Interview with Bob Mants
QUESTION 16
CARROLL BLUE:

Tell me more about that. How did that come about?

BOB MANTS:

Well, ah, the Black panther was drawn by Ruth Howard. Ruth Howard, ah, had been a student at Howard University along with ah, Stokely Carmichael, and Cortland Cox, and others who were active in SNCC and in the Civil Rights Movement. And it was said that, ah, Cortland Cox who must have been 6'1", 6'2" at the time, big dark cat who in their college years used to wear this big cloak. Ah, and he would, Cortland would always go around like he was cold all the time in the middle of August. And some of his, ah, college, ah, buddies said he looked like a Black panther. And so the idea of a Black panther as the emblem of the Lowndes County Freedom Organization, ah, ah, came about. In, ah, I guess ah, in recognition of the name in style of Cortland Cox, but Ruth Howard at a, at a place right down the road on a family's kitchen table where the, ah, Black Panther's emblem was drawn. And, ah, people liked that ah here in the county. It became Lowndes County Freedom Organization's emblem.