Interview with Bobby Rush

What did it mean for you personally? Where were you coming from when you worked to found the Black Panther party here?


Well, basically, it, um, the Panther Party's founding in Chicago was, uh, a result of some political chicanery on the part of Stokely Carmichael, uh, who, uh, at the time, uh, was beginning to become a part of the Central Committee of the Panther party. And I was a member of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, the Chicago chapter, along with, uh, Bob Brown, and, uh, we were very close to Stokely at the time. And Stokely wanted to get a base of, of power on the central committee. And, uh, he asked us to come out and to form a chapter of the Panthers here in Chicago. Actually to evolve the SNCC chapter into the party apparatus here in Chicago. And I was, uh, asked to go out to Oakland and to get the authority, uh, to actually form a chapter here. I did go out, I think it was about October of '68, about 20 years ago, boy. And, uh, I met with Bobby Seale, I met with, uh, David Hilliard, Eldridge Cleaver, and I was, uh, and a guy by the name of D.C. And, uh, I asked, told them that we wanted to form a chapter of the Panther party in Chicago.