A journal dedicated to truth, freedom of speech and radical spiritual consciousness. Our mission is the liberation of men and women from oppression, violence and abuse of any kind, interpersonal, political, religious, economic, psychosexual. We believe as Fidel Castro said, "The weapon of today is not guns but consciousness."
Friday, April 19, 2013
A White Woman Remembers Poppa Rage, Eldridge Cleaver
Hello Marvin, You don't know me and I don't know you, but I believe you were at Stanford not too long ago, and I was active in the Movement there in the 60s. I'm still part of the A3M Reunion listserve, for the veterans of the Applied Electronics Lab sit-in, where Bobby Seale spoke in 1969.
I know of your father from Eldridge, who was a close friend of mine for thirty years. I invited him and Kathleen to speak at a Be-In in the summer of '68 and they came and spoke, along with Timothy Leary and Ken Kesey.
So I thought connecting on FB would be good because I could learn things from you, and vice versa, since we're of different generations. I am actually seventy-one, not twenty-three.
Yes, real heart ache. I stayed with EC when he lived on AllstonWay, and
had a front-row seat for his crack addiction--and it cost me big bucks, but
I didn't lose my car (I lost all my furniture, though). And, after many
years, I landed on my feet. God took care of me in a way no human could
have done, and I am grateful. I used to drive EC when he copped. When I
rented the room, he said there was only one rule: "Don't tell me what to
Could you possibly find out what happened to our 3rd roommate, William
Carlisle, a Muslim? He took me to see Dr. Khalid in East Oakland, before
Dr. Khalid was "excommunicated."
I heard Carlisle got killed, but I'm hoping that's not true. He used to
sell meat and fish from his car in West Oakland. And he sold T-shirts at
marches and other events. EC trusted us because we didn't do drugs or
alcohol. I believe Carlisle was from Ohio. He was younger than me, so
maybe 60-65 now. He was not around for the 60s or the BPP. I have tried searching for him online with no success.
I drove past the house on Allston Way a couple weeks ago, and see it is all boarded up and the front steps are gone. I guess whoever bought it after
it was stolen from EC didn't quite know what they were getting into--in
addition to the financial meltdown (I'm a real estate brokerwww.sonoma-county-real-estate.com).
"Diane Di Prima, one of Amiri's "baby-mamas" (that term didn't exist in the
70s) did collages with me when I was in Napa State Hospital in the 70s, and helped me express my feelings, including my Rage. She wrote, "May Our Anger Be Buddha's Anger." I was so blessed to have her, and Marge Piercy, and Denise Levertov, and Al Young, and Willie Brown, and Ahaguna Sun, and Linus Pauling supporting me in those days. As well as the friendship of Veda Harper (Veda Dwyer) and Tommy Wilson and Otis____ (with whom I walked to
school at Napa College)."
Marvin, I tried to post this comment under the Black Bird Press picture of Amiri Baraka, but I don't have an account on any of those services, and I really wanted it to go to you, not to the whole world. So here it is. M.L.
Your message about Brother Carlisle popped up on my screen for a minute, but I could never find it again. The clot must have moved from his leg to his heart or his brain, or it would not have killed him, correct? I am so sorry to hear of his premature passing. Did he have any children?--M.L.
MX: William was my very dear friend as well. He was one of the most beautiful black men on the planet, who sought knowledge at any price and he would pay me and Eldridge for knowledge to the point of being our co-dependent. William was not a dummy but a student in the Graduate Theological Seminary at UC Berkeley.
What nobody knew was that William had spent time in prison for murder, had become a boxer in prison, so he had no fear. I used to go with him to sell his meats in the projects of Oakland and San Francisco. He would go into the projects at night and sometimes I would be with him as we walked through the projects, but William had no fear, no fear! I can tell you absolutely that I had fear walking through the projects of East Oakland and San Francisco, but William had no fear whatsoever.