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Can i use wikipedia in my dissertation writing a capstone thesis new essays on the sound and fury HASSANI SCOTT: Good evening, everyone. AUDIENCE: Good evening. HASSANI SCOTT: Wait. Ma, could I see my phone real quick? Sorry, [INAUDIBLE]. OK. I'm not the selfie type, so-- [LAUGHTER] Oh, my phone. Good evening, family, friends, folks, and faculty. Thank you for coming out tonight to reflect, interrogate, celebrate, and visualize new ways to advance the black freedom struggle. Tonight's audience, including those joining us via live stream-- thank you for tuning in-- possesses an immense amount of intelligence, wisdom, and power that I believe that together-- I'm gonna start that sentence over. Tonight's audience, including those of us who are joining via live stream-- thank you-- possesses an immense amount of intelligence, wisdom, and power. And I believe that together, we possess not only the diverse brain power, but also the goodness of heart and the collective hunger for change to affect impactful action. My name is Hassani Ronae Scott. I'm a senior at Brown University from Los Angeles, California. [CHEERING] That's right. And I concentrate in Africana Studies. Welcome to Brown University. Welcome to LIST 120. And welcome to Black Power 50th, Affirming Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, featuring Miss Elaine Brown. Today is a monumental day. On this day in history 50 years ago, Stokely Carmichael, Kwame Ture, gave a speech on black power at UC Berkeley. And in his speech he proclaims the following. How can we begin to build institutions that will allow people to relate with each other as human beings? This country has never done that, especially around the country of black or white. Man is born free. You can enslave a man after he is born free, and that is exactly what this country does. It enslaves black people after they're born. It should be noted that this speech occurred two weeks after Huey Newton and Bobby Seale established the Black Panther Party, a prolific organization which tonight's guest speaker is very familiar with. On this day 47 years later in 2013, former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, a huge proponent of stop-and-frisk, which is a policy which legalized racial profiling, he stood in this very room, at this very spot. And he gave a speech on-- or attempted to give a speech-- on proactive policing. [LAUGHTER] And despite the fact that Kelly didn't get to say much, I remember. I remember sitting in this room in that vicinity and feeling shaken to my core by his presence, what he stood for, what he represented, and the fact that he had a platform to speak at this University. I remember the feeling of disempowerment and never wanting to experience it again. Of wanting to leave this school, and indeed, leaving this school and spending a semester at Tougaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi. So with the gift of hindsight-- yes, and after Tougaloo College-- I can tell you that three years ago today, I embarked on a new chapter in my life's journey, one that involved concentrating in Africana Studies-- shout out to Mama Hamlin in the audience-- [LAUGHTER] --concentrating in Africana Studies as part of a quest to empower myself and others, and the pursuit of freedom, liberation, and power. And to also think through Stockley's question of how we can begin to build institutions that will allow us to relate with each other as human beings. So this day has significance. And as we gather tonight to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party and the call for black power, I hope to preserve the events of October 29, and Brown's history and institutional memory as a day about and dedicated to black power and empowerment. It is my pleasure to introduce Miss Elaine Brown to Brown University, and to welcome her into this space, because-- well, first off, I feel that this is someone who is more fit to speak to the issue and implications of proactive policing. But beyond that, she is someone who prompts keen listening, fruitful discussion, and impactful action. In short, she's contributed a lot to the struggle and the fight for black power. So before Elaine delivers tonight's address, I want to share the story of how this event came to be. So after leaving Tougaloo College last winter, I returned home to Los Angeles, and while there, I would frequent this bookstore-- how many folks here from LA? The Last Bookstore, part of downtown Los Angeles? I would frequent The Last Bookstore. And one day I just happened to be perusing the African American literature section, and I came across A Taste of Power, A Black Woman's Story. I picked it up, because I felt like it, you know, might have pertained to me, and I bought it. And I remember just being so engrossed in your story. The next day, I signed onto Facebook to see that a good friend of mine at UCLA was actually hosting Elaine Brown. So I canceled my plans and I went. There's nothing quite like hearing from the lips of a legend herself. And when Elaine spoke, you just knew she was keeping it real. She was consistent, and she was powerful. I told her I wanted to bring her to Brown. She said, make it happen. Nine months later, we're here. [APPLAUSE] Thank you. So I urge you all to sit back, listen carefully, and cherish this moment. Again, thank you for your time and your presence, sincerely. And without further ado, I introduce to you Miss Elaine Brown. [APPLAUSE] ELAINE BROWN: Thank you, everyone, for coming out, and I want to especially thank my sister Hassani Scott for bringing me here. That's exactly what happened. She said, I want you to come to Brown. I said, OK. And she messed around and made this happen. It was a lot of work on her part, and I certainly appreciate it. I was thinking about Brown coming to Brown, reading about the slave trade that the Brown family was involved in. I was wondering, wait a minute. Hold on. There might be some 40 acres over here for me, because I came from the Brown plantation, or the Brown something-- you know, slaves sold all over the country, and I believe the Brown part of me came out of Virginia. And so when you get the slave ships coming in through the port here, through the Brown family, then you find that these slaves went a lot of places. According to your own record, you had over 1,000 voyages coming out of Rhode Island, and 100,000 African slaves were brought here-- the African people were brought here and put into slavery out of Rhode Island, which apparently was the hub of the Atlantic slave trade for some time. So I am looking for my 40 acres. I'll take it right here in Providence. [LAUGHTER] You think I'm kidding, but I'm actually not. [LAUGHTER] I didn't think about it until I really started to realize I was coming to a school named Brown, and what the Brown people did. So when my daughter got married, she changed her name as such to her husband's last name, and a bunch of sort of Bourgeois feminists wanted to know why she changed her name to her husband's name. And I said, well, first of all, that wasn't her name. We don't know whose name Brown was, so it wasn't her name so she just changed her name and did what she wanted to do. In any case, over this last week we commemorated the 50th anniversary. It was the founding of the Black Panther Party in Oakland, California, and it was a fantastic four-day event. Our theme was Where Do We Go From Here, which was the theme of the last great-- well, not the last, but certainly one of the greatest speeches I believe that Dr. King ever gave in August of 1967. Our intent was not only to exploit the history and legacy of the Black Panther Party, but also to use whatever lessons were available during that period to resurrect the spirit of the Panther, and perhaps give new life to a new movement in America today. Our revolutionary ideology and the practice of, quote, unquote, "serving the people, body and soul," of waging struggle on every front, from the ballot to the bullet, have left a lasting, a legacy. Our struggle we recognize-- I'm just going to give you a quick overview of the Black Panther Party struggle, our ideology. We first recognized that our freedom was tied to the freedom of other people and we formed coalitions with other press groups in America, including the American Indian Movement, the Brown Berets, the Young Lords, and the Young Patriots, who were young whites who were a part of coming up and calling themselves hillbillies from Chicago, coming out of Appalachia and so forth. And that was an organization with which we had a very serious coalition, along with the Red Guard Chinese organization. Beyond the United States, we had alliances with any number of revolutionary liberation struggles. And my young sister I met today, Gwen, Zimbabwe African National Union, ZANU, with the Mozambique Liberation Front, FRELIMO, Pan Africanist Congress of South Africa, PAC, the Irish Republican Army and Sinn Fein, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the PFLP, as well as the PLO. We created international organizations that were affiliates of ours and factions of ours, like the Polynesian Panthers in New Zealand. We had put relations, strong relations, with any number of revolutionary governments from Vietnam, to North Korea, to China, to Cuba. We formed partnerships with women's liberation and gay liberation organizations, with labor unions, including United Farm Workers, especially perhaps. With the efforts of seniors for their own rights to be heard and for help to form the Gray Panthers. With people who are disabled, talking about disabled independence, and made a coalition with the Center for Independent Living. With environmental activists, starting a program called Gardens