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

How did Ron Alexander become a Black Panther?

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.

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