The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

W. Paul Coates

Publisher W. Paul Coates was born on July 4, 1946 in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Edna Coates and Douglas Cryor. Coates enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in Vietnam from 1965 to 1967. He later received his B.A. degree in community development from the Homestead Montebello Center of Antioch University in Baltimore, Maryland in 1979 and his M.L.S. degree from Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia in 1980.

After Coates returned from Vietnam, he settled in Baltimore, Maryland and began volunteering for the community breakfast program organized by the Baltimore chapter of the Black Panther Party. In 1970, Coates became defense captain of the Baltimore Black Panthers where he was in charge of managing all Panther activities in Maryland, including implementing free clothing and free food programs and housing assistance, before leaving the organization in 1971. He subsequently established the George Jackson Prison Movement to bring Afrocentric literature to inmates. By 1978, the program had transitioned into the Black Classic Press (BCP), which Coates founded in order to publish books by and about people of African descent. After receiving his M.L.S. degree, Coates joined the staff at Howard University’s Moorland-Spingarn Research Center. In 1990, he was a contributing editor for the published work, Black Bibliophiles and Collectors: Preservers of Black History, along with Elinor Des Verney Sinnette and Thomas C. Battle. In 1991, Coates retired from the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center; and, in 1995, he launched BCP Digital Printing to specialize in short-run printing. In 1997, author Walter Mosley granted Black Classic Press domestic and foreign rights to publish his novel Gone Fishin’. The book sold more than 100,000 copies, making it one of the biggest books ever published by Black Classic Press.

Black Classic Press republished several works including Seize the Time: The Story of the Black Panther Party and Huey P. Newton by Bobby Seale in 1991, and Black Fire: An Anthology of Afro-American Writing by Larry Neal and Amiri Baraka in 2007. In 2012, BCP also published A Lie of Reinvention: Correcting Manning Marable’s “Malcolm X,” by Jared A. Ball and Todd Steven Burroughs.

Coates is the father of nine children; Kelly, Jonathan, Malik, Menelik, Ta-Nehisi, Darius, Jared, Damani and Kristance, including two additional adult children through marriage.

W. Paul Coates was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 20, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.005

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/20/2019

Last Name

Coates

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Paul

Occupation
Schools

Sojourner-Douglass College with Annapolis High School

Clark Atlanta University

First Name

W.

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

COA02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Maryland

Birth Date

7/4/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Baltimore

Favorite Food

N/A

Short Description

Publisher W. Paul Coates (1946 - ) is the founder of Black Classic Press (BCP) and BCP Digital Printing.

Employment

Black Classic Press

Howard University Moorland-Spingarn Research Center

BCP Digital Press

U.S. Army

Favorite Color

Blue

Larry Gossett

Political activist Larry Gossett was born Lawrence Edward Gossett on February 21, 1945, in Seattle, Washington. The son of Johnnie Evelyn Carter Gossett and Nelman Gossett, he grew up in Seattle’s southern and central areas. Gossett attended High Point and Horace Mann Elementary Schools and graduated from Franklin High School, where he was point guard on the basketball team. In 1963, Gossett was one of the few black males to attend the University of Washington.

In 1966, Gossett spent a year with Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA). Through VISTA, he received community organizing training with Harlem Youth, Inc. Gossett came back to Seattle as “Oba” and went on to become the school’s first student to graduate with a degree in African American Studies. Gossett was a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and a founder of the Seattle chapter of the Black Panther Party. He was a co-founder of the University of Washington’s Black Student Union (UWBSU) and used the organization to leverage the University of Washington’s Black Studies Program. Gossett attended the Black Youth Conference in Los Angeles, California in 1967 that featured James Forman, Harry Edwards, Tommie Smith and John Carlos. He was the organizer of the Seattle Alliance of Black Student Unions and helped organize nearly a dozen high school, middle school and collegiate black student unions throughout the Seattle area. On March 29, 1968, Gossett was arrested, but was later exonerated after leading a sit-in to protest the treatment of black students at Franklin High School.

In 1982, Gossett founded the Minority Executive Directors Coalition (MEDC). He served as the Executive Director for the Central Area Motivation Program (CAMP) from 1979 to 1993 and helped to provide job assistance, a food bank and programs for at-risk youth. In the mid-1980s, Gossett was involved in the presidential campaign of Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. and was an organizer for the Rainbow Coalition. As president of the Rainbow Push Coalition, Gossett supported Norman B. Rice’s mayoral candidacy in 1989. In 1991, Washington’s King County Council was expanded from nine to thirteen members, and in 1993, Gossett won a seat representing Washington’s District 10, an area stretching from the Montlake Cut to Beacon Hill. As a councilman, Gossett has dedicated his time to the reformation of the criminal justice system, better public transportation and job opportunities for the poor and minorities.

Gossett serves as a member and chair of the King County Council. Gossett, a high profile black activist with strong ties to the Hispanic, Asian and Native American communities, was a prime mover in 1996 for changing the symbol of King County (Seattle) from 19th century slaveholder, Rufus Devane King to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The county’s official logo was changed to an image of Dr. King. There is a fifty-eight minute documentary produced by University of Washington television that features Gossett’s BSU activism. The film is called In Pursuit of Justice.

Accession Number

A2007.305

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/25/2007

Last Name

Gossett

Maker Category
Schools

Franklin High School

West Seattle Elementary School

Horace Mann Elementary School

George Washington Middle School

James A. Garfield High School

University of Washington

First Name

Larry

Birth City, State, Country

Seattle

HM ID

GOS02

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Washington

Favorite Vacation Destination

Santa Barbara, California

Favorite Quote

I Am Proud To Serve You.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Washington

Birth Date

2/21/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Seattle

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pork Chops

Short Description

Civil rights activist and county council member Larry Gossett (1945 - ) represented the State of Washington's District 10. He was involved in the presidential campaign of Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. and was an organizer for the Rainbow Coalition.