in the Ghetto with the Trust for Public Land. We instituted nearly 50 programs that we call survival programs, under the slogan Survival Pending Revolution, everything from our free breakfast for children's programs, and free clinics, and ambulance service, free food, and groceries, free clothing and shoe programs, free legal aid and busing to prisons, free plumbing and maintenance, pest control. You name it, we attempted to organize people around and serve the needs of people for their most basic needs in effort to create a revolutionary force inside the United States of America. And at the same time, we produced books, and artworks, and music, and poetry, and a newspaper that lasted for 13 years, which we published and printed ourselves. We maintained our revolutionary agenda in despite and in the face of the greatest onslaught of any of this government against any one organization. The United States government mounted a campaign against us to destroy us. The FBI identified us as the greatest threat to the internal security of the United States, and succeeded in killing any number of our people from Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, to Bunchy Carter, and John Huggins, and George Jackson, and Johnson Jackson, and Bobby Hutton, and so forth. In 1972 the party reorganized. We shut down the 40-some chapters that we had around the country, brought everybody to Oakland, California under the theory that we would be able to create a base of revolution inside the United States by organizing every force that we had, and we launched electoral campaigns. Bobby Seale ran for mayor of Oakland. I ran for city council. We didn't necessarily win the elections, but we succeeded in galvanizing the black and poor Latino vote, et cetera. We put forth a number of original theories, including and especially one called revolutionary intercommunalism. Huey Newton asserted, and I would assert today, that technology had allowed the United States capitalist to create a global empire, and that had reduced the rest of the world to basically a collection of communities no different from the black community in America when we go into Panama and say we're going to arrest Noriega, there's no difference in arresting someone in South Central Los Angeles. And we call that reactionary intercommunalism, but we felt that because of technology, technology would bring people together, because of the need to sell products and distribute goods all over the world. And that technology would provide a tool that would allow us to create global revolution and bring about what we called revolutionary intercommunalism. So that was basically the big part about the Black Panther Party, the party that died. You can ask me some questions about that, but we dead around 1981, but we'd like to think that the spirit of the Panther is still alive today. So where are we now in terms of the legacy of the Panther in terms of where we are in terms of social movements. What we see is a number of police murders and people of color, mostly black people, and we see protests all over the country, but these things are often countered by people saying, well, yeah, but, you know, you're talking about the police killing, but what about all these gangsters in Chicago and all this black-on-black crime-- a discussion that we could have, and I'll get back to it in a minute. And you have a situation right now, the neoliberal agenda that was introduced by Wall Street. They brokered a number of systemic changes so that we now no longer have social programs, and what social programs there may or may not be are being privatized every day. So that what we have is what I call a social Darwinist cesspool where you can sink or swim, but that's the way it is. And now we are choosing between a racist, ignorant capitalist named Trump, and a warmonger who supported the very legislation that has led to mass incarceration named Clinton. We have a national dialogue that is overwhelmed by neoliberal propaganda where we blame the victim for the crime. We say that people are poor because they're lazy, or there are no poor people, but if they are poor, it's something wrong with them, some self-inflicted wound, and that's what we generally say. I would assert that that arose in the Clinton era, the first Clinton era, as it may be. Bill Clinton, one year after he was elected president in 1993, in October, November, Clinton went to speak before a black audience at the very church in Memphis, Tennessee where Dr. King gave his last great speech where he talked about "I've been to the mountaintop, seen the other side. I'm not fearing any man tonight. I know that we, as a people, will get there, even if I don't." And so we have a situation where Clinton is now standing there in November of 1993, standing before this black crowd of people, deemed the first black president-- I guess you know that Obama really wasn't. According to some people, Clinton was the first black president. I'm not one of those people that thought that, but some people did, including some very prominent black people thought that about him. I don't know what it was. Maybe it was his lips. Maybe it was his hair. Maybe it was because he ate watermelon, or what have you, from Arkansas. But in any case, he was deemed by some people as the first black president, so he felt comfortable standing in this pulpit. And after thanking bishop somebody for the barbecue, he went on to launch the main theme, and that was what would Martin say if he were alive today? And Clinton proposes to speak for Dr. King by referring to him as Martin, and he says, Martin would say if he were alive today, he would say, I died for your freedom, but look what you've done with it. All this black-on-black crime, all this unwed teen mothers, all this breakdown of the black family. And all the black people in the audience would say, oh, you right. You right, master Clinton. We done messed up freedom. [LAUGHTER] We done messed up freedom. We were free. Now, none of you was around-- maybe might be one or two, but I don't see you-- in 1968 when King was killed. But I was around, and I can recall that in April the 4th, the day he was assassinated, he was still talking about freedom. Matter of fact, he was building up a Poor People's Campaign talking about the wealth disparity in this country, and talking about economic justice, and so forth, and identifying black people as not being free. So I'm going to assume, because we really believed him, that we were not free on April the 4th of 1968. And then Bobby Hutton, the first Black Panther to be killed, and killed in Oakland, California in April the 6th of 1968. I joined the party right after that. And I fought for what I thought was freedom. You going to open it for me, because I can't ever open stuff. Thank you very much. Thank you so-- OK, thank you so much. I just don't want to stand up and start coughing or something. So King died, or he was killed, and I joined the Black Panther Party and we thought we were fighting for freedom. And I spent the next 10 years in my life in the Black Panther Party. And then we went on to do a number of other things. And I just can't remember that moment when we were free and messed it up, unless I slept through freedom on the night of April the 4th, and it happened. We messed it up between April the 4th and April the 5th. I don't get it. So Bill Clinton says we messed up our freedom, as though we were free, or as though Dr. King had died when in fact we know he was assassinated, and most probably by the very government that Bill Clinton was representing when he made that statement. And so what is this question of black-on-black crime? This is our way of saying, well, we no longer are responsible for the conditions of black people in the ghetto, and the poverty that has brought about these kinds of conflict and rage. This is your fault. There's something wrong with you, committing all this crime. White people aren't killing you. You're killing each other. We say that today. That's how we get around police brutality. No. What about all those people in Chicago? They always go back to the Gangster Disciples in Chicago. They don't talk about the biggest gangster in Chicago whose name is Rahm Emanuel. He's the mayor. [LAUGHTER] So I won't even go off into Rahm Emanuel's history, because it's pretty serious. And so what's this question of black-on-black crime? First of all, crime is a political question. It's not a moral question. You can kill someone with impunity, right? Someone comes into your house, tries to kill you, bang, you blow them away, that's the end of it. Nobody's going to charge you with murder. Any number of reasons now. You might go to the war and kill some people in Afghanistan, nobody's charging you with murder. So we know that killing is not a crime. It's just a crime when the people that are in charge of the system say it's a crime. So this question of black-on-black crime, but the statistics are that the greatest amount of crime is committed by white people on white people. So white-on-white crime is actually the biggest amount of crime, because white people are the majority in America. It's not very complicated. [LAUGHTER] And so we could go on about how we can frame the type of crime, and so there's something particularly vicious about quote, "black-on-black" crime. But this is our way of deflecting any questions about why black people continue to die in the streets, and so forth, and so on. And then there's this unwed teen mother and this breakdown of the black family. And I say, well, the black family was broken down back in the 1600s when you start dragging African people from the continent here to act as slaves. We didn't have families for 250 years. Weren't even allowed to. The law provided for