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  • I was back east at college taking over campus buildings, hoping that my number would not be drawn by the draft and that I would be shipped off to Nam. It was there I first learned of the Panthers.

    I had seen posters of her in Greenwich Village head shops and was in awe of that huge black halo of a fro she carried with such majestic contempt. I had never seen a woman wear a leather jacket quite as she did and then there was the right hand raised high to the sky, clenched, demanding the power within that grasp. Her grasp.

    Last month, and so many years later, I traveled to Oakland to join the second march on the port. As I arrived to the, then, dis-Occupied Frank Ogawa Plaza, I found myself squarely at the edge of the makeshift stage where she was being introduced. Now with a much fairer and looser aura of hair about her, but with even more power and with years of wisdom, she spoke. And then, there she was, six feet away from me raising her right fist to the heavens. And then we walked.
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