Interview with Jerris Leonard

OK. How did you view the Black Panther Party vis-a-vis the Civil Rights Movement and--


Well, there is no doubt in my mind that, that, that by-and-large, the Black Panther Party had a lot of people, a lot of elements in it who were simply-stated law-violators. They were, they were caching weapons, they were committing other, other types and kinds of crimes. But history has got to record the fact that there was an element, either as individuals or as part of the philosophy of the Black Panthers that was dedicated to helping and assisting Blacks in, in the, in the Black ghettos, particularly in the North and the West. There isn't any question about that. They did a great job, for instance, in, in, in, in trying to help, ah, feed, feed young children. And they did other things wer- which were important. But, history is also going to record that a serious part of the Black Panther, ah, Black Panthers overall, engaged in violent and criminal activities.