us to not have families or do anything else that other human beings did. So this was a way, though, for Bill Clinton to introduce the idea of the "three-strikes" crime bill. It's your fault you've got so much crime, so I'm going to help you. And black people ourselves started saying, we thank you for that. Because yeah, these bad boys walking around with these sagging and wearing a grill. This is the problem. We would be free if it wasn't for those people listening to that gangsta rap. We would all be free. So we're going to help you, and we're going to start putting people in prison for that third strike, and we're going to create this legislation. And that legislation is going to go not only to the third strike, but we're going to dismantle the entire juvenile justice system, because we're going to put these little bad boys in prison. We don't care how old they are. We are sick of them running around here and scaring us, these little super predators. That's what they were called, super predators. That's some oddball term that was coined by some guy named John Dilulio who wrote a book with a guy named William Bennett, who used to be the Secretary of Education, called My Black Crime Problem and Yours, and this is where we get the idea of the super predator. But in any case, we're going to put forth the three-strikes crime bill, and black people in the Congressional Black Caucus not only supported, but Clinton said, if it hadn't been for Kweisi Mfume-- he was then the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus-- this would have never passed. We wanted to see these young black boys put into prison. And so we went along with that, and so now we're not responsible for their behavior, and we don't have to have any program about poverty, about ghettoization. We don't even have to speak about it because this is their problem. It's some kind of criminal problem they have. And then about these teen mothers, we're going to fix this, too. We are not going to pay any more money for these lazy Shaniquas that lay up there and have all these babies while we're out here working hard. You know, I don't know who "we" are, but we're working hard, and we are sick and tired of Shaniqua being up here having these babies. But we forgot that there are white women in Appalachia and other places in the country that were actually the majority of people who ended up on welfare. And so Clinton ends welfare as we know it. And so we still have the welfare reform bill. Nothing has been done about that, criminalization of poor women. And so I say that this herald brought in this age of what I would call neoliberalism. And then that was that, and that's where we are. But one of the things that Clinton doesn't do is he quotes what King might say if King were here, but he could have just used King's own words in the speech that I mentioned, "Where Do We Go From Here?" First he talks about the achievement of the movement, and the movement according to King and according to us wasn't the Black Power Movement, it wasn't the Civil Rights Movement. We didn't really speak like that. We thought of it as the freedom movement, the idea being for the freedom of all people, including other people of color, and what have you. So King talks about the achievements. He said, where are we? We got the 1964 Civil Rights Act, 1965 Voting Rights Act. But where are we now? And he says, I asserted that the black has double of what is bad and half of what is good in America, so we have many other things to go. And he delineates some of those things, going on to talk about how we have substandard housing, and how we have half the income and twice as many unemployed as white, and so forth, and so on. This is where we are, he said. In order for us to know where we have to go, we have to know where we are. Are we all right with this? And so what we tried to do today, those of us who still live to tell the story, is they asked a question of where we are today? Where do we want to go from here? Maybe everybody's all right with the society as it is. Some of us are not. When we look at black people as a measure for where this society is, we can look out and see several things. We see that we represent 25% of the poor in America, even though we're only 13% of the population. We have an unemployment rate that is double that of whites. We have black-owned businesses that revenues that are less than 1% of all business revenues. We have the lowest home ownership, the highest homelessness. Half the percentage of blacks have college degrees as white. We have the highest infant mortality rate, the highest maternal mortality rate, highest breast cancer and other cancer death rates, especially prostate cancer. And we represent 50% of the prison population in the United States of America, which is the highest prison population and percentage of people in prison of any country in the entire world. Why? Something wrong with black people? Maybe we have a criminal gene. There are people that have done studies on this. There was a study done at Columbia University-- you know, prestigious schools like Columbia-- that actually tried to put together a concept of, well, let's find out if there's a genetic connection to this criminal behavior, knowing that crime is a social/political question, and certainly not a genetic question. Are we lazy? That's why we don't have jobs, because we're lazy? Stupid, backward, simple-minded, don't want to be educated? Now, either we believe that, that something really is wrong with black people. We don't know why. Something must be wrong with black people, because why aren't we achieving at the same rate? Even people coming from the African continent will say, look-- they say, look, these people, they did all right. Nigerians and other people coming here, they did all right. People coming from Korea did all right. What's wrong with you? Something must be wrong with black people. I would assert there's either something wrong with us inherently, genetically, or there's something wrong in the scheme of things. And if there's something wrong in the scheme of things, we'll have to review that a little bit. And I'm going to review. Now, a lot of people get nervous. They're like I know we're not going to sit up here and talk about slavery. This is so boring. I've heard it. Can we turn the page? Can we go forward? Can we, like, move on? Black people say that, as well as white people. I lived in France for a period of time, and in 1995-- one of the years I was living there-- there was a guy named Paul Touvier who was dragged out of some area near Bordeaux, France, and was brought to trial in Paris for war crimes, being a collaborator with the Nazis. And he was like 90 years old. And You know, the war had been over, obviously. It was 1994. So everybody's like, why are we doing this? Let's turn the page of history. You know, the man is old, the war is over. He only killed seven or eight people that we know of, except for the several thousand that he put on this train to Auschwitz. Why are we continuing to talk about this war because the French were embarrassed, because they have a very strange relationship with Jews and with Nazism they can't quite explain historically, but that's another conversation. So they're like, why can't we just turn the page? And the prosecutor, the French prosecutor said, we can turn the page of history. We must turn the page of history. But we have to write the page before we turn the page. We have got to look at what goes on in this country and stop act like we don't notice. And I see people trying to get up. You can get up and go, I don't care, because I'm here for whatever I got to say, and this is me. This is my speech. And so what I'm saying is this. If we don't look at what this country did, then we won't understand what's going on today or why we're even talking about the Black Panther Party in the first place. So we just sit here myopically saying, oh, isn't that wonderful, the '60s, whatever, flower children, something. We won't know. So we have to then go back to the very beginning, so we don't have to take a long time because we ought to know all this stuff. We ought to know that the first colony, the first American colony, as we know the United States, which was an English colony called Jamestown in Virginia founded in 1607 or so. And we have to know that that was founded because of the complete genocide of the Powhatan Confederacy, which was the father and all 30 tribes of the Powhatan Confederacy, the whole tribe, the whole Confederacy being led by Pocahontas's father. You know, the one who was all in love with John Smith and all that, that mythical tour that we like to take how they just sort of gave us the land-- gave them the land. And this is before the Mayflower, of course, and we have Africans being brought in as slave population within that same time period. This colonization, and the beginnings of colonization coming out of Virginia led to a, quote, "need" for slaves. We'd already known about slaves in this hemisphere from Columbus forward, which had been a hundred or so years before in the Bahamas and South America, and so forth. But now we're talking about this settlement here in what we're calling North America, or in the United States-- what would become the United States of America. So this increase need for slaves led to, of course, the big Atlantic triangular slave trade, and I've already talked about Rhode Island's participation. Like so many of the other Northeastern states that like to think they were clean, their hands were clean, and it's only those Southern states that used slave labor. But everyone in the country was property, and no one in the country, when it was founded in 1776, was opposed to slavery. As a matter of fact, it was written