ROCK HILL, S.C. - Elaine Brown, the first and only woman to lead the Black Panther Party, will speak March 3 on the Winthrop University campus as part of the fourth annual Dorothy Perry Thompson Colloquium. The activist, writer and lecturer will speak on "New Age Racism: Taking Action Now."
The 7 p.m. event will be in Tillman Auditorium. It is free and open to the public.
In 1974, Brown became president of the Black Panther Party. In her autobiographical memoir, "A Taste of Power: A Black Woman’s Story," Brown recounts her life from the ghettos of North Philadelphia to her leadership in one of the most important and militant civil rights groups in U. S. history.
The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was founded in October 1966 in Oakland, Calif., by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. The Panthers practiced militant self-defense of minority communities against the U.S. government and fought to establish revolutionary socialism through mass organizing and community-based programs
Today, as an activist, writer and lecturer, Brown upholds the original vision of the Panthers and the programs they developed such as the free breakfast program for children, sickle cell anemia testing, free health clinics and senior services, among others. She lectures on resolving problems of race, gender oppression and class disparity in the United States.
Brown’s latest book is “New Age Racism and the Condemnation of ‘Little B’” (Beacon Press, 2002), the story of Michael "Little B" Lewis, a 14-year-old sentenced to life in prison for murder. Brown is working for a new trial for Lewis through the Legal Defense Committee for Michael “Little B” Lewis. She is director of political affairs for the National Alliance for Radical Prison Reform, a board member of Mothers Advocating Juvenile Justice, and vice president of the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation.
The March 3 program at Winthrop is sponsored by the African American Studies Minor in memory of Thompson, an English professor who passed away in 2002. The program is partially funded through a grant from the S.C. Commission on Higher Education, Access and Equity. Other sponsors are Winthrop’s College of Arts and Sciences and the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
For information, contact Gloria Kelley at 803/323-2262.