Don't Tell Me What To Do: A Spiritual Memoir
Just kill me now, LORD! I'd rather be dead than alive, because nothing I predicted is going to happen. – Jonah 4:3

Are you a member of the Black Panther Party?

Answer

I was an idealistic, curious kid when I joined the Black Panther Party in the late 60's. Being a Black Panther gave me the opportunity to be around people who were angry, resentful and dissatisfied like me. Never mind that I did not understand that by calling myself a Black Panther I was also claiming to be a communist and follower of MaoTseTung. It was more important to belong than to grasp the danger I was putting myself in by adopting the Panther doctrine as my guiding philosophy in life.

In my memoir, ARROGANT: The Memoir, I write about how I came to join the Black Panther Party . . .

Well, look, I don’t mean to harm anyone. I’m from Philadelphia. I’m on my way to my aunt’s house in New London, that’s all.”

“What is your name?” she asked in a demanding voice.

“Ron,” I quickly answered. Yet, by this time, I was tired of being on the defensive. I decided to throw a few questions of my own at her.

“What’s your name?”

“You don’t need to know my name.”

“I see...well.” I couldn’t finish the sentence. My patience was waning. “Like I said, I’m just passing through New Haven.”

“Are you a member of the Party?” she asked me.

“I want to be?”

“Really?”

“Yes, really! Can I just come in and talk with you?”

She stepped back and gestured for me to come in.

I became a member of the Black Panther Party on that day.

Search result for 'Black Panther Party' in Don't Tell Me What To Do: A Spiritual Memoir

"... When the Black Panther Party broke on the scene in 1966, I was immediately captivated by the militancy. Huey Newton and Bobby Seale---armed with high-powered rifles---—challenged police brutality in Oakland, California and around the country. Their stand against police violence committed against black people was historic and monumental and unprecedented, reflecting my ..."
"...against telling anyone where I was going. I headed to the highway, anxious, scared, and full of curiosity. I decided, along the way, to stop over in New Haven. I had read about the New Haven chapter of the Black Panther Party. I wanted to check out the headquarters, perhaps even meet Bobby Seale. The problem, however, was that I had no idea where the Black Panther office was located. ..."
41.
"... “Really?” “Yes, really! Can I just come in and talk with you?” She stepped back and gestured for me to come in. I became a member of the Black Panther Party on that day/ * * * New London is nestled along the east bank of the Thames River. I got ..."
"... I ended the rally after about forty five minutes of chanting. I was still in one piece. I counted my blessings. I thanked the students in behalf of Huey Newton and the Black Panther Party. I hurriedly went to my car, threw the poster on the backseat, and roared off down the street headed back to Aunt Nanny’s house. ..."

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"... lightly to conserve money, stopping only when I needed to gas up. I took my time. I was in no hurry. I passed through New York into Connecticut when a news bulletin came over the radio. Nine members of the New Haven chapter of the Black Panther Party had been arrested and charged with the murder of Alex Rackley, a twenty-three-year-old New York Black Panther. He had been kidnapped, tortured and shot to death because they believed him to ..."

Search result for 'Black Panther Party' in the FAQs of Don't Tell Me What To Do: A Spiritual Memoir

Are you a member of the Black Panther Party?
Why free Huey Newton, founder of the Black Panther Party?

Search result for 'Black Panther Party' in Glossary of Don't Tell Me What To Do: A Spiritual Memoir

Civil Rights
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