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Blog Entries tagged '#ows'

Washington Post, The Root: The Fire This Time: An Interview with Ericka Huggins, for The Root

 

In 1967 Ericka Jenkins met John Huggins during her first year at HBCU Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. America was in turmoil. Inspired by a photo essay documenting police brutality against Huey Newton, she and John climbed into their car and headed for Los Angeles.

Within a year, the two teenagers had married and become active in the Black Panther Party. Three weeks after the birth of their only child, John Huggins was shot to death while organizing black students on the UCLA campus.

Devastated, Ericka continued her party work in New Haven, Conn. There, she was accused of conspiracy with intent to commit murder of a man thought to be an FBI informant. She spent two years in prison awaiting trial and upon release moved to Oakland, Calif., to join the leadership of the BPP. She continued the organization's mission of educating and feeding the black community for more than a decade.

Ericka still lives and teaches in Oakland, and in the midst of the recent reaction of the Oakland Police Department on Oct. 25 to peaceful protesters who are part of the Occupy Wall Street movement, I thought she might put current events in historical perspective. I caught up with her as she was traveling to promote the fascinating Swedish film Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975.

The Root: What similarities and differences do you see between the Black Panther Party and the Occupy Wall Street movement?

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November 13th, 2011