into the Constitution. This country was founded as a slave-holding country in 1776. Just about all of the signers, with a few exceptions, were slave holders, and nobody was opposing forming a country that had, as a foundation, a slave population, that by that time had created such wealth that South Carolina rice planters and Georgia cotton planters-- or growers-- were among the richest men in the world. And Thomas Jefferson himself justifies not much after 1776. He writes a book called Notes on the State of Virginia where he talks in pastoral terms about the beauty of Virginia, talks about the native people, how they're interesting sort of savages, which actually he does say not sort of but they are. And that they are interesting. But he said, the question will arise as to why the black hasn't been included in this equation of equality? How come we didn't include the black? How come we actually said that the black will be counted for the purposes of represenational government will be counted as 3/4 of a man, but other than that, we had no actual citizenships or rights or anything else. And people continued to hold slaves, including, and especially, Thomas Jefferson. And he writes in Notes on The State of Virginia, he says, the thing is, there are differences between us that are serious. Scientific differences like the color of their skin. It's that immovable veil of black that they have. It's not beautiful like our skin, the admixture of white and red that the white has in his skin. And these are his words, not mine. And he says, and their hair is not long and flowing like ours, and they have a odor, a distinct odor that is disagreeable. And they are lazy, and they lust after their women. They don't have love in them there, like animals who, like an orangutan he actually says, who just lust after their women. And they have no music, or art, or literature in them. And I assert it, Thomas Jefferson says, in Notes on the State of Virginia, that the black is inferior to the white in the endowments of both mind and body. So we cannot bring this inferior body, this person into our beautiful society. Although, it was interesting that by the time Jefferson runs for president-- and, you know, we talk about the presidential race today-- Jefferson did not win the popular vote-- the popular vote being only for white men. But he did not win the popular vote. Aaron Burr won that election. And Jefferson then goes to the Electoral College-- the beginning of using the Electoral College-- he says, hold up. I'm representing these states in the South that hold slaves. You didn't count my 3/4 of a person, my slaves, because my Electoral College numbers will be bigger. And as a result, Jefferson became the president, and became, by some people, called The Negro President, a wonderful book written by an author that I can't remember-- a well-known historian-- called The Negro President. So all of this time now, the slave population grows, and the country expands, and the country is really, really rich. By 1860, the United States was manufacturing goods, and second only to Britain and France in economic power. Lincoln, of course, represented the industrialists, and the industrialists were a rising class of robbers, [INAUDIBLE],, with the rise of the steam engine became the rise of the kind of manufacturing that didn't require human labor. Which is a side note, but we should remember that right now we are entering a new phase. We're in a technological economy where we now know that goods can be manufactured, things can be done at speeds that we can't even imagine. So when the rise of industrialization, there was not necessarily a need for slave labor, as much as there is maybe a need for people to operate machines, and a whole new class and growth of people, which Lincoln promoted because he was representing the railroads. He was a lawyer representing railroads, and he was basically put in by that group of people. But the Southern Agrarians, the capitalists in the South said, wait a minute. We're not going for this. We're making too much money out of this Agrarian economy. Just like people saying they're crying about coal-- you know, people talking about oh my god, we're going to get rid of coal mines? Yes, they're going down. Forget it. There's not going to be any more coal. There's new things happening and new technologies, and so forth. So we have to make a shift, and that shift is very difficult. That shift took place in the United States and it went to the question of slavery, but it had to do with the question of a fundamental economic base that the country had. So the Southern Agrarian people, the rich people-- which always makes me laugh. I lived in Georgia for a long time. You know, you get these guys walking around with the Confederate flag. A lot of people are offended. I just find it to be humorous that you're walking around this flag. You've never benefited from slavery, and you never benefited from the Civil War. You were out here living in a trailer park talking about that's your heritage. [LAUGHTER] I would be embarrassed by that being my heritage. But go ahead. You don't have any money, but you feel like your heritage will somehow translate into a bank card or something. So when the South started separating, these 11 states got together calling themselves a confederacy, the state of Mississippi, for example, in its secession statement said the following, partially. Our position, which represented just about all [INAUDIBLE],, Mississippi said, "Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce on earth. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization." That's deep isn't it, "a blow at slavery is a blow at civilization." And so the war breaks out, the Civil War in April of 1861. And by 1862, things are not looking good for the North. The Confederacy is moving along, and Lincoln pulls together a number of these black so-called leaders-- I don't know if you could really call them leaders, but they're the more educated, the few educated blacks-- and he offers them a deal to lead their people out of America. He says, we suffer by your presence. Look what is happening. We have a war over you. Can't you just leave and go to Hispaniola, and we'll finance, give you a little colony. I don't know what's going to happen to the people who are already there, but this is another discussion. Because nobody left, the Confederacy was winning. And he started telling them, he said, look, if you continue to rebel against the United States, I will free the slaves in the seceding states. Now, this is an interesting proposition because the Confederacy had a president. His name was Jefferson Davis. So really, Lincoln wasn't the president of this new group that had just formed and broken away. But he said he was going to free the slaves in the seceding states. If they would come on back home, he still wouldn't have a problem with the question of slavery. As Lincoln said, I like any man believing the superiority of the white race. But the tide of war changed when the blacks said, wait a minute. You mean we don't have to be slaves anymore? And so they undercut the labor force that bolstered the southern Civil War, the Confederacy, and within a couple of more years, or less than a couple of years, you had Grant leaving and Sherman coming in with the scorched-earth policy-- burned everything he could see. Burned all of Atlanta. I always like to go to Atlanta and remind them that they were burned down to the ground by Sherman. But anyway, and all these slaves, a million slaves following him to the sea, Sherman to the sea-- the March to Savannah, war is over. Sherman says, what are we going to do with all these people? Sherman was not an abolitionist, he was a general. He said, you've got to do something with these four million and some people that are now loose. Give them 40 acre plots and let them start a life in the United States. And so he issued Field Order, Number 15. They start handing out little pieces of paper. People are like, oh, I see my plot right now. I told you I got one here in Providence. I'm-- [LAUGHTER] --Brown. You know, brown. So he started doing that, and then, of course, the new president-- by this time, Lincoln had been killed, so the new president Andrew Johnson said, you must be kidding? We are going to reconstruct this country and it is not going to be with black people having these little plots of land. By Christmas these people better be gone. He sent in the Army to remove people from their little plots of land. And so that was the last time anybody thought blacks should get anything from anybody in any real way. That coming out of slavery, we had to have some way to start, having been nothing or less than nothing, having no right to have a family, no name, no song, no flag, no anything, no religion. Just these non-persons who were chattel listed on people's holdings as part of their cows, and their land, and their slaves. How were we going to start all over again? And those 40 acres, that's the dream. Some black people still dreaming about 40 acres and a mule, which actually wasn't in the bargain, but what the heck. [LAUGHTER] The 13th Amendment was the abolition of slavery, or at least it was the abolition of involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime. So the 13th Amendment was passed but not ratified, was written but not ratified by the time all the 11 Confederate states formed something called collectively, the black codes. And the black codes governed black life. Now you are not a slave, so you have to have special laws and crimes that you commit that are peculiar only to black people. And the biggest one was vagrancy. You're not working. Who is working? Yesterday I was a slave, and where am I working in the South? There's no