Employment

Harlem Youth Opportunities Unlimited

Central Area Motivation Program

King County Council

Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity, University of Washington

Favorite Color

Purple

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Larry Gossett's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Larry Gossett lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Larry Gossett talks about the history of Nigton, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Larry Gossett describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Larry Gossett talks about his parents' education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Larry Gossett describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Larry Gossett describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Larry Gossett talks about his father's profession

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Larry Gossett recalls how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Larry Gossett describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Larry Gossett describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Larry Gossett talks about his elementary school education in Seattle, Washington, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Larry Gossett describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Larry Gossett remembers his favorite music and television shows

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Larry Gossett recalls Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s visit to Seattle, Washington

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Larry Gossett talks about his elementary school education in Seattle, Washington, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Larry Gossett remembers Washington's notable African American athletes

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Larry Gossett recalls playing basketball in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Larry Gossett describes his decision to attend the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Larry Gossett talks about the racial demographics of the University of Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Larry Gossett recalls the racial climate at the University of Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Larry Gossett describes his early perceptions of the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Larry Gossett remembers joining the Volunteers in Service to America

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Larry Gossett recalls his work with Volunteers in Service to America in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Larry Gossett talks about joining the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Larry Gossett describes the Harlem Youth Opportunities Unlimited programs

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Larry Gossett talks about his civil rights activities in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Larry Gossett remembers the 1967 Black Youth Conference

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Larry Gossett recalls the agendas of the University of Washington's Black Student Union

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Larry Gossett describes the Black Student Union's sit-in at the University of Washington, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Larry Gossett describes the Black Student Union's sit-in at the University of Washington, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Larry Gossett recalls his arrest in 1968

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Larry Gossett talks about his early political aspirations

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Larry Gossett remembers his time in jail during the Seattle riots

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Larry Gossett describes his trial in 1968

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Larry Gossett describes his role as a student recruiter for the University of Washington

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Larry Gossett talks about the founding of Seattle's Black Panther Party

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Larry Gossett describes the Central Area Motivation Program

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Larry Gossett talks about the Rites of Passage Experience program at the Central Area Motivation Program

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Larry Gossett recalls his election to the King County Council

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Larry Gossett talks about the renaming of King County, Washington, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Larry Gossett talks about the renaming of King County, Washington, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Larry Gossett talks about the original namesake of King County

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Larry Gossett describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Larry Gossett reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Larry Gossett reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Larry Gossett talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Larry Gossett describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Larry Gossett narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Larry Gossett narrates his photographs, pt. 2

Aaron Dixon

Political activist Aaron Lloyd Dixon was born on January 2, 1949 in Chicago, Illinois to Frances Sledge Dixon and Elmer James Dixon. The Dixons were leftist activists and valued the importance of fighting social injustice. Dixon moved to Seattle, Washington in 1958, when his father accepted a job as a technical illustrator for the United States Air Force. In 1961, at age eleven, Dixon walked alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in his march to end housing discrimination in Seattle. He attended Coleman Elementary School, Blaine Junior High School and in 1963, became one of the first African American youth to integrate predominantly white Queen Anne High School.

In 1967, Dixon attended Washington University and joined the local SNCC chapter. As a member of SNCC, Dixon met the black radical Larry Gossett, and co-founded the Seattle Area Black Student Union (SABSU). As members of the SABSU, Dixon, Gossett, and Dixon’s younger brother, Elmer, promoted self determination, self-respect and self defense throughout Seattle’s black community. In 1968, after attending funeral services in Oakland, California for seventeen-year-old Bobby Hutton, a founding member of the Black Panther Party that was shot down by Oakland police, Dixon, Gossett, and others established the Seattle chapter of the Black Panther Party. As founding member and captain of the Seattle chapter of the Black Panther Party, Dixon helped launch the Free Breakfast for School Children Program, which fed over 10,000 children every day before school. Dixon was also instrumental in the opening of a free medical and legal clinic.

In 1970, Congress began its full scale investigation of the Black Panther Party with much of its focus on the activities of the Seattle chapter. Although the investigation would lead to the demise of the Black Panther Party’s many major city chapters, the Seattle chapter would last longer than most. Dixon moved to Oakland, the national headquarters of the Black Panther Party, in 1972. There, he served as a bodyguard for chairperson Elaine Brown. Dixon worked on the mayoral campaign of Lionel Wilson in 1978, helping him to become Oakland, California’s first African American mayor.

In 2002, Dixon founded the non-profit organization, Central House, to provide transitional housing for homeless young adults. Central House currently contains a youth leadership project that teaches youth to think positively, graduate high school and to control their destinies. In 2006, the Green Party of Washington nominated Dixon for the U.S. Senate. Following his campaign for U.S. Senate, Dixon organized the Center for Social Justice based out of the Seattle Central District. The Center for Social Justice organized an anti-war rally and march in January 2007.

Dixon was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 24, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.301

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/24/2007 |and| 6/6/2008

10/24/2007 |and| 6/6/2008 |and| 7/26/2019

Last Name

Dixon

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Queen Anne High School

Coleman Elementary School

James A. Garfield High School

University of Washington

Meany Middle School

First Name

Aaron

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

DIX01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Mexico

Favorite Quote

Everything's Going To Be Alright

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Mexico

Birth Date

1/2/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Albuquerque

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Apple Pie

Short Description

Political activist Aaron Dixon (1949 - ) was a founding member and captain of the Seattle chapter of the Black Panther Party. He founded the non-profit organization, Central House and ran for the U.S. Senate in 2006.

Employment

Central House

S.F. Youth Law Center

City of Seattle

Medona

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:3411,71:4239,92:4515,97:9410,135:22192,364:22939,374:30160,523:30658,530:31903,588:33231,606:34559,631:35223,663:44310,708:45130,714:48955,786:51335,830:52270,844:63485,966:66540,980:70192,1022:71935,1044:87041,1301:105690,1449:112474,1537:112898,1542:121250,1633:121670,1638:122720,1651:130834,1712:131302,1720:131692,1726:134032,1764:136762,1821:137464,1833:149460,1949:150960,1966:156174,2082:160506,2184:170420,2324$0,0:3412,33:4420,40:7841,81:8425,91:8790,97:10834,153:11199,167:14265,281:15360,306:20178,405:20470,410:20762,415:21200,422:21492,427:24777,534:25069,539:28719,624:30179,659:30471,664:30982,672:40718,732:50091,872:50546,878:62740,1017:63080,1023:63964,1079:64440,1087:66820,1136:72192,1277:78434,1331:78814,1337:86946,1490:87706,1506:88086,1512:90898,1571:100611,1683:101026,1689:107085,1807:109990,1878:123975,2045:130828,2154:137280,2226:139330,2268:142528,2324:143922,2349:144988,2366:146874,2413:151302,2481:176970,2817:177254,2822:178177,2867:186484,3030:191288,3069:192868,3103:194053,3128:197213,3189:198872,3218:200768,3251:201400,3261:204797,3338:205113,3343:213112,3402:218470,3545:219222,3554:221102,3602:238730,3980
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Aaron Dixon's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Aaron Dixon lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Aaron Dixon describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Aaron Dixon describes his maternal grandmother's childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Aaron Dixon describes his maternal great-grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Aaron Dixon talks about the riots in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Aaron Dixon describes his mother's musical career

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Aaron Dixon describes his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Aaron Dixon describes his maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Aaron Dixon describes his mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Aaron Dixon describes his paternal grandfather's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Aaron Dixon describes his paternal grandmother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Aaron Dixon describes his paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Aaron Dixon describes his father's experiences in the U.S. Army, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Aaron Dixon describes his father's experiences in the U.S. Army, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Aaron Dixon describes how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Aaron Dixon describes his father and his likeness to him

