[sixties-l] me and the Black Panthers

From: RozNews@aol.com
Date: Thu Jun 22 2000 - 21:11:16 CUT

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     I LOVE THIS LIST I don't read everything but I read lots of it. when the
    list stopped I missed it very much I tried to find out why it disappeared.
     Thank you moderator for taking on the job. I know the job is perhaps more
    than you expected. Is there a way we can make sure that it won't just
    disappear again?

     <<Christie, has echoed my thoughts almost word for word. Doesn't anybody
    on this list have a job? Or a life? For better or worse, the past is gone >>
    << I must add my suggestion to those flogging the
    Panther subject. Please go take a nice nap and then on awakening have a
    little snack, then go out into the sunlight looking for a better place to
    spend your seemingly amazing amount of spare time.>>

    Did you forget that this is a Sixties list, not a eating snacks or sitting in
    the sun list which we all do.
    My specialty is the Black Panther Party. I am thrilled that we are talking
    about Black Panthers. They are only a moment in history. Depending, where
    you lived, what you did, and who you met in the late Sixties to the early
    Seventies may have formed how you think about the Black Panther Party. I
    know, it did for me. I don't <"sit on my ass obsessing with the Panthers">.
    I live in Vermont, have few folks around to discuss Black Panthers. I teach
      at Burlington College , sometimes I am lucky enough to teach History of the
    Sixties, History of the Civil Rights Movement, or History of Women in North
    Last semester I was teaching a class at the University of Vermont . I asked
    for a show of hands from about 60 students.
    " How many of you ever heard of Huey P Newton? 2 hands
    " How many of you ever heard of Bobbly Seale? 3 hands
    " How many of you ever heard of SDS? 4 hands
    " How many of you ever heard of Abbie Hoffman 6 hands
    " How many of you ever heard of Jerry Rubin 3 hands
    " How many of you ever heard of Black Panther Party? 9 hands
    " How many of you ever heard of the weather men? 2 hands
     One student knew everyone , when I spoke to him after class I found out that
    his father was a member of a small group ( like the weather men) and is
    spending life in prison.
     Im a Red Diaper baby, my mother, Edith Berkman aka "The Red Flame" was a
    union organizer and leader of the 1932 Lawrence Mass. textile strikes. A
    catholic priest gave her that name. One Sunday, while preaching he said she
    was a "red flame direct from hell". She spent 2 years in jail and
    detention . She use to say things to me in the Sixties like "That's the
    same slogan we used in l944." Speaking of history.
     For those folks who worry that we are not doing anything in life but talking
    about the Black Panthers , Forget it. I was a political activists in the
    Sixties and am a political activist in the year 2000.
     I am on 6 boards in my community : Among them are , Vermont Legal Aid (
    helps poor folks get lawyers), Vermont Law Line (Helps poor folks get legal
    advice via phone), Vermont Jobstart ( we give $ to poor folks to start and
    improve their business , Burlington/Bethlehem/Arad Sister City. We were
    the first city in the USA to have an Israeli & Palestinian sister city,
    almost 10 years now.
      I returned last week from California after interviewing white folks
    about their support work around the Black Panther Party. I videoed
    members of Los Angeles and San Fransico Newsreel who worked w/ Panthers and
    made early Panther films, Mike Meyer a lawyer for the Detroit Panther 13
    case , Beverly Axlerod , the attorney who put together Eldridge Cleavers
    book Soul on Ice & attorney at Wounded Knee. She typed the first 5-6 issues
    of the Black Panther paper in her house . The first issue was a mimeograph.
    I saw one of the shields that was in the famous picture of Huey P Newton
    sitting in chair that belonged to Beverly. For the past 7 years I've been
    collecting stories of folks who spent a moment or so with some of the Black
    Panthers . I have collected stories from Field Marshall of the Black
    Panther Party Donald Cox in exile , Retired FBI Agents Wendell A. Cohendet
    of the SF office who opened the files on the Black Panther Party, Retired FBI
    Agent Wesley Swearingen, FBI Agent Charles Bates who was director of SF FBI
    office, Bob Bloom attorney for the NY Panther 21 case, Marilyn Buck. a
    prisoner in Dublin, who was a Newsreel member and worked with Panthers , she
    later joined the Black Liberation Army, I have video stories from 10 folks
    from Newsreel who worked with and made films for and about the Black
    Panther Party and more
    I was a member of New York Newsreel (l967-l972) . I have about 50
    Newsreel films in my archive, thousands of photos, small press booklets,
    newspapers, magazines, buttons and posters etc. I spent a portion of the
    sixties working with Panthers on various programs in NYC. I would go to
    the Panther headquarters via subway carrying a projector and film under my
    arm to Panther education classes and show and discuss films about the war in
    Vietnam, Peoples Park in Berkeley etc . to the new younger members of the
    Panthers. The Newsreel members van was loaned to Panthers to pick up food
    for the breakfast program and to distribute the Panther newspaper etc.
    I sell footage and video copies of the Newsreel films. My largest seller are
    videos on the Black Panthers.
      In the Eighties I read and computerized an indexed to 350,000 documents
    from the FBI files and FBI cointelpro files on the Black Panther Party and
    Black Extremists . I completed a law clerk program and think how naive
    some of you are to tell us to <"get a life." >
    The Black Panthers were an important part of the Sixties movement and in my
    life .
    The war in Vietnam was an important part of our lives. This is a list to
    discuss Sixties issues.
    Those of you who do not like the exchange about the Black Panthers can write
    what interests you but why would you want to stop an intelluctual, emotional
    exchange .
    I still have time for fun and games, parties, dinners, dancing, music, hang
    w/ my friends and family, growing large gardens and much more. I won't
    write until after July 4 as we have a big wedding of Rain & Matt , our
    commune kids.
    my best , Roz Payne

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