place to work. And so people got arrested in large numbers, ending up in chain gangs, helping out with-- not helping out, but helping to develop coal mining and steel production, believe it or not, and railroads. And of course, a lot being sharecroppers, meaning you got this little plot of land, but you then had to pay back, and they never could get ahead of the game. And so these black codes invented a new class of people. Black people in America went from being a slave class-- something that Marx himself missed-- to a criminal class. Kind of sounds familiar. We were like criminals because we didn't have jobs in 1865 and 1866. And then by 1896, we were just looking to figure out how to survive, and you had this guy named Homer Plessy in New Orleans, and Homer Plessy was what was called an octaroon, meaning that he supposedly only had one-eighth black blood. He was so white. Nobody knew he was black. He had to say he was black for people to believe it. And Homer Plessy got on a train and sat with white people. And there was division of trains, so the blacks had to sit in these bad cars, and white people paid the same price, they sat in very nice seats and all. And Homer Plessy got there with his hat and gloves and everything. And they said, no, Homer, you've got to get off. You are black. And so he sued, and finally, ultimately, we have the case of Homer v. Plessy-- Plessy versus Ferguson-- I'm sorry. And in Plessy versus Ferguson, which reaches the Supreme Court in 1896, his first argument is that if he was only one-eighth black, then he should be deemed white, and therefore, he shouldn't have to worry about sitting in the white car because he was white. He was more white than he was black. And the court said, we are deeming you black, Plessy, do you have anything else you want to say to the court? And he said, yes. I paid the same price. Why should I sit in an inferior area when I paid exactly the same as the white people? And the court said, well, you're right in many ways. If you paid the same price, you should have equal accommodations. But we just can't make these white people sit here with you, because just yesterday you were their slave. So we can't just socially engineer America. We'll just say that as long as the accommodations are equal, they can be separate. And everybody thought that was a good idea, at least a lot of people. Some people still do. Except for black people didn't have any train cars, and nobody was making any train cars. You had people like Booker T. Washington saying, I'm all right with that. But I will have to have the money to build my own trains, and build my own banks, and build my own businesses. I'm happy over here. Some people thought of that as a compromise. If that had gone forward, we might have a different situation in America. So we began the long march of post-Plessy during the whole Jim Crow period, trying to find housing, trying to find employment, trying to find education and food and health care. Where everything was separated, but separation meant we had nothing, because we didn't have any equal accommodations. So we fought to do a number of things. In the case of Marcus Garvey, following in the footsteps of Booker T. Washington, we fought just to get independent economic base. So we have our own money, but we had to have something to start with. And you had, as I say, Garvey, and before that, you had Booker T. Washington, and later you had a Nation of Islam talking about do for self, as they said. You had the integration as the NAACP and WEB Dubois talking about we can't get anything on our own. We're going to have to integrate, and that means we going to have to improve ourselves, Talented Tenth, if anybody knows that theory. Good thing Dubois lived long enough to renounce that ridiculous statement. But in any case, we've talked about the integration of blacks into the system. And so we went through all of this. And then we had the first great migration. Talking to this young woman today from Detroit where black people walked from the South to Detroit. Henry Ford said, come on up here and let's get on this assembly line. This is the first big, major manufacturing plant in America, Ford cars in Detroit. The whole color of Detroit went from white to black after Henry Ford called all those black people from the South. The first great migration. So we tried to get jobs. We did anything we could. Second great migration, Henry Kaiser calling people from Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma into Oakland, California to build up the ships, the Kaiser ships, for the war effort. And after the war, we thought, OK. We had the Tuskegee Airmen, our own black Air Force people, and they were killing Germans, and they never lost a plane. They had all these good things, and we knew there was going to be a double victory. There's going to be victory abroad and victory at home. And we would come home and life would be better because now we had all participated in the war, and that we were going to be equal. And of course, we know that was a joke, right? We were never equal. And equal meant something because it meant I can now go to a hospital, I can go to school, I can do all these things. And so at the end of the war, we realized, black people realized that we were not equal. And there was a big boom, an economic boom-- you know, Levittown, stuff like this. Washing machines for all. Televisions coming around. And black people could never access those things, much less the most basic things. Still living mostly in the South, sharecropping, et cetera. So by 1954, we launched a campaign for education. Maybe we could find freedom through education. Little Linda Brown trying to go to school in Topeka, Kansas. No, we don't want any little nigger children in our school, and little Ruby Bridges in New Orleans being spat in mud so bad you could take the spit and ring it out of her dress. You know the famous Norman Rockwell painting where she has to go to school and she's the only little child sitting in school, and her mother says, "Be strong, Ruby. Be strong." Six years old sat there a whole year just to get an education. It makes me laugh when people say black people don't want to be-- you must have forgotten about Brown. We died for Brown. We bled for Brown. And in places like Boston, one of the most vicious fights over desegregation of schools. I remember seeing a famous picture of a guy with a flag and he was going to pierce the back of this black man because he's trying to-- with the flag pole. You know, the pole has a little point at the end. Anyway, so we thought maybe education. And then in 1955 we had the NAACP's heroic Rosa Parks who said-- like Plessy said all those years before-- I paid the same price. I want a seat on the bus. A seat on the bus in 1955. That's all I want. I paid the price, now. I just want to get on the bus. They said, no, we're not letting no colored women on no buses here with these white people. And blah, blah, blah. And so black people start riding the bus in Montgomery. You had the big boycott, and then you get the moral voice of King. And now you have television showing the world, wait a minute, you mean to tell me black people can't get on a bus? In America? This gives us every reason to criticize America. We're so glad to have something to criticize America for. So they were happy. The dogs are now biting people who want to sit in and eat at a lunch counter. They want to go to Woolworth's. I mean I'm embarrassed that it was Woolworth's, but nevertheless, they went to Woolworth's. [LAUGHTER] Equal right to eat a hot dog and a root beer, you know. And then we developed that freedom movement as it evolved because of all this mass public knowledge. The world was seeing this country, land of the free, home of the brave, with black people at the very bottom of life. So you had the development of a movement. It wasn't just SCLC, Dr. King's organization, Southern Christian Leadership Conference. You had SNCC, Student Nonviolent, which became Student National Coordinating Committee. You had the Fannie Lou Hamer, and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party of Fannie Lou Hamer saying, "I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired." In 1963 you had the March on Washington, several hundred thousand people marching. That's that speech that we all know, you know, where Dr. King talks about having a dream. We don't know what the dream was, something about going up a hill, holding hands, little black children, white children sitting together. We don't know what it was. But it was a dream. [LAUGHTER] But it definitely yielded the '64 Civil Rights Act under Lyndon Johnson. And it yielded the '65 Voting Rights Act-- that and a lot of marches, including the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. And by 1968, Dr. King is asking, where do we go from here? Because when I look out, I don't see any real change. Yes, we can vote. Yes, we can vote, and yes we have our rights. We can use a public toilet with white people and drink out of a fountain. But we don't have any money, we don't own anything. We're poor, bah, bah, bah. And so King says, we need to mount a new kind of campaign, a poor people's campaign, and we're going to go to Washington, and we're going to get our money, and we're going to cash that check. We need, as he says in his speech, "We need guaranteed, annual income." This was some revolutionary talk here. This is not the little mamby-pamby King we like to remember who was nonviolent. Just remember black people, King was nonviolent. Now, everybody else can be strapped to the gills, but black people, don't come out here talking about no guns, right? And so he talks about a guaranteed income. And he talks about the restructuring of the entire