Interview with Elaine Brown

What was it that brought, what was it that brought you to the Black Panther party, what, what, what caused you to join?


Well, you know, obviously a question like that has, ah, you know, a process answer. I mean, you can't just say, well, one particular thing did it. But I would say if there wasn't mo--the most impactfull[SIC] thing for me was, well, there were two things. One, was meeting a man named Bunchy Carter in Southern California. Ah, who was, ah, he, by self-definition the mayor of the ghetto. And who I referred to always as an artist and a poet. And who was, ah, the head of the Slauson gang, who was out of the streets, who was magnificent. And you could not be around Bunchy Carter and not want to be a part of whatever it is he was a part of, in my opinion. But those times, remember, were very, very excited, excitable and exciting, and so you wanted to do something. And I was already do--involved in something called the Black Congress. And I was always doing some kind of peripheral work around the quote movement. But when I met Bunchy, I knew that I had to be in the Black Panther party. I started doing some work with the party. But not until after meeting Eldridge Cleaver, and ah, after he was shot and Bobby Hutton was killed, did I formally say that I was committing my life to the Black Panther party.