Interview with Deborah Johnson

What kind of a leader was Fred? You saw him do all sorts of things. How did he lead people? How did he get them to join the party?


Fred was very dynamic, charismatic. Um, I think the success of his leadership, not only in being charismatic, but being, ah, a very personable person, Fred believed in what he was doing. And the sincerity came across. He would never tell anybody, "Well, listen brother, you can sell these papers, listen sister, you can sell 200 papers." Fred would get out there, although he was the leader of the party in the state of Illinois, he would get out there, and in the middle of the street, "Hey, sister, you want to buy a Black Panther newspaper? This is the people's party!" And he would just engage people in conversation. And, and just to see that, to be a part of that would like send chills. But it was a really good feeling.