American society. King says, we must question, quoting the capitalist economy. We've got to begin to ask questions about the whole society and see that the problem of racism, the problem of economic exploitation, and the problem of war are all tied together. We are dealing with issues that cannot be resolved without the nation undergoing a radical redistribution of economic power. This is Dr. Martin Luther King that we erased. This was in 1968, months before he was assassinated. The Black Panther Party was formed in 1966 with the idea in mind that we recognized that we wanted to be free, but that our freedom could not be had without a fundamental change in the scheme and the system of things, and we called for a revolutionary change. We were Marxist-Leninist. We did not think of ourselves as-- we were not black nationalists. We didn't say that black people needed to be free and we needed to have our own little thing, and let the native people just go to hell, and everybody else, we don't care. We want to be the oppressor. You know how some women, so-called feminist, they just want to break through the glass ceiling. They want to be the men that they always hated. I want to be the one to oppress women, not you. I want to be a general in the Army that can go and kill some people and order people to be killed and tortured in Abu Ghraib prison. I want to be that person. So we said we had an agenda, and our agenda was not just for black liberation, but for revolutionary change, and that was the only way we felt that we would be free. And we identified the fact that we felt that we were not free. We organized ourselves around a 10-point platform and program, calling for freedom as our first point, calling for full employment, an end to what we called capitalist exploitation. Calling for reparations, decent housing, exemption of black men from the military, because we're not going to fight in all these wars of aggression. Called for an end to police brutality, and urged all black people to arm themselves for self-defense. We called for the freedom of all black people in prison because they had not been tried by jurors of their peers. And we called for land, we called for housing, we called for education, clothing, justice, peace, and people's community control of modern technology. We organized armed self-defense patrols in Oakland against the police. We stood there. We didn't take film of them. We didn't Twitter, Facebook, or send that stuff out. We stood there on those streets and told the police, we're here to observe what you're getting ready to do. You're getting ready to shoot Oscar Grant in the back without any probable cause, et cetera. And we struggled on, and we lost a lot of people to the grave or to the prison-- some still in prison today, some still there. We made some headway, but we fell down in the end in 1981. And what replaced us was what we can call what a wonderful writer named Gary Webb called a dark alliance. And that alliance is between the CIA and a number of cocaine producers in South America and Colombia, and so forth, including in Panama. And we had the sudden influx of cocaine, ultimately crack cocaine, as it became to be known, in the black community of America. That's what replaced our struggle. And what has replaced it now is a proliferation of what I call little Bs. I wrote a book called The Condemnation of Little B, and little B was a little young boy, 13 years old, black boy in Atlanta, Georgia in 1997. His name is Michael Lewis. He was charged with murdering another guy. You know, black-on-black crime. Everybody cried out, oh, this is the problem with the black community. These bad boys, these super predators. That's what he was, a super predator-- identified as. Nobody thought that maybe he didn't kill this man. He was said to have killed a good, black father, so here we had this tension. And now he's been in prison now for 20 years. He's like my son. I've been fighting forever to get him out, but that's not the story. The story is that little B grew up in an environment like this. So he grew up in a place called "The Bluff." And there probably is a place like that here in good old Providence. I used to tell people you're not going to be a vegan in the hood. It's going to be difficult for you. [LAUGHTER] You'll just have to think about that. Veganism will be-- unless you want to buy some beans in a can, maybe, or just some cookies that you hope won't have any certain kind of flower, and you won't be able to do that. So anyway, so he lived in an area called The Bluff. Everybody in Atlanta knew it. It's right near the Atlanta University Center where you have Spelman College, and Clark Atlanta, and Morehouse, and so forth. And you also have right down the street Georgia Tech. It's a pretty prestigious school. So people from all over, young people, especially, all over the city go through The Bluff to buy drugs, at least at that time. You could buy everything from powder to crack cocaine, which really is only difference in formation. You could buy all kinds of weed. You could buy just about anything-- heroin, ecstasy. You name it, you could buy it in The Bluff within a certain number of blocks. And so this boy was born into that environment. His older brother was slinging dope at the time, as they said. He became the parent to himself and his sister by the time he was eight years old, because his mother was strung out on crack. He didn't go to school for a while because he was embarrassed by what he had, so he went out and tried to make a little money. By 11 years old, a court declared him deprived. And he said to me, yeah, my mother smoked up all-- my mother smoked up the water, meaning that everything went into the crack pipe, and even the water was turned off. How did they live? I don't know how they survived. I don't know. But by 11, he was on the street by himself, and so he joined his brother in that. And because he was small, called Little B, he could run around and do a lot of things other people couldn't do. And so then there's no more story to this. I mean he was just convicted, wrongfully convicted, of a murder he didn't commit by four drug dealers who were making deals for themselves. And two crack-head women who were high on the stand. And that was the end of it. And now, here he is. He's in prison for 20 years and we don't even think about people like that. These people need to be in prison forever, that we with that. There are millions of Little Bs. If he were one case, I would say, OK. But there aren't. So if we were to look at the situation and where we are today in America, not our own little individual situations. Because I know that for myself, I probably can manage because I can manage and manipulate and navigate this system because I've done it. And I'm one of these people that says I will never be homeless because I'm going to come into your home. You know what I mean? And you can be homeless and get out, or we're going to share and have a wonderful-- [LAUGHTER] So we have where do we go from here? Do we remain oppressed? And see all these people we criticize that are supporting Donald Trump. And I don't even want to talk about Donald Trump because it's bizarre. But the fact is that there are people supporting him, and I would say the people we generally identify are that dying working class white man. And we all know that. And that's because there's, first of all, there's the race question. I always thought this was our country, meaning white man's country, and too many of these people of color and immigrants coming over here messing up my money, as though that's who messed up your money. No Mexican coming here messing up your money. They never owned the coal mines, you see. You have to have a correct analysis. But the bottom line is we have a large number of people in this country, I would say the majority, who are just operating on a thread-- we said during the Occupied period 1% and 99%. And so I would say that the majority of people in this country are yearning for a better life, but not necessarily thinking that there's something systemically wrong. They know something is wrong but they're not sure what it is. And so people are reaching out to something as ridiculous as Donald Trump for an answer. We don't have education and housing that we need. We are still paying. Why are we paying tuition to go to Brown or anywhere else? I don't know. Civilized countries don't charge money to go to-- And I don't mean like reduced thing, better loan packages. No. You don't pay to go to school through the 12th grade. What, and now as a freshman you have to pay money? What, to learn? We really want people to be stupid? We don't want them to learn anything? You don't have to go to college. Maybe there's other stuff you want to do. But there's a lot of stuff out here that you might need some training and education for. Why are we paying to go through this? So education is a big deal. And if you don't have any money, you can kiss this school goodbye, period. That's the end of it. And your whole little life plan will be out the window, and all that other stuff. We don't have housing. We have tremendous homelessness in this country, and black people are at the top of that. We're waging these wars around the world, and we don't even know why. We don't know where Afghanistan is. Most people can't even spell Afghanistan. [LAUGHTER] And I'll bet you, if I put it on a map and wrote the word Afghanistan, they would still have difficulty finding it. Why are we there? We don't know. We're just there killing people, getting killed, all this other stuff. We could take that war money, as Dr. King suggested, and be using it for free education and free health care for everybody. Why are we paying for Obamacare? No Obamacare. I don't