Interview with Bobby Rush

What did empowerment mean to you? What were your goals, what were you working for with the programs and various alliances you formed?


Well, I think that, uh, power, uh, uh, very succinctly, and this is a quote directly from Bobby Seale, saying, uh, was, "is the ability to define phenomena and make it act in a desired manner." And what we were trying to do was trying to organize, um, Blacks, particularly in the Panther party, we were trying to coalesce with other organizations that was trying to organize, uh, natural allies of the Panther party and the Black community, and to, a, a community and a political vehicle and a political force that would be able to bring about fundamental changes in the lives of, in the quality of lives in, in, in the overall Black community. That's what's really the engine, that was the burn, that was the, the, uh, the motivation that most Panthers had, uh, was to bring about social and economic and, uh, uh, political justice for people who had been denied that, uh, since the, since the beginning of their existence in this country.