and tried as part of an alleged conspiracy to bomb public buildings in New York City and kill members of the New York Police Department. Four months into the trial Tabor and another defendant fled to Algeria. Despite his ultimate acquittal on all charges, Tabor remained in exile in Africa until his death, never returning to the United States.

Tabor was born on December 13, 1946, in Harlem and joined the Black Panther Party while in his teens. He took the name Cetewayo, a 19th century Zulu king. In 1970, Tabor and 12 other members of the Black Panthers were charged for allegedly plotting to kill police officers and to plant bombs in New York City commercial and public buildings, including the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. Support for the prosecution's case came from undercover officers who claimed that the defendants had developed plans for a series of bombings and had conducted classes to instruct those participating in the plot how to construct explosive devices.Together with fellow defendant Richard Moore, Tabor failed to appear at their trial in February 1971, forfeited $150,000 in bail and were declared fugitives. Blank Panther leader Huey P. Newton called Moore and Tabor "enemies of the people" for evading justice while on trial and putting the other defendants and the party at risk. Connie Matthews, Newton's former secretary and Tabor's wife, also left the country and was said to have taken valuable records with her. The two finally surfaced in Algeria the following month together with Eldridge Cleaver.The New York Times published a lengthy letter from Moore on the day before the verdicts were read explaining that they had fled the U.S. because they feared that their lives were at risk. On May 13, 1971, after an eight-month-long trial, the jury in New York Supreme Court in Manhattan delivered an acquittal on all 156 counts. In a statement issued from Algiers, Tabor stated that the trial represented "an attempted railroad and that the defendants' rights were flagrantly violated" and said that he was "overjoyed that the brothers are free".Algeria expelled Tabor and he and Matthews moved to Zambia in 1972, where Tabor wrote about politics and hosted a radio show. Despite repeated requests, Tabor refused to return to the United States. He died at age 63 in Lusaka, Zambia, on October 17, 2010, due to complications of multiple strokes. He was survived by his second wife, Priscilla Matanda, as well as by a daughter and three sons.

No Name in the Street

No Name in the Street is American writer and poet James Baldwin's fourth non-fiction book and was first published in 1972. It depicts several historical events and figures from Baldwin's perspective: Francisco Franco, McCarthyism and Martin Luther King's death, as well as Malcolm X, Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, and the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The book also covers the Algerian War and Albert Camus's take on it.

In vivid detail, Baldwin also recounts the Harlem childhood that shaped his early consciousness, the later painful historic events — the murders of his friends Martin Luther King and Malcolm X along with his stay in Europe and in Hollywood and his return to the American South to confront a violent America.

Peace and Freedom Party

The Peace and Freedom Party (PFP) is a left-wing political party with affiliates and former members in more than a dozen American states, including California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana and Utah, but none now have ballot status besides California. Peace and Freedom's first candidates appeared on the ballot in 1966 in New York. The Peace and Freedom Party of California was organized in early 1967, gathering over 103,000 registrants which qualified its ballot status in January 1968 under the California Secretary of State Report of Registration.

The Peace and Freedom Party has appeared in other states as an anti-war and pro-civil rights organization opposed to the Vietnam War and in support of black liberation, farm-worker organizing, women's liberation, and the gay rights movements. In 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016, the party's presidential candidates were Leonard Peltier, Ralph Nader, Roseanne Barr and Gloria La Riva, respectively.

Pirkle Jones

Pirkle Jones (January 2, 1914 – March 15, 2009) was a documentary photographer born in Shreveport, Louisiana. His first experience with photography was when he bought a Kodak Brownie at the age of seventeen. In the 1930s his photographs were featured in pictorialist salons and publications. He served four years in the army during World War II in the 37th division and went to the Fiji Islands, New Georgia, Guadalcanal and the Philippines.

After the war, Jones entered the first class in photography offered by the California School of Fine Arts. There he met the artists and instructors that helped him develop his talents: Ansel Adams, Minor White, Edward Weston, and Dorothea Lange. Jones worked as Ansel Adams' assistant for 6 years and the two photographers forged a lifelong friendship.

Dorothea Lange came to him in 1956 with an idea to collaborate on a photographic essay entitled "Death of a Valley". The essay chronicled the death of the town of Monticello, California in the Berryessa Valley, which disappeared when the Monticello Dam was completed. The photographs were taken in the last year of its existence. Jones later described the project with Lange as "one of the most meaningful photographic experiences of my life."

Jones also took part in numerous collaborations with his wife Ruth-Marion Baruch over the course of their 49-year marriage. In 1968 Ruth-Marion introduced herself to Kathleen Cleaver, wife of famous Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver, and spoke of her interest in the Black Panthers and their portrayal by the media. It was her desire to present a balanced view that inspired Jones and Ruth-Marion to photograph the Panthers from July to October 1968 in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Jones was the recipient of an honorary doctorate from the San Francisco Art Institute, where he taught until 1994.