care what it is, I don't think we should pay for anything. I don't have the money for cancer treatments, and so I should like get my insurance plan together and I should live like that for the rest my life? We had free health clinics in the Black Panther Party because we believe that health care is a human right and no one should be denied it because you don't have any money. Basic right. We could use those billions to get decent housing for everyone. We could use those billions of war dollars and begin to demand that the country begin to redistribute the wealth of the country. There's no reason for so many people to be hoarding things, exploiting other people to make money, and all the other things that we know. So we're saying that, and I'm saying that when we look over this history of the Black Panther Party this 50th year, and we realize that we did have this movement, what was the relevance of it? I think it is relevant today because the conditions are essentially the same. And we should not be able to rest until we can see that black people, and brown people, and other oppressed people in this country and around the world are in fact truly free, and that should be our motivation for going forward together, that we would all be free, free at last. Thank you very much. [APPLAUSE] HASANNI SCOTT: OK. So we'll transition into Q&A, so people can start forming lines and just make sure to speak directly into-- Yes, we have two mics in the aisles. Please project. Thank you. ELAINE BROWN: If I don't get any questions, I'm going for the martini. [LAUGHTER] You got about two more minutes to get up here with some ques-- [LAUGH] Look at her, embarrassed. [LAUGH] OK, do we have a question or no? Everything's good. I guess everything's [INAUDIBLE].. Here we go. How you doing? AUDIENCE: Welcome to Providence. ELAINE BROWN: Thank you. AUDIENCE: Al Cabral. I'm a citizen of the town. You mentioned something about health being a right. ELAINE BROWN: Yeah. AUDIENCE: Now that is-- that's major. Because in this country they always say we have the best health in the world if you have money. ELAINE BROWN: Right. AUDIENCE: You don't have money, you're dead. ELAINE BROWN: That's right. AUDIENCE: So I'd like to hear you speak a little bit more on the right for health. ELAINE BROWN: Thank you. You know, listen, if somebody puts a price on your head and says, OK-- I had a friend-- I mean I'm sure everybody has had somebody who has cancer. Isn't that amazing? We have a high cancer rate in this country. That's another whole conversation. Black women dying of breast cancer at a higher rate, double the rate of white women. Why is that? Because something wrong with black woman's breast? No. We don't have any money. We can afford to maybe get detected. And then now you know you have cancer. My friend Rashida who died of breast cancer, she could afford the cancer treatments because her insurance covered it, but she wasn't getting paid any money and she didn't have the money to pay for her children to live every day. So it was like do I trade off my income-- you know, I have to go back to work. So these are the kinds of choices that we make all the time, don't we? It's like should I go get my tooth pulled, whatever, or should I pay my rent? This stuff is crazy. Now, I lived in France, as I mentioned, and I will tell you that-- and France is not the ideal anything, but they did at least have health care for all, including people who weren't even citizens. And a friend of mine, a young black woman and her husband, a young black man, from the United States, they got married in France. He was a designer. She had been a model. They got married, she got pregnant, and all of her prenatal care was taken care of by the government. And she was there on what would be a vicarious green card. He was the one with the green card. She had nothing but that she was married to him. And she went in the hospital, she stayed for five days. Who does that? Nobody in America. You have your baby, it's like are you OK? See ya. Look like you're breathing, so we will kick you out. You have to be half dead to stay in a hospital today more than 24 hours, or 24 hours. And so she got that. But one of the things that she had was free diapers, food for the baby for the first year, a crib, a little thing you roll down the street, a stroller, car. You know what I mean. I just couldn't think of the word. So my point is all of that. So you're not going to have what-- what is infant mortality? It's death in the first year of life, right? You're not going to have children being smothered because they don't have a bed to sleep in. The heat-- all these different conditions that create problems for young mothers, or prenatal care, or post-natal care. All of this is assumed to be what every French person expects to get. And then you can take your child to the creche, as they call it, meaning the nursery. Oh, that is free. Child care. Who is asking you to pay-- what do people pay for child-- $500, $600 a week, stuff like this. Some ridiculous amount of money. So you either drag your child around, or if you're on welfare you can't afford to get off because you can't afford to pay the child care. This kind of stuff, but all this goes to your health, and whether or not you can get minimal health care. There is no reason why anyone who doesn't have the money-- and we could talk about the systemic piece. But right now, right here, no one-- it's not just a matter of being denied when you have cancer. People have, it's called preventive medicine. We do things like we need-- nobody gets dental care on their little insurance. You ever notice that? You can't get your eyes-- we get like $75 for a pair of glasses, if you can find a pair for $75. You know it's that kind of stuff. And it's always you're negotiating your own human existence. No one should be worried about whether or not-- this is a human right, and why is it a human right? Because to deny me this means to take my life. You are putting a gun to my head, just like food, and saying I'm denying-- unless you got this, you can't eat. I will die. And so if I will die, this is my human right to live. I have a right to live and pursue happiness. I cannot, if you're forcing me, to pay money that I don't have for health care. So I'm still an advocate of free health care, and I believe we have the ability to do it. So this country says we have the best health care system in the world, which may be true in terms of technological advances and all kinds of stuff, but the distribution of it and the fairness and equity of it is absolutely horrible. So I think that's one of the things that we ought to all be fighting for at every turn. And want to say one thing about poor white people because this is what happens. If you are living in rural America, and many poor white people are, even if you had $1, you can't find anywhere to go. There's no clinics, there's no hospitals. I just had shoulder surgery-- what do you call that, rotator cuff. It was horrible. I had a rotator cuff-- but I live in Oakland. I just take a Uber to the hospital. [LAUGHTER] That's what I did. Took a Uber to the hospital. I got an operation, bah, bah, because I had insurance and I had the money to pay for an Uber. Even if I had had everything else in place, if I lived in some rural area where there is no place, I would just be out of luck, wouldn't I? And that's the kind of thing we need to look at and consider as a part of a fundamental change. Yes? Yes, go ahead. AUDIENCE: Hi. I would like to thank you for a very breathtaking view of American history. I wanted to bring up a party that was inspired by the Black Panthers, because within the state of Israel, which also has a history of oppressing people of color, all sorts of people of color in all sorts of ways. And the State of Israel has a little known legacy of occupational racism, and medical racism, and just denying the agency of Jews from North Africa. The Black Panther Party inspired a party in Israel called the Israeli Black Panthers because Jews from North Africa, even if in the United States wouldn't present as black. In Israel they were racialized as basically black. And even though the party was way more short-lived and had probably less of a global impact than the Black Panther Party, and I'm not aware of the history of communications between the two, I would like to know how aware you are of them, and to speak about them a little bit. ELAINE BROWN: Well, I think that's a really interesting question, one I've never had before, because a lot of people did not know that we had relations with Jews in Tel Aviv, especially, but they were all sabros. And they had been there before the European Jews came in and created a Zionist state, and they opposed the Zionist state, which is something that people don't realize, that there are people and there were people. And I do know the person who formed-- I don't know if he called themselves the Panthers, but they had a Panther support group and they used to distribute our newspaper, was a man named Yuval Golan. And he and his wife and children, they lived on the kibbutz. And they absolutely supported the Black Panther Party's agenda. And of course, they attempted to talk about integrating Israel from just coming out of a European thing and denying North Africans. But of course, nobody was ready to talk about the return to Palestine, and so that's another conflict that people have to wrestle with, because there's no justification for the existence of the State of Israel, given that it was land that belonged to another group of people that was robbed and murdered in tremendous number, and remain an oppressed class and group. As a matter of fact, you can't even say Palestine today in Israel. So Israel is a complicated story, but