How did Ron Alexander become a Black Panther?
AnswerI 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?”
“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 'Are you a member of the Party?' in Don't Tell Me What To Do: A Spiritual Memoir
Chapter 4: Black Panther - 1966-196937.
"... 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 ..."