Today was a day for the history books. It started with having breakfast at “Momma’s House” on Crenshaw with the orginal L.A. Black Panther members and special guest Kathleen Cleaver, former Communications Secretary for the Black Panther Party for Self Defense and wife of Eldridge Cleaver. It ended with a special screening of the new Panther documentary “41st & Central: The Untold Story of the L.A. Black Panthers” in Leimert Park. I’m an associate producer on the film which was done by my friend Gregory who is the son of a Black Panther.
“41st & Central: The Untold Story of the L.A. Black Panthers” is a two part documentary that follows the Southern California Chapter of the Black Panther Party from its glorious Black Power beginnings through to its tragic demise. The film explores the Party’s conflict with the L.A.P.D. and the US Organization, the killings of Party Members Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter and John Huggins at U.C.L.A. in 1968, as well as the shootout between the L.A.P.D. and the Black Panthers on 41st Street and Central in 1969. The film contains new interviews with former Black Panther Party members along with archival footage detailing the history of racism in Los Angeles from the perspective of the participants who lived to tell about it. The film includes exclusive interviews with Black Panther Party leaders Geronimo Ji Jagga and Elaine Brown about their membership in the L.A. Chapter and the U.C.L.A. murders. Also featured are L.A. Panther Members Ericka Huggins (wife of John Huggins), Roland and Ronald Freeman, Wayne Pharr, Jeffrey Everett, Long John Washington, Muhammad Mubarak, former L.A.P.D. Chief Bernard Parks, US Organization member Wesley Kabaila, U.C.L.A. Professor Scot Brown, and many others.
For more information on the film and to view the trailer, please visit www.41central.com.
One can’t put a price on being able to spend the day with people who you have read about, studied, and whose work has inspired you to do what you do.
Below I am surrounded by the original members of the L.A. Chapter of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense. In the center behind me is Kathleen Cleaver.
Me and homeboy Greg who is the writer and director of “41st & Central: The Untold Story of the L.A. Black Panthers”