Revolutionary People’s Communication Network

The Revolutionary People's Communication Network was an organization created by Kathleen Cleaver and Eldridge Cleaver and their allies in 1971 after the Cleavers' expulsion from the Black Panther Party while they were living in Algeria. It included subgroups such as the Black Liberation Front. In an interview with Madeline Wheeler Murphy Kathleen Cleaver stated "The ideological split in the Black Panther Party prevents us from having communication. We are reorganizing to develop a communication/information network through the Revolutionary Peoples Communication Network." She moved back to the United States to promote the organization. The group published a newspaper called Babylon as well as other publications including Humanity, Freedom, Peace a collection of works by Geronimo Pratt.

Soul on Ice (book)

Soul on Ice is a memoir and collection of essays by Eldridge Cleaver. Originally written in Folsom State Prison in 1965, and published three years later in 1968, it is Cleaver's best known writing and remains a seminal work in African-American literature. The treatises were first printed in the nationally-circulated monthly Ramparts and became widely read (even praised by Norman Mailer) for their illustration and commentary on "Black America". Throughout his narrative, Cleaver describes not only his transformation from a marijuana dealer and serial rapist into a convinced Malcolm X adherent and Marxist revolutionary, but also his analogous relationship to the politics of America.

Stew Albert

Stewart Edward "Stew" Albert (December 4, 1939 – January 30, 2006) was an early member of the Yippies, an anti-Vietnam War political activist, and an important figure in the New Left movement of the 1960s.

Born in the Sheepshead Bay section of Brooklyn, New York, to a New York City employee, he had a relatively conventional political life in his youth, though he was among those who protested the execution of Caryl Chessman. He graduated from Pace University, where he majored in politics and philosophy, and worked for a while for the City of New York welfare department.

In 1965, he left New York for San Francisco, where he met the poet Allen Ginsberg at the City Lights Bookstore. Within a few days, he was volunteering at the Vietnam Day Committee in Berkeley, California. It was there he met Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman, with whom he co-founded the Youth International Party or Yippies. He also met Bobby Seale and other Black Panther Party members there and became a full-time political activist. Rubin once said that Albert was a better educator than most of the professors.

Among the many activities he participated in with the Yippies were throwing money off the balcony at the New York Stock Exchange, the Exorcism of the Pentagon, and the 1968 Presidential campaign of a pig named Pigasus. He was arrested at the disturbances outside the 1968 Democratic National Convention and was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Chicago Seven case. His wife, Judy Gumbo Albert, claimed, according to his New York Times obituary, this was because he was working as a correspondent for the Berkeley Barb. Later, he would work closely with the Berkeley Tribe underground newspaper and lived at the Tribe's commune when he was not traveling for political engagements.

In 1970, he ran for sheriff of Alameda County, California, in revenge for "getting my balls sprayed with hot, painful chemicals as a welcome-to-prison health measure" after being arrested in 1969. Although he lost to the incumbent, Frank Madigan, Albert garnered 65,000 votes, in an ironic twist, in a race with the sheriff who had supervised his earlier incarceration during the Vietnam Day Committee anti-draft protests in downtown Oakland.

After the Weather Underground helped Timothy Leary escape from a California prison, where he had been imprisoned for possessing L.S.D., Albert helped arrange for Leary to stay with Eldridge Cleaver in Algeria. In 1971, he was subpoenaed before several grand juries investigating the political bombing of the U. S. Capitol by the Weather Underground in March 1971, as well as a conspiracy by the Piggy Bank Six to bomb several branches of First National City Bank in Manhattan the previous year. He was not charged in either case. In the early 1970s, he and his wife sued the FBI for planting an illegal wiretap in his house. They won a $20,000 settlement and, in 1978, two FBI supervisors were fired for this action.

In 1984, he and his wife moved to Portland, Oregon. They co-edited an anthology, The Sixties Papers: Documents of a Rebellious Decade, that collected material that originated in the Civil Rights Movement, Students for a Democratic Society, the anti-war movement, the counterculture, and the women's movement.

His memoir, Who the Hell is Stew Albert?, was published by Red Hen Press in 2005. He ran the Yippie Reading Room until he died of liver cancer brought on by hepatitis in 2006. Two days before his death, he posted on his blog, "My politics haven't changed."

In the film Steal This Movie! Albert is played by Donal Logue.

The Black Power Mixtape 1967–1975

The Black Power Mixtape 1967–1975 is a 2011 documentary film, directed by Göran Olsson, that examines the evolution of the Black Power movement in American society from 1967 to 1975 as viewed through Swedish journalists and filmmakers. It features footage of the movement shot by Swedish journalists in America between 1967–1975 with appearances by Angela Davis, Bobby Seale, Huey P. Newton, Eldridge Cleaver, and other activists, artists, and leaders central to the movement.

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