Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Cointelpro is alive and well! Big Man Howard and Marvin X on Black Panther Party Minister of Distribution, Sam Napier

Marvin X on Samuel Napier

I remember the day Samuel Napier walked into the Black House, the political/cultural center founded by Eldridge Cleaver and myself in San Francisco, 1967. Sam was working at a co-op supermarket in Hunters Point but wanted more than a job in his life. He was sincere and just wanted to get involved. His attitude was the same as another brother who came to the Black House looking to get involved: Emory Douglas,  who became Black Party Minister of Culture. Emory came into the Black House reciting an original poem Revolutionary Things. 

Cover art by Emory

Amiri Baraka by Emory

As per Sam, we were totally devastated when we learned how he was murdered in the COintellpro inspired battle between the two BPP armies. And the bitterness has continued to this day. When I produced my play One Day in the Life in Brooklyn at Sista's Place, 1996, featuring the scene of my last meeting with Huey P. Newton, the December 12 people sat me down and said, "Marvin X, we love you but we don't give a damn about Huey Newton, this is Eldridge's turf, this is where his army was and is."(See the panel discussion entitled Drugs, Art and Revolution, Sista's Place, 1996, featuring Sam Anderson, Sonia Sanchez, Elombe Brath, Mrs Amina Baraka, Mr. Amiri Baraka (RIP), and Marvin X, hosted by December 12 member Omawale Clay, Youtube.)

As you may know, I introduced Eldridge to Huey and Bobby and it was sad to see how Cointellpro helped divide brother against brother to the point of murder, brutal murder in the case of Sam Napier who was killed and set on fire. As Mao said, "The reactionaries will never put down their butcher knives, they will never turn into Buddha heads!" So the struggle continues.

We must simply practice eternal vigilance until victory. And we must pass the baton to our children, especially the Black Arts/Black Power/Black Panther Babies. Newark, New Jersey's Mayor Ras Baraka is a model of a child who understands his mission is to continue the tradition of Black Liberation, which simply means seizing power for the people.
--Marvin X, Black Arts Movement

October, 20-23 Black Panther Party 50th Anniversary at Oakland Museum of California.

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