Sunday, 9 November 2008
BLACK PANTHER LEGACY IN BRIXTON: 3rd Nov 08
BLACK PANTHERS IN BRIXTON
[pictured: people at the meeting. On the left, Linton Kwesi Johnson making a contribution from the floor, Billy X at the back with the baseball hat and blue t-shirt]
Just a quick note to report on last night's event. Due to time
constraints, I cannot do justice to everyone's contributions on the
evening. However I thought it might interest people to read a little
For those who don't know, Brixton is perhaps the beating heart of the
Black/West Indian community in Britain. It is a place of great
struggle, confidence and cultural vibrancy.
Here you can see a doc-film about the Brixton uprising
against police brutality.
Like any community of the oppressed, it is also a cultural
centre of the peoples, and has produced many great artists
Congratulations to all the sisters in the Remember Olive
Collective, a group of sisters in Brixton who have recently
set-up this collective to keep the legacy of Olive Morris alive.
Olive Morris was a young Black Panther in Brixton. They
organised a great meeting, the food was delicious courtesy
of Elaine Holness - Director of the Karibu Centre.
The event was packed out, around 150 people, standing room
only. There were the 'elders' of the movement there, many
former members from the Black Panther Movement from the
1970s, and many other younger members of the community.
Clarence Thompson eloquently recited his amazing poem in
dedication to the ANC struggle in 1985, a poem which is
displayed at the UN building in NY.
The great dub-poet and struggler Linton Kwesi-Johnson said
a few words of wisdom. He talked of the importance of the
Black Panther Movement (BPM) in opening peoples eyes to the
great contribution to literature of Black people, which
hitherto has been buried.
Neil Kenlock, founder of Choice FM (although he no longer
runs it) spoke of his involvement in the BPM, over a slide
show of pictures of struggle from the 1970s. Neil Kenlock
was photographer for the BPM.
Ana Laura, Liz, Linton and Neil all spoke endearingly of
Olive Morris and her commitment to liberation of all oppressed
and working class people. It was fitting that Yana Morris,
Olive’s sister, said a few words about her late Sister on behalf
of the Morris family.
Billy X of the Black Panther Party Alumni in the USA
explained how the Black Panthers comprised many young
people. He himself joined when he was only 17, and the
Party was comprised mainly of very young people. Billy X
talked about the importance that the BPP put on ideological
education, especially of Mao tse-tung's teachings.
Emory Douglas talked through a slide show of his incredible
art, giving insight and historical context to his work.
It was a touching movement of solidarity when around a
dozen people took a picture together, the people being
Billy X and Emory, with many former Black Panthers in
The Black Panther Commemoration Committee's new magazine,
'Panther Legacy' was very well received by people at the
meeting. This magazine can be acquired by getting in touch
Billy and Emory are today in another heart of resistance to
imperialism and racism - northern Ireland in Derry where
they are speaking with veteran civil-rights activist Eamonn
McCann, and also meeting a high-level delegation from the
Irish national-liberation and socialist movement Sinn Fein
and Sinn Fein Youth.
[Pictures to follow soon.]
Billy X and Emory are speaking with George Galloway MP
tomorrow in Parliament, see details HERE:
And we hope people will join us especially on this Saturday
at another centre of struggle and culture - Notting Hill /
Ladbroke Grove / Portobello, which will be a great night of
resistance and culture in a great venue - The Tabernacle -
and the last engagement of Billy X and Emory before they
leave - see HERE, or the facebook event page HERE:
Black Panther Commemoration Committee