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Aaron Dixon describes his father's career

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Aaron Booker describes his father's education

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Aaron Booker describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Aaron Booker describes the Burch Village community in Champaign, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Aaron Booker describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Aaron Booker remembers his maternal great-great-grandmother

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Aaron Booker remembers moving to Seattle, Washington

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Aaron Booker describes his father's personality

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Aaron Booker remembers his parents' home ownership

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Aaron Booker remembers his father's friendship with artists

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Aaron Booker recalls his father's involvement in the Communist Party

Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Aaron Booker remember his parents' conversations about civil rights

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Aaron Dixon talks about the representation of African Americans on television

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Aaron Dixon describes his family's musical background

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Aaron Dixon describes his early personality

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Aaron Dixon describes his early education

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Aaron Dixon remembers Queen Anne High School in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Aaron Dixon remembers his early mentors

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Aaron Dixon remembers joining the debate team

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Aaron Dixon remembers his arguments with his parents

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Aaron Dixon remembers the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Aaron Dixon recalls founding a Black Student Union at the University of Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Slating of Aaron Dixon's interview, session 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Aaron Dixon recalls the Black Student Union members at the University of Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Aaron Dixon remembers the lack of black faculty at the University of Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Aaron Dixon describes the African American community at the University of Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Aaron Dixon recalls occupying the president's office at the University of Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Aaron Dixon remembers occupying Franklin High School in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Aaron Dixon recalls being charged with unlawful assembly

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Aaron Dixon remembers Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Aaron Dixon remembers Bobby Hutton's memorial service

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Aaron Dixon recalls forming a Black Panther Party chapter in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Aaron Dixon recalls the expansion of the Black Panther Party

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Aaron Dixon describes the history of the Black Panther Party

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Aaron Dixon describes the Black Panther Party's policy on self-defense

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Aaron Dixon talks about police brutality in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Aaron Dixon describes the ideology of the Black Panther Party

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Aaron Dixon describes the ages of the Black Panther Party membership

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Aaron Dixon remembers the Mulford Act of 1967

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Aaron Dixon describes the discipline of the Black Panther Party

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Aaron Dixon remembers Landon Williams

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Aaron Dixon remembers a confrontation with the police, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Aaron Dixon remembers a confrontation with the police, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Aaron Dixon remembers his parents' support of his activism

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Aaron Dixon recalls opening a Black Panther Party office in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Aaron Dixon recalls the Asian members of the Black Panther Party

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Aaron Dixon remembers responding to calls for protection

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Aaron Dixon describes the black community's relationship with the police

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Aaron Dixon remembers protecting the black students at Rainier Beach High School in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Aaron Dixon recalls the Black Panther Party's appeal to the United Nations

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Aaron Dixon describes the Black Panther Party's relationship with SNCC

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Aaron Dixon recalls meeting the Tanzanian delegation to the United Nations

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Aaron Dixon remembers his arrest and the ensuing riots, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Aaron Dixon remembers his arrest and the ensuing riots, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Aaron Dixon describes the rhetoric of revolution

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Aaron Dixon remembers the infiltration of the Black Panther Party

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Aaron Dixon remembers being protected from the police by a neighbor

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Aaron Dixon remembers the deaths of Black Panther Party members

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Aaron Dixon remembers meeting Fred Hampton

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Aaron Dixon recalls the young leadership of the Black Panther Party

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Aaron Dixon describes his trial

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Aaron Dixon remembers the deaths of Bunchy Carter and John Huggins

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Aaron Dixon describes the relationship between gangs and the Black Panther Party

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Aaron Dixon remembers Huey P. Newton's leadership

Tape: 7 Story: 12 - Aaron Dixon talks about Fred Hampton and Huey P. Newton

Tape: 7 Story: 13 - Aaron Dixon recalls protecting himself from assassination

Tape: 7 Story: 14 - Aaron Dixon remembers Fred Hampton's assassination

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Aaron Dixon remembers learning of Fred Hampton's assassination

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Aaron Dixon recalls the raid on the Black Panther Party's Los Angeles chapter

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Aaron Dixon remembers being protected by Seattle Mayor Wes Uhlman

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Aaron Dixon remembers the purge of the Black Panther Party membership

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Aaron Dixon describes the Black Panther Party's free breakfast program

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Aaron Dixon remembers the boycott of Safeway Inc. stores

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Aaron Dixon describes the Black Panther Party's community programs

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Aaron Dixon describes the Black Panther Party's international presence

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Aaron Dixon describes the Black Panther Party's relationship to the community

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Aaron Dixon talks about the Nation of Islam

