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Although I have made recent commentary on the Black Panther Party, I especially want to pay homage to the women of the party and the Black Power Movement in America.

Black men and Black women are so often at each other’s throats that it is hard to fathom sometimes that our numbers count in the millions.

How did we get to 30 million strong?

Somewhere along the way there had to be a mutual coming together of us.

For brevity’s sake I will not re-hash the deep seated animosity that has existed between the brothers and sisters.

Both are needed for us to survive and thrive!

Having educated myself about the Black Power Movement in this country, the Black Panther Party has galvanized me the most.

The heroics of its members from marching on the state capitol in California to forming health clinics for impoverished African American neighborhoods, has made a significant impact on the African American community.

However, in the annals of Panther history, it seems that the brothers still receive the lion’s share of recognition.

What about the women?

Surely they were more than just “booty” for the brothers or as the late Stokely Carmichael proclaimed-prone!!!!!-meaning the main role for the sistahs was on their backs.

Imagine that shit!!

Well let’s give our queens their due:

Elaine Brown became the first-and to my knowledge the only- chairwoman of the Black Panther Party. Under her watch the organization became a respectable part of the mainstream. Sadly, the misinformed brothers could never respect her skills.

Then there is Kathleen Cleaver, wife of the controversial Eldridge Cleaver.

Eldridge remains a dubious figure in my estimation. His self-proclamation as a rapist hinders me from propping him up as a hero in our community.

Anyway, Kathleen’s involvement with the party trumped some stereotypes about its members being from the lower class. Eventually she would completely reinvent her life after the party.

She is now a bona fide member of the bourgeoisie!!

Afeni Shakur demonstrated the innate strength of Black women.

She successfully acted as her own defense in which she was accused of heinous crimes. This is her claim to fame more so than her famous son!

And then we have the great Angela Davis….

Although not an official member, she was closely associated with the party through her involvement with prison activist George Jackson.

Davis accomplished the impossible!

She eluded justice from the FBI for almost a year.

In turn, her conviction was overturned.

More astonishing, she went on to become perhaps the most influential academic in America-Black or White.

Davis is a living legend>>>>

Then of course there is the undefeatable Assata Shakur who to this day remains in exile for fear of the American criminal and judicial system who has made it a tradition to legally murder Black men and women who have the audacity to challenge America’s supremacy.

Sisters, we owe it to our young women who are lost and trying to navigate their way in a world that is still ruled by men to teach the lessons and life stories of these sheroes!!!

If we don’t who will?

Something to Ponder.

Until next time….

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