Since the seventies, we’ve been locked in a battle for our minds, hearts, & souls. Probably longer than that; but shit got real in the sixties!!! What constitutes a Real Man? What exactly is a Strong Woman? What is life really all about, and what should we be striving for? Once upon a time it was that Brother that fought against the odds-no matter how tough the fight! Once upon a time, it was that sister that provided that spiritual & emotional support-no matter what! What happened to the times when we tried to model ourselves after Malcom, Huey, Angela, Assata, Ossie & Ruby, Heathcliff & Claire, Martin & Coretta??? Now we base our lives off comedians & staged so-called reality shows. If he works hard; but has scuffs on his shoes, he is somehow less than? If she’s been in a couple of bad relationships, then she’s somehow a hoe? Really???
Every time we as a people start to fight for a better existence, we take out eyes off of the wheel, and the very power structure we are supposed to be fighting takes over our tools in which we spread the message. From Movies, to Television, to Music, to Political Movements... We once had that One Bad Brother or Sister that stood for something & would not bend. Now we just have bad weaves, skinny jeans, and over the top comedy that satisfies every stereotype that has been used against us since the very moment that we arrived in this country. Our media spoke on life lessons, learning, and growth. Now it's all about that dramatic moment. What are we teaching our children??? When one of ours is lost, we're angry initially, but seek no real options to ensure that those who seek to harm us will at least thin twice before doing it again-but we will “turnup” on any one of our own that even slightly disrespects us. Smh. Our celebrities quietly bleach their skin-totally oblivious to the fact that many celebrities, of other races are doing all that they can to get thicker & darker. When will the madness end? More importantly, will that ending coincide with OUR Ending??? Time will Tell. Let US Control Our Lives, and the imagery that defines Our Lives; so that no one else can again define us as less than human or somehow prone to savagery. Remember the past, and learn the necessary lessons for our FUTURE-before it's too late.
Kathleen Neal Cleaver first came to the attention of the public because of her relationship with Eldridge Cleaver and the Black Panther Party. But in the aftermath of the Party's destruction, she continues to distinguish herself.
Widely viewed as a gifted lawyer and educator, Kathleen Cleaver continues to speak out ardently against racism. She is highly in demand as a lecturer and has published numerous articles in newspapers and magazines.
Born in May 1945, Cleaver was the first child of Ernest Neal and Juette Johnson Neal. Her father was a sociology professor at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas. Her mother held a master's degree in mathematics. Ernest Neal would later accept a position at Tuskegee Institute, in Alabama. After six years of teaching sociology and designing community development projects, Ernest Neal joined the Foreign Service and moved the family abroad. The Neal family would spend the next years in such locations as India, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and the Philippines. Kathleen eventually returned to the U.S., attending both Oberlin and Barnhard colleges. In 1966, she would begin working for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Council. As secretary of SNCC's campus program, she assisted in organizing a black student conference at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. One of the attendees of the conference was the Minister of Information for the Black Panther Party Eldridge Cleaver. Eldridge Cleaver's perspectives on Black Nationalism and revolution captivated Kathleen. Attracted by the Party's more radical ideas for social change, she left SNCC and joined the Black Panther Party in 1967. Later that year, she and Eldridge Cleaver would be married.
Kathleen Neal Cleaver's impact on the Party was immediate. As the national communications secretary she would be the first female member of the Party's decision-making body: the Central Committee. As the Party's spokesperson and press secretary, Kathleen would lead the national campaign to free from prison Minister of Defense Huey Newton. In that same year she made an unsuccessful run for the California State Assembly representing the Peace and Freedom Party.
Between 1968 and 1971, several critical events would take place-leaving Eldridge and Kathleen exiled to Algeria, and expelled from the Black Panther Party. The Cleavers would then form the Revolutionary People's Communication Network. And in the fall of 1971, Kathleen would return to the U.S. and set up headquarters. In 1975, Eldridge would return to America, and be immediately imprisoned. Kathleen would spend the next six years fighting for his freedom. With her husband's legal issues resolved, Mrs. Cleaver would enroll at Yale University-graduating with a degree in History in 1983. After divorcing Eldridge in 1987, she would earn her law degree in 1988. She's been practicing law & seeking to educate the masses on Economic & Educational Issues ever since...
"The young people recognized that their most powerful weapon was their imagination. That's something the Party emphasized. We could imagine how the world could be different and act to bring it about."