Elaine Brown ran the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (BPP) when one of the original co-founders, Huey Newton was in exile in Cuba.
Here are 10 things I learned about my Facebook friend and I have actually met her, Elaine Brown.
1. She was born in Philadelphia March 2, 1943.
2. She wanted to be a professional songwriter and has albums and songs on Itunes. She has two albums, Seize the Time and Until We’re Free.
3. She was a cocktail waitress at a strip club.
4. After high school she studied at Temple University, UCLA, Mills, and Southwestern University School of Law.
5. She has one adult child, she has traveled extensively, lived in France and currently resides in Oakland, California.
6. Initially she joined the Los Angeles chapter of the BPP.
7. She was the only woman to head the BPP.
8. She was unsuccessful twice in her bids to become an Oakland city council member. She did however manage the campaign of Lionel Wilson who was Oakland’s first African-American mayor.
A woman in the Black Power movement was considered, at best, irrelevant. A woman asserting herself was a pariah. If a black woman assumed a role of leadership, she was said to be eroding black manhood, to be hindering the progress of the black race. She was an enemy of the black people…. I knew I had to muster something mighty to manage the Black Panther Party
9. In 1992 her memoir, A Taste of Power she said of her time with the BPP:
10. She authored a novel, The Condemnation of Little B based on a true story, highlighting the incarceration of black youth.