Tape: 8 Story: 11 - Aaron Dixon remembers the split in the Black Panther Party

DASession

2$2

DATape

4$7

DAStory

10$4

DATitle
Aaron Dixon recalls forming a Black Panther Party chapter in Seattle, Washington
Aaron Dixon remembers being protected from the police by a neighbor
Transcript
And so Bobby Seale gave his speech and he gave one of the most dynamic speeches that I have ever heard, even to this day. I can't say that I've heard a speech that was as profound and as emotional as that speech was. As soon as he concluded, I made a bee line to where he was standing and so did my brother [Elmer Dixon III] and Anthony Ware who was standing in different parts of the auditorium, and we told Bobby Seale we wanted to have a Black Panther Party chapter in Seattle [Washington]. So, a week later, him and George Murray [George Mason Murray] who was the administrator of education flew to Seattle and we met at my mother's [Frances Sledge Dixon] house, my parents' house. About twenty-five other people came up there and we met over a two-day period and we formed the Seattle chapter of the Black Panther Party, which was the first chapter outside of the State of California. And Bobby Seale at that point asked me to go on tour. Now, he, he was beginning his campaign, his Free Huey campaign and, and what he was doing was opening up chapters and branches all over the country and, of course, we were the first. And he was on his way to the East Coast to open up more chapters and branches, and he asked me to, to travel with him and I, I wasn't really--I wasn't ready to, to do that. You know, I, I just had been appointed as the captain and, you know, I was getting ready to step into something that was extremely different from where I had come from, my family, my community, and all of the comfort that all of that brings, I was getting ready to leave all of that behind and take on a new life. And I had some ideas of how serious it was, and so I think I just needed a little bit of time to think about what I was getting into. So, I always wished I had gone with, with Bobby Seale on that, that, that, that organizing tour. I think I probably could've learned a lot, but I didn't.$$So, you're, you're, what eighteen, nineteen?$$Yeah. Nineteen.$$Yeah. So, so are you--were you the, the, the head of the--$$I was appointed--$$--Seattle chapter?$$Yeah, Bobby said, "Okay, who's gonna be the captain?" After the meeting he said, "Okay, who's gonna be the captain?"$$Okay, so they called you the captain.$$Everybody--you know, most of the people point--pointed to me, which was a surprise for me.$I remember one night, there were three, four Panthers who waited with me for the office to close down and so they said, "We're gonna walk you home," and these are the guys I went to high school [James A. Garfield High School, Seattle, Washington] with, you know, I knew them. But they weren't political. They weren't political. They were all kind of like involved in the criminal--that was always what they were really more interested in. So, they say, "Okay, Aaron [HistoryMaker Aaron Dixon], we're gonna walk you home." So, at that time, things were so bad where our office was, we called it Pork Chop Hill 'cause we were on, on the hill. There was a fire station around the corner, and we used to snipe at the fire station almost nightly to keep the fire trucks from going out to put out the firebombs that we had thrown. So, the police would only come up there three cars deep, four in a car, shotguns hanging out the window. We called it Pork Chop Hill. That was a famous battle in the Korean War. So, these guys say, "Okay, we're gonna walk you home." So, we're walking home, we turn the corner, we're walking down the street late at night, about 10:00, 10:30 at night, and all of the sudden a police car drives by and one of them pulls his gun out and starts shooting. And the next thing I know, I'm by myself. These guys have like scattered and disappeared. I said, shit, I, I better get out of here. So, I--I'm looking for somewhere to run, so I run up in--up these stairs in--into these people's backyard that I know. They lived down the street from me. I, I run in their backyard and I get in the backyard. I forgot it's, it's a backyard where they have these fifteen feet high bushes around the whole perimeter, there's no way out. So, I'm in there and I hear the--I hear the police out front. I hear them getting out of their cars. I hear them talking. Then, I hear them start coming up the stairs and I pull out my, my 9mm. And I said--I was--I said, they got me. I'm, I'm gonna die tonight, you know. And just when I thought I was doomed, this man comes out on his porch, his name is Mr. Melinson and he does like this, (gesture) you know, he signals me to come in. So, I ran into his house and just as he closes the door, the police are all in the backyard looking around. So, I'm sitting up in the window with him and his wife and his kids and I still got my 9mm in my hand and the police are going through all the bushes, looking under cars. So, somebody told him I ran into that backyard, you know. And so they're scrounging all around looking for me, you know. So, finally, they give up and they leave and I leave and I run home.$$So, they never knocked on the door or anything or tried to--$$No, they didn't knock on the door. So, this Mr. Melinson, he was--he was from Texas. He was very light-skinned and he was very conservative. His kids were all in Catholic school. We grew up with his family with his kids. And when we joined the Black Panther Party, he told his kids that they couldn't have anything to do with us anymore 'cause he, he was afraid for their safety, which was understandable. But, you know, he had--he had the courage enough to, you know, come out there and let me in his house and save my life, you know. So, it was something that I always--would always be very grateful to him for.$$Yeah, I think it's like counter what used to be some of the rhetoric in those days about middle class being so against (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yeah.$$--you know, the, the cultural revolution and the--$$Yeah.$$--the paramilitary people like the Panthers and--$$Yeah.$$--and others, RNA [Republic of New Afrika] and being afraid of so-called black militants not being able to get along with them and--$$Yeah.$$--but, here's somebody that actually didn't want to do what you all are doing, didn't want his kids doing it, but he understood what you were doing or something (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Yeah.

J. Herman Blake

Born John Herman Blake on March 15, 1934, Blake grew up in Mount Vernon, New York, as one of seven children raised by his single mother, Lylace E. Blake. Blake’s family lived in poverty, surviving only by welfare. Blake’s mother encouraged each of her children to participate and excel in school; all seven children completed high school; six received bachelor’s degrees; five achieved master’s degrees; and two earned doctorate degrees.

After serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, Blake continued his education with the assistance of the G.I. Bill; he enrolled in New York University in 1955, and received his B.A. degree in sociology in 1960. Blake went on to receive his M.A. degree and his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California at Berkeley. In 1966, Blake, as the Assistant Professor of Sociology, became the first African American on the University of California Santa Cruz faculty. During his eighteen year tenure, Blake also served as the Founding Provost of Oakes College at the University of California Santa Cruz.

After leaving the University of California Santa Cruz, Blake served as the President of Tougaloo College until 1987; held positions at Swarthmore College; served as the Vice Chancellor at Indiana University; and served as the Director of African American Studies at Iowa State University. In 2002, Blake was named Iowa Professor of the Year and received an Honorary Degree from Indiana University.In addition to his career in education, Blake published several projects including Revolutionary Suicide, an autobiography of Huey P. Newton, which was the result of his research on black militants in urban areas.

Blake also researched many other topics; his work made him a leading authority on the Gullah culture. Additionally, Blake served as the Scholar in Residence and Director of the Sea Island Institute at the University of South Carolina, Beaufort, an institution whose primary focus is the study and promotion of Gullah Cultures. In 2008, the Medical University of South Carolina appointed Blake as the first Humanities Scholar in Residence. Blake served as an advisor to the University’s Humanities Committee and to the President and Provost on matters of cultural enrichment.

Accession Number

A2007.036

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/31/2007

Last Name

Blake

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Herman

Schools

Northeastern Academy

New York University

University of California, Berkeley

First Name

J.

Birth City, State, Country

Mt. Vernon

HM ID

BLA12

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Central California

Favorite Quote

Keep On Keepin' On.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

South Carolina

Birth Date

3/15/1934

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Charleston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sweet Potato Cobbler

Short Description

University president and sociology professor J. Herman Blake (1934 - ) was the president of Tougaloo College, and was a tenured member of the the University of California Santa Cruz faculty for eighteen years. Blake also authored the Huey P. Newton biography, "Revolutionary Suicide," and is a well-respected as a leading authority on Gullah culture.

