Interview with Anne Wild

Could you talk about your first meeting or first encounter with someone from the Black Panther Party? Where you were, what the circumstances were, the time?


I, I believe my, my first introduction to the Black Panther Party was Eldridge Cleaver. But I'd had sort of a formal introduction sort of through his lawyer, Beverly Axelrod. What had happened was, uh, a lot of us who had been arrested in the civil rights, uh, sit-ins in San Francisco in '64 at the Sheraton Palace in Cal had, through a sort of struggle within the courts had finally had to go to jail in '66. So we went to jail for a couple months, and, uh, Beverly Axelrod was one of our lawyers. And she comes out to talk to me, and I'm in jail, and she's telling me about this incredible person, this man that she's, uh, representing is in, uh, Folsom, who is Eldridge Cleaver. And that he's written this incredible book called _Soul on Ice_ and he's this brilliant revolutionary, and I was, you know, at this point we had been fighting for civil rights in the Bay Area for to ver--you know, in varying sort of industries and institutions for years. And, and we had come to the point, I think, where we were beginning to think there had to be some kind of a revolution in terms Black, uh, in terms of rights for Blacks and other minorities. And I, in jail I'd read, you know, Malco--Malcolm X's autobiography, and that, I mean, if there was anything that inspires me even to this day, it's Malcolm X and his writings and his thinking. And at that particular period of history it was even that much more, I think, sort of a cutting edge or a turning point for me politically. So, I come out, and I, my husband at that time was Robert Scheer, and he was an editor of _Ramparts_. And _Ramparts_, through Ed Keating, who was the publisher, had given Eldridge a job, so that he could come out to jail, come out of jail to a, to a new beginning, so to speak. And, um, so, there was this party for Eldridge, and I had just gotten out of jail, and I go to this bar where there's this huge party, and here's Eldridge Cleaver. And he was this very, uh, exciting individual. I mean, he was very intellectually astute, very perceptive, and--