within that context you're absolutely right. And I do know about the sabros, the Jews who were in Israel who were opposed to the Zionist government, and who supported the Black Panther Party. So it is quite amazing that we had anybody there, but it was true. Even though we were supporters, of course, not only of the PLO, but to the left of the PLO was an organization headed by Dr. George Habash called the PFLP, the Palestinian Liberation Front-- Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine. And so we were very big supporters of theirs. They were the ones who were doing a lot of the hijacking and all that sort of thing. But in any case, it is a whole thing. End of this point, though, is there was a point at which Huey Newton issued a statement, and all we have is the Black Panther Party, and we took the position that the State of Israel was a fait accompli. And that what we felt was because the other Arab peoples were doing nothing for the Palestinians-- you know, the Saudis, what have you, they just let them get killed, didn't come in-- you had 100 million Arabs and, what, 10 million Jews, or what have you, in Israel, and they didn't do anything to help their Palestinian brothers and sisters. So we called for the complete dismantling of all those governments-- the Israeli, Zionist government, and all the sheikdoms. And for the people of Palestine, and the people of Israel, and the people of the Middle East to hold hands, gather together, and share that milk and honey that they're all living off and get rid of all those sheiks. So we called every single government in the Arab world a reactionary government and denounced them all, and we denounced that, and we supported, of course, the return of the State of Palestine, but we accepted the fact it was probably never going to happen. But there was a way to dismantle the reactionary government and install one where people could live together in some sort of harmony and share all that wealth, and that was our position, ultimately. AUDIENCE: Thank you. ELAINE BROWN: Thank you for asking that question. Yes. AUDIENCE: Hello. My name is Carrie Hampton, and I am a product of Tougaloo College, and currently a second year medical student at Brown. And-- ELAINE BROWN: Yeah! AUDIENCE: --I could talk a lot about the matter of health care, and a lot of it, I think, too, from what we've learned at the med school is-- well, they didn't say this part. But I think the thing with America is the country doesn't like to be second. America likes to be first in everything, right at everything. And to follow a country like Scandinavia who has the best health care in all of the world would be an insult to this country because this country can't come second. So to follow something that's already working, you know, America's not going to do that. But my question is pertaining to being a black woman in America trying to become a physician. And I think that a lot of the times, it's a barrier that we're overcoming and we're achieving. But a lot of times people don't see how difficult it is to be a black woman in a suit where you have to act as a future physician in. People read your clothes and say, oh, you're going to school to be a nurse, and clearly it says medical school. Some people aren't appreciative of you staying up late hours, not sleeping, just to learn how to help someone else, when people may look at you and always question everything you say, and not appreciate what you say because of the color of your skin, especially you being a black woman. And I experienced that when I was at a conference this past weekend where my research was wonderful, and the work I did was amazing, and people admired it. But when they saw a black woman stand to that post, no one asked questions and no one wanted to talk about it. But they would read it when they saw Brown University, and they saw how nice the research was. And my question is-- and even if any of you have heard about the black woman on Delta Airlines where she was a physician and nobody believed her. You know, I could easily wake up one day and be in that situation. So what advice do you have, as a black woman, trying to do something to help someone else, giving everything you have, every ounce of your strength, you're living your life to commit and devote that to making sure that the well-being of someone else is better, and only for it to be instances where people question everything you do, and you're often trying to just prove your worth and that you are capable of being in a capacity? ELAINE BROWN: Whew. [APPLAUSE] The first thing I would say is that you'll probably have to get away from worrying about proving your worth to people that are not worthy of proving your worth to. In other words, on a personal level, you can't make me mad because you don't give me a seat in the restaurant, something like this. Or you don't think I'm worthy of sitting next to you or something like that. I'm not looking for your blessing because I don't need you to give me and to validate me. You don't need anyone to validate you. So that's number one. So if they didn't get it, they didn't get it. But you already know you're dealing with a racist society, so this is not shocking, OK? It's just that day-to-day thing that gets irritating, like they don't appreciate me. Who are they? They are white people and a few Negroes. And they are like, I want to go to a real doctor. A white man is a real doctor. So we have all that, but that comes from a history of slavery. I mean that's why I went through that whole history. It wasn't just to go through an exercise, but to say how did we get here. How did we get this cultural mindset that you're talking about. But there are several things that you ought to think about in your own psyche. One of them is-- I want to talk about-- boy, it's hard for me to talk about Henrietta Lacks. AUDIENCE: Mmm. Um-hmm. ELAINE BROWN: Every single-- if you don't know who that is, quickly Google it. Henrietta Lacks was a woman-- and I believe they experimented on her after they didn't treat her. I mean it's like there's this whole thing, like she suddenly died of cervical cancer, and there's a whole conversation about black women cervical cancer, being sterilized, and a whole bunch of stuff that goes on there. Very deep. Mississippi Fannie Lou Hamer, all kinds of experiments. So as a black woman, you have to know that the case of Henrietta Lacks, which is just coming forward thanks to some woman who did a great book on her, Immortal Henrietta Lacks, you have to know that it's important that you step in the game seriously. You cannot allow yourself to be distracted by social image, because you have a job to do. Now, I have a friend, and I hope she's still alive, actually. I don't know. Her name was Francine Bowden when I knew her. She went to Girls High with me in Philadelphia, which was like this prestigious little school. And she was like the poorest of the poor. Even the black girls didn't like her, plus she was too dark, if you follow me. That's a shame, isn't it, but let's go there. So the middle-class Negroes that were at the school-- you know, all eight of them. Ever Francine was poor. She was so poor she lived in a neighborhood people from my neighborhood didn't go to. You know what I mean? I lived in a very rough neighborhood, but that's like really bad across town. Anyway, I don't know how she did it. She couldn't get her hair pressed, because in those days, that was like-- so she was looking rough. And she went to Girls High, and the reason I became friends with her because my name was Brown, her name was Bowden, B-O-W-D-E-N. So she was sitting next to me and I was like, oh, look at her doing this math like it ain't nothing. Like I know nothing in logarithm. What? I can't even tell you what that is. So she's like, yeah, you just go like this and this. OK, fine. Can you do that for me right now? So she was like the smartest person in the class, really, truly. I have no idea how she stayed at home and went through all the hell she went through in her own personal life, because she wasn't deemed beautiful enough by black people and white people. You know what I mean? She wasn't Beyonce, if you follow what I mean. And Francine Bowden finished Girls High number one in the class. She was a Latin scholar, math scholar, science scholar-- wasn't nothing she didn't do. She had 10 scholarship offers. And she couldn't afford to go to Vassar, Wellesley-- that set-- Barnard. She couldn't go there because you've got to have money just to be there. Do you know what I mean? Even though she had a full scholarship. This is a black woman in 1961, you don't get full scholarship. 1964 she goes at Temple, she gets a full scholarship to medical school. Who gets a full scholarship to medical school? She was a genius. She ended up at Princeton with her own lab, looking at how children develop in the womb, and what the nutrition of the mother is to this. And so she just kept going, and that's what you've got to do. You've just got to say, I don't have to prove myself to these people. You are definitely smarter than most of us, because I can tell you right now, I can't take science courses. I'm one of those people stereotype. Girls don't know science, I'm one of those people. I don't know this. OK, I can write books, come on. So I type fast, I play the piano, I write songs. Everybody can't do everything. So what I'm saying to you is you've got to buck up, Bucky. Don't even worry about it. Because Francine, everybody had to bow down to her at the end of the day. Everybody had to bow down to her. [APPLAUSE] And everybody will bow-- So you do your research, and what you need to remember is Henrietta Lacks, because otherwise there's going to be a whole bunch of Henrietta Lacks that are going to