Employment

University of California Santa Cruz

Tougaloo College

Iowa State University

Favorite Color

Sky Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:6586,98:19430,265:20343,283:32852,432:36750,519:37185,525:38838,567:46059,696:51478,761:55622,852:55918,901:82324,1246:100049,1453:100759,1464:108100,1582:112420,1661:121950,1850:140114,2118:146935,2208:148720,2239:154836,2291:159136,2338:160648,2359:161572,2372:162328,2383:164764,2412:168192,2427:168707,2433:177359,2537:177874,2543:178492,2550:180243,2575:180758,2581:185690,2605:188228,2638:191641,2681:192579,2697:193852,2719:194120,2724:197170,2755:197470,2761:198490,2783:203894,2835:205708,2848:206544,2860:207608,2876:211028,2942:214700,2956:217872,3043:222528,3076:222832,3081:223364,3089:228946,3185:230510,3220:232890,3286:233298,3293:237166,3353:241582,3405:250690,3566:256470,3667$0,0:3998,110:4703,116:6536,126:8510,141:9497,149:21870,206:25398,255:26574,270:28002,289:30522,327:40241,388:40850,397:41546,409:42242,419:43286,432:46000,442:56492,572:57148,581:63110,647:78558,900:79952,923:80854,936:81838,951:99083,1141:99375,1146:99959,1156:104631,1257:109000,1267:110148,1286:110968,1297:113346,1332:113838,1339:114248,1345:114658,1351:124366,1487:126998,1525:134758,1597:135416,1605:136262,1615:140540,1644:141380,1653:149470,1689:150280,1698:151009,1709:152180,1716:156412,1740:161990,1792:162620,1801:166320,1823:166645,1829:167295,1842:167880,1856:168855,1874:175472,2051:178880,2127:179600,2138:180680,2162:193956,2322:196882,2366:197806,2383:210549,2548:211872,2575:213258,2634:213510,2639:213951,2647:214644,2660:219512,2707:219808,2712:230670,2817:233960,2909:237200,2944
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of J. Herman Blake's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - J. Herman Blake lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - J. Herman Blake describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - J. Herman Blake recalls his childhood home in Mount Vernon, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - J. Herman Blake describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - J. Herman Blake describes his paternal ancestry on Johns Island, South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - J. Herman Blake describes his father, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - J. Herman Blake describes his father, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - J. Herman Blake describes his two oldest brothers

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - J. Herman Blake recalls the generosity of Lillian Tinsley

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - J. Herman Blake lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - J. Herman Blake describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - J. Herman Blake recalls living with the family of Thaddeus Wilson, Sr.

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - J. Herman Blake describe his neighborhood in Mount Vernon, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - J. Herman Blake describes his early education in Mount Vernon, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - J. Herman Blake recalls his influences at Harlem Junior Academy in New York City, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - J. Herman Blake recalls his influences at Harlem Junior Academy in New York City, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - J. Herman Blake recalls learning about African American history

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - J. Herman Blake recalls attending New York City's Harlem Junior Academy

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - J. Herman Blake describes his early work experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - J. Herman Blake remembers being drafted to the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - J. Herman Blake recalls being stationed in France

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - J. Herman Blake recalls his marriage to Bessie Jefferson Blake

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - J. Herman Blake remembers attending New York University

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - J. Herman Blake recalls his graduate studies at the University of California, Berkley

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - J. Herman Blake describes his social activism in California

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - J. Herman Blake recalls testifying at Huey P. Newton's trial

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - J. Herman Blake remembers visiting Huey P. Newton in prison

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - J. Herman Blake recalls coauthoring 'Revolutionary Suicide'

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - J. Herman Blake remembers author Alex Haley

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - J. Herman Blake describes his civil rights activity in the 1960s, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - J. Herman Blake describes his civil rights activity in the 1960s, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - J. Herman Blake remembers his mother's death

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - J. Herman Blake recalls his mother's pride in his accomplishments

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - J. Herman Blake recalls founding Oakes College in Santa Cruz, California, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - J. Herman Blake recalls founding Oakes College in Santa Cruz, California, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - J. Herman Blake recalls designing a course for Oakes College

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - J. Herman Blake describes the significance of his lapel flower

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - J. Herman Blake describes his work with the Emil Schwarzhaut Foundation

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - J. Herman Blake recalls the service projects he implemented in the Sea Islands

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - J. Herman Blake recalls his students' interactions with the community of Daufuskie Island, South Carolina

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - J. Herman Blake describes Pat Conroy's interpretation of Daufuskie Island

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - J. Herman Blake recalls lessons from the residents of Daufuskie Island

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - J. Herman Blake talks about Pat Conroy's book, 'The Water Is Wide'

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - J. Herman Blake describes storyteller Thomas Stafford

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - J. Herman Blake recalls editing the journal of the National Black Law Students Association

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - J. Herman Blake remembers community activist Thomas Barnwell

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - J. Herman Blake describes the Penn Center on St. Helena Island, South Carolina

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - J. Herman Blake recalls founding Oakes College in Santa Cruz, California

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - J. Herman Blake describes the faculty of Oakes College

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - J. Herman Blake describes the students at Oakes College

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - J. Herman Blake remembers Alex Haley's Kinte Library Project

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - J. Herman Blake describes his friendship with Alex Haley

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - J. Herman Blake recalls watching the filming of 'Roots'

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - J. Herman Blake recalls Alex Haley's article about Daufuskie Island

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - J. Herman Blake recalls leaving Oakes College in Santa Cruz, California

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - J. Herman Blake recalls his presidency at Mississippi's Tougaloo College

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - J. Herman Blake describes the financial challenges he faced at Tougaloo College

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - J. Herman Blake describes the students at Tougaloo College

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - J. Herman Blake describes his philosophy of learning

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - J. Herman Blake recalls a conflict with the alumni of Tougaloo College

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - J. Herman Blake recalls an incident of sexual assault at Tougaloo College

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$8

DAStory

4$1

DATitle
J. Herman Blake recalls coauthoring 'Revolutionary Suicide'
J. Herman Blake recalls his presidency at Mississippi's Tougaloo College
Transcript
Well there was a time when his mother made a mistake and she came with two of her daughters, as I recall, on my day because you see, if you visited with Huey [Huey P. Newton], he wasn't in solitary confinement so we each came on a different day. There was one day when you couldn't visit, that's when his lawyers would come and they weren't on the list anyhow so it was keeping him out of solitary confinement. So on my day we're sitting there, Huey and I talking, and here comes Mrs. Newton [Armelia Johnson Newton] along with one or two of her daughters, there's several of us and they came in. So we were all there talking and in the course of the conversation Mrs. Newton got into talking about Gene Marine, who had written a book ['The Black Panthers'] about the Black Panther Party and this, that and the other and Ms. Newton said, "You know, that white man came and talked to me and then he went and lied on me." She did not like the book. She said, "He lied on me," and she's calling "Huerry"; she didn't say Huey, Huey--, "Huerry." She said, "Huerry, Huerry, why don't you write a book?" And Huey said, "I can't write a book, Dr. Blake [HistoryMaker J. Herman Blake] can write a book," and out of that interchange came the notion that Dr. Blake would do a biography of Huey Newton. There would be a, quote, authorized biography. So I picked up on the idea and started organizing my material, contacted Alex Haley for counsel and began collecting data on Huey Newton, mainly from him. We talked about a lot of things and he thought he was going to be in there for seventeen years and he told me a lot of stuff. Well what Huey would do was he would talk and then I'd come out of the prison [California Men's Colony, San Luis Obispo, California] and I had a tape recorder in my car and as soon as I came out, I would go over what he said and put it on the tape recorder. Now our style of working with, we'd talk about something for two hours and I'd review it. And we'd talk about something more and I'd review it and then before I left, I'd go down the list of issues and when I got in the car, on that tape, one of my students would be driving and I'd be talking on that tape, recording that account and that's how we began to do that. And then in August of 1970, as I recall, his conviction was reversed and he was released. It was at that time we decided to change it from an authorized biography to a first person account with me as, you know, Huey Newton as the author and me assisting but I wrote every line, every single word and I put it in the first person. Now let me say that was a task I would never do again because you have to give up your own personality and your own ego and step into somebody else's body and I was never comfortable with that being a scholar, because you're not doing scholarly work, you're essentially just channeling somebody else's material and ideas and Huey and I had some strong disagreements because I felt there had to be some analytical approaches in there but he did not want that but I don't know how you do this without being analytical. He just wanted it to be descriptive and he wanted it to be the kind of thing that would sell, he saw it selling like 'The Autobiography of Malcolm X' [Malcolm X and Alex Haley], things like that. It didn't but, I mean, it's not a good book but it's all right but that's how that came to be and I wrote it ['Revolutionary Suicide,' Huey P. Newton and J. Herman Blake], like I said, but we had real conflicts. I learned things about him and about his father that he had forgotten or didn't know but he didn't want that stuff in there. Oh, it was interesting.$You were going to tell me about your experience at Tougaloo [Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, Mississippi].$$Well, Clark Kerr, the quintessential college president of the 20th century was one of my mentors, and Clark and I use the same phrase when we talk our presidencies. That is, I left my presidency the same way I entered it: fired with enthusiasm. I went to Tougaloo really wanting to focus on building an academic, intellectual community that would provide upward mobility through intellectual achievement for Mississippi students. Tougaloo was on hard times, it had suffered serious declines in enrollment and it was literally trying to buy students to come to Tougaloo. I did not realize and did not understand that many people wanted me to come to Tougaloo from the University of California [University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California] because they thought I would attract back to Tougaloo those outstanding, high achieving students who came to Tougaloo when they couldn't go to the University of Mississippi [Oxford, Mississippi]. That's not what I was interested in. My position was, if they can go elsewhere, they should be encouraged to go elsewhere and we should reach down in the well and bring out those who haven't been able to. This college has a historical contribution in that regard and we should reach those people and I was good at it. I had done it at Santa Cruz so that's what I wanted to do at Tougaloo. There were many people who had no interest in that kind of a mission or that kind of a vision. That was number one. I found myself up against serious financial constraints but even more, a cultural dynamic of negative self-perception that was willing to accept mediocrity, and I found that in key administrators, and I found that in the board of trustees. One of the first things I did when I got to Mississippi was I contacted the former, not the former president, the president of Alcorn State [Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College; Alcorn State University, Lorman, Mississippi], Herman Washington [sic. Walter Washington], who was a Tougaloo graduate and Herman Washington told me that my biggest problem at Tougaloo was going to be the believability barrier. People don't believe they can be good. Then I contacted William Winter, the former governor of Mississippi who had done so much to improve education in the state and I recruited him as a mentor with the hope, eventually, of recruiting him to join the board. He came and gave talks to my board at dinner meetings and the first thing William Winter said to me was, "Dr. Blake [HistoryMaker J. Herman Blake], your biggest challenge in Mississippi is the believability barrier," the same thing Herman Washington had said but William Winter was talking a broader context. I did not understand that, I did not understand that. If you have an opportunity to bring the resources and get people to grow, why would they not?

The Honorable Bobby Rush

Congressman Bobby Rush, a legendary figure in modern African American politics, exhibited extraordinary leadership long before his 1992 election to Illinois' First Congressional District. Rush was born in Albany, Georgia, in November 23, 1946, under extremely segregated conditions. Rush’s family moved to Chicago in 1953, when he was seven years old.

In 1963, at the age of seventeen, Rush enlisted in the U. S. Army and served honorably until 1968. Later, Rush made history when he formed the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party after having been inspired by the activism of Stokely Carmichael and others. During this time, Rush formed the Free Medical Clinic in Chicago. It was later that Rush would confront the political establishment with a more traditional approach.

Rush ran for alderman of Chicago's Second Ward in 1975, but lost the election. Rush later won that same seat in 1983; and he continued to serve as an alderman until 1992, when he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Rush participated on the subcommittees on Telecommunications, Trade and Consumer Protections, and Energy and Power, as well as on the House Committee on Commerce. These three entities accounted for three-quarters of all national legislation. During his term, Rush served as member of the U.S. delegation of the North Atlantic Assembly, and sponsored many community-based initiatives.

In 1999, Rush ran for mayor of Chicago, but he lost to Richard M. Daley.

Accession Number

A2000.035

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/23/2000 |and| 1/18/2001 |and| 5/15/2014

Last Name

Rush

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Benjamin Franklin Elementary Fine Arts Center

Wells Community Academy High School

John Marshall Metropolitan High School

Richard T. Crane Medical Preparatory High School

Englewood High School

Roosevelt University

University of Illinois at Chicago

Franklin Academy

McCormick Theological Seminary

First Name

Bobby

Birth City, State, Country

Albany

HM ID

RUS01

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

Tanqueray

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Nantucket, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

God Bless You.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

11/23/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken, Greens

Short Description

Political activist and U.S. congressman The Honorable Bobby Rush (1946 - ) made history when he formed the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party in the late 1960s. Rush became the alderman of Chicago's Second Ward in 1983 and was then elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1992.

Employment

United States Army

Black Panther Party

Chicago City Council

Illinois 1st Congressional District

Beloved Community Christian Church

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Burgundy

Timing Pairs
0,0:2584,51:6408,66:6816,71:12464,149:12869,155:14084,171:14408,176:14894,183:17850,189:18850,200:19750,211:35659,425:38046,469:44810,555:45102,560:46270,582:57662,728:58096,737:65054,832:65828,851:66258,857:69010,903:69526,910:70042,918:73972,959:75038,973:75612,1027:78194,1080:78873,1089:91202,1202:94616,1236:95432,1245:98683,1281:98967,1286:99677,1297:100032,1303:101949,1331:102233,1336:103014,1348:103511,1357:105757,1369:107047,1381:109720,1412:110080,1417:112984,1492:120596,1621:122726,1683:123010,1692:127277,1706:128149,1714:129130,1725:133880,1763:134855,1789:138495,1872:138755,1877:139145,1884:143539,1904:143974,1910:144322,1916:144670,1921:146149,1967:146932,1978:150047,2007:153469,2107:153764,2113:158456,2176:158791,2182:160600,2243:161136,2252:167690,2351:169538,2404:175344,2498:177037,2518$420,0:752,5:1416,14:5649,108:6562,122:7475,135:8056,144:11280,156:12770,167:15310,176:16750,190:25000,244:26870,267:27640,275:29290,296:38756,380:39620,389:42682,398:45240,420:45590,431:46080,441:46430,447:51890,556:52170,561:52660,569:56720,656:65282,696:65906,705:66686,717:67466,729:68480,751:69026,759:75120,889:76400,909:77520,928:78640,962:78960,976:79360,982:80720,1026:88014,1111:91114,1143:91528,1150:91804,1155:92287,1163:93460,1186:93943,1194:94495,1209:96565,1245:96841,1250:100429,1333:100843,1341:101119,1346:102085,1363:102913,1380:107884,1419:108332,1429:109284,1449:109676,1457:110124,1468:110348,1473:112028,1523:112588,1535:113764,1562:117772,1592:118630,1613:119092,1621:128700,1690:129020,1720:129420,1726:130140,1736:131100,1742:136175,1806:136728,1814:139272,1829:139628,1834:139984,1839:142565,1892:143188,1901:143544,1906:149902,1948:150301,1961:150814,1972:158267,2085:164130,2140:164770,2150:169559,2189:170954,2213:179966,2283:180254,2288:186779,2388:213930,2757:215488,2784:236424,3001:237390,3020:242881,3114:245338,3196:245842,3205:250264,3239:250690,3246:253104,3308:253601,3317:254240,3329:254595,3335:255234,3346:256228,3367:257293,3400:258003,3412:263172,3435:263620,3443:264900,3470:265284,3477:279966,3609:280396,3615:281686,3633:282374,3643:282976,3652:284610,3683:286244,3715:295620,3844:296295,3860:296595,3865:301245,3974:311520,4215:311820,4220:312270,4232:313320,4248:313695,4254:318495,4384:318795,4389:319095,4394:329558,4463:329930,4471:330488,4481:330736,4486:331108,4493:331356,4498:331728,4505:332038,4511:334642,4582:341964,4709:342783,4730:343602,4744:344799,4768:348832,4812:349862,4827:352764,4872:359830,4969:361369,4990:361693,4995:363394,5028:363880,5038:366391,5088:367363,5103:368497,5123:369307,5135:372444,5142:373092,5155:373470,5164:373686,5169:374010,5176:374226,5181:376174,5211:376506,5216:381712,5263:382054,5271:382282,5276:382795,5295:386246,5335:388682,5373:389522,5385:389942,5391:390446,5398:395639,5526:396175,5535:397649,5569:398118,5577:399324,5609:399793,5617:403264,5636:404101,5647:404938,5657:409402,5690:409798,5695:410491,5709:411283,5718:413758,5758:419459,5812:419751,5817:420189,5824:421138,5842:423547,5895:429410,5990:431950,6030:433870,6065:434190,6070:435630,6102:436030,6108:436910,6123:437630,6133:438110,6141:438830,6151:443070,6242:443390,6247:448746,6262:449432,6271:454628,6312:456492,6323:457340,6328:458506,6341:459460,6351:462042,6377
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Bobby Rush interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Bobby Rush's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Bobby Rush remembers his parents and siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Bobby Rush recalls his early childhood in Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Bobby Rush recalls his family's move from Georgia to Chicago

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Bobby Rush recalls his mixed Near North Side neighborhood in Chicago during his youth

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Bobby Rush revisits his now-gentrified childhood neighborhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Bobby Rush remembers his childhood heroes and dreams

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Slating of Bobby Rush interview

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Bobby Rush talks about the first slaves brought to America

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Bobby Rush discusses his teenage interests in sports and music

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Bobby Rush describes social networks from his youth in Chicago

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Bobby Rush remembers the musical talent and close-knit community on Chicago's Near North Side

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Bobby Rush remembers a dedicated Boy Scout leader

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Bobby Rush recalls receiving support from community members

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Bobby Rush compares the quality of life for youth in 1950s Chicago with that of today

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Bobby Rush discusses leaving high school and enlisting in the military

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Bobby Rush recalls his army enlistment and basic training

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Bobby Rush talks about his military service and a racist lieutenant

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Bobby Rush discusses his involvement with SNCC's Chicago branch

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Bobby Rush discusses the rise of black nationalism in SNCC

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Bobby Rush describes founding the Black Panther Party's Chicago chapter

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Bobby Rush explains how his group became the official Chicago chapter of the Black Panther Party

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Bobby Rush recalls Fred Hampton, the Chicago Black Panthers' social programs and the assassination of Hampton and Clark

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Bobby Rush discusses the Black Panther Party's direction after 1969

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Bobby Rush's interview, session 3

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Bobby Rush talks about Fred Hampton

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Bobby Rush remembers joining the Black Panther Party

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Bobby Rush recalls opening a Black Panther Party office in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Bobby Rush remembers the arrest of two Black Panther Party members

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Bobby Rush describes the formalization of the Black Panther Party's Illinois chapter

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Bobby Rush describes the programs sponsored by the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Bobby Rush remembers the assassination of Fred Hampton, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - The Honorable Bobby Rush talks about the impact of Fred Hampton's assassination, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Bobby Rush talks about the naming of Margaret T. Burroughs Beach in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Bobby Rush remembers the assassination of Fred Hampton, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Bobby Rush remembers living under the threat of violence

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Bobby Rush recalls the aftermath of Fred Hampton's assassination

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Bobby Rush talks about the impact of Fred Hampton's assassination, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Bobby Rush recalls the changes to the Black Panther Party

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Bobby Rush talks about the relationships between the Black Panther Party and other organizations

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - The Honorable Bobby Rush describes the philosophy of the Black Panther Party

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - The Honorable Bobby Rush talks about the leadership of the Black Panther Party

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - The Honorable Bobby Rush describes his decision to attend Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - The Honorable Bobby Rush remembers his transition to electoral politics

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - The Honorable Bobby Rush talks about the impact of the free breakfast for children program

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - The Honorable Bobby Rush talks about the members of Black Panther Party

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - The Honorable Bobby Rush describes his decision to leave the Black Panther Party

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - The Honorable Bobby Rush remembers the start of his political career

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - The Honorable Bobby Rush talks about Mayor Harold Washington

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - The Honorable Bobby Rush remembers the mayoral campaign of Harold Washington

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - The Honorable Bobby Rush reflects upon the leadership of Mayor Harold Washington

DASession

2$2

DATape

4$4

DAStory

1$2

DATitle
Bobby Rush explains how his group became the official Chicago chapter of the Black Panther Party
Bobby Rush recalls Fred Hampton, the Chicago Black Panthers' social programs and the assassination of Hampton and Clark
Transcript
Yeah, we came back and we had the, so we set up an office. I met Fred Hampton at--I think Stokely [Carmichael, later Kwame Ture] came to speak at a place called the Afro Arts Museum which ultimately became the headquarters of the El Rukn street gang at 39th and Drexel. It used to--prior to the El Rukns taking it over it was called the Afro Arts Theater and they had a, a rally and Stokely came to speak. Well I asked, I called Fred and asked Fred to meet us there after the rally and (unclear) and meet Bob Brown and I and we met and we asked him to join with us to organize a chapter of the Black Panther party and he decided to become a member of the Black Panther Party. And so we had the office open, Fred Hampton had become a member and we had the other SNCC people who was, who, who originally were members of SNCC they joined the Panther party also, so we had a functioning little cadre of people here in Chicago. Still didn't have, not had the authorization from [the national leadership of the BPP in] Oakland, California. Well it just so happens that around the first of December of '68 [1968] there were two Panthers on a plane, Landon Williams and Masah (ph.) Hewitt, Raymond Masah Hewitt and they were on their way from New York to Oakland. And they got into this discussion about whether or not this was the same between New York and Oakland and Oakland and Cuba. And so in their naïveté they decided to ask the stewardess. Well when they asked the stewardess during this time you know planes were being hijacked and sent to Cuba and all that. So they went and asked her and she freaked and she called, I mean she went up to the, to the, to the cockpit and told the captain. The captain landed the plane in Chicago rather than going to California. It landed in Chicago, took them off the plane, handcuffed them, put them in jail, all right, in Cook County Jail. They had one phone call, they called Oakland to tell them that they were in Chicago in jail. Oakland had one phone number of anybody in Chicago, not the guys who they said was members of the Panthers. They had our phone number of our headquarters okay, so they had to call us to get these guys out of jail to get you know--so that's how we became an official chapter of the Black Panther party because the--we were the only ones they, who they could contact because we had the, we had the only office, the only operation here and so that's, from that time on we became a recognized chapter of the, of the Black Panther party.$What happened with the whole Fred Hampton and the, you know the Chicago Seven and--?$$Well Fred was a, Fred Hampton was a charismatic, dynamic, courageous, effective, talented spokesman and individual. He was, he had a, had trained himself to speak in the mode of a Baptist preacher so he could move a crowd and he could articulate so well and he could move a crowd and he could simplify complex, complicated ideas and bring them down to a level where the common person could identify with him and be motivated by him. And so, Fred emerged as one of the most dynamic leaders in the, in the [Black] Panther Party based on his leadership or his ability to speak and move people. And so, and the Illinois chapter was becoming so effective through the various programs. We, you know, we used to say that Oakland [California, headquaters of the national leadership] had a lot of theory but Chicago had all the practice okay, and Oakland would come up with these, some of these great ideas and stuff but we were implementing in Chicago. And so we created a vast network of Breakfast for Children programs and we created the, a, a, a very, very strong free medical clinic, actually had a medical clinic here in Chicago on 16th and Avers where the only requirement for people to get service there--through trained professionals, I mean when we talk about medical we just had, we had doctors who during their day were, had their own practice but in the evening they would come over to the free medical clinic. You know we had doctors who were on staff at different hospitals but then they would also be staff in our medical clinics, you know including Quentin, Quentin Young and--there, there were a number of others who I still have very close relationships with. But they would come over and so we had the medical clinic, we had free food programs and various other kinds of programs. So we became a real threat to the power structure here in the city and all across the country and so they, the FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation] targeted us. They dispatched a lot of informants into the organization, they raided our office on, on a number of occasions and ultimately they set up a plan to murder Fred and myself. And on December the 4th, 1969, they did in fact come onto the West Side in an apartment where Fred was staying at. I was supposed to have been in that apartment. And they shot that apartment up, killed Fred and a guy out of, a Panther out of Peoria by the name of Mark Clark. They wounded seven Panthers in, in that apartment and so he, he was ultimately killed by--because they used an informant, a guy who ultimately killed himself, committed suicide by running in, out on the expressway, a few years after that, guy by the name of William O'Neal who was the informant for the FBI, but they, they killed Fred Hampton and Mark Clark on December the 4th, 1969.$$And what role did you play in the, I mean were the two of you the most, the most--known?$$Yeah, we were. Right, we were. Fred, I was actually the, what they called a deputy minister of defense for a while and then I ultimately became the Illinois chairman. I was deputy minister of defense because I had the military experience okay, and Fred was the deputy chairman. And during that time Huey [Newton] had defined the state of America, of black America as being at war. So at that time the deputy minister of defense was actually the, the, the wartime leader per se and then the deputy chairman during the, the peacetime era and the deputy chairman would emerge. And so I was the minister of defense and Fred was the chief spokesman for the party and also the spiritual leader of the party, really and truly he was. I was more of a theoretician and a person who could, could implement a lot of the things to, cause--but Fred would be able to move the masses in, in a much more effective way you know.$$So were you stockpiling guns and things like that during that time?$$Oh we had guns, I mean yeah. We had--I wouldn't say we were stockpiling them, you know but, yeah but we had guns, yeah sure, yeah we had guns.$$(Simultaneously) (Unclear) Okay, and then--.$$But only for self defensive purposes.$$And then, but at the same time what's interesting the whole thing was growing, empowering and self-help in many ways?$$Oh absolutely. You know we wanted to make a difference. We wanted to make sure that, you know we, again out of that era of the Panther party I mean look at something like sickle cell anemia which most of us know about today. Well during that time nobody really knew about sickle cell anemia. Doctor's didn't know how to diagnose it because they had not been trained about it. So the Panther party understood the contradiction between here you have a disease like sickle cell anemia that mostly affected black people and a medical profession that did not recognize, nor, recognize it (unclear) so therefore they could not diagnose it right. And so we started an effort to test people for sickle cell anemia to raise the contradiction around sickle cell anemia and we in fact were very successful you know because now it's a recognizable disease, most people know about it. There were, at one time there were a plethora of organizations finally just to deal with it but it all came out because of the Panther party's educational and conscious raising the campaign to teach people about sickle cell anemia. You know, the Breakfast for Children program, you know we embarrassed America with the Breakfast for Children program. You know we embarrassed America with the Breakfast for Children program because we felt as though our community should be self reliant enough to make sure that our children were fed before they went home, went to school to, went to school in order to be educated but that wasn't happening. So we decided to you know rather than pontificate over it, work on the problem. So we developed the Breakfast for Children program. We fed thousands of children, you know. The medical clinic came about, around the same thing, free food give away and this was all about organizing our community into an effective force, you know. A lot of the model was borrowed, borrowed from Saul Alinsky you know and also from the Daley machine, political machine, you know--earning the loyalty of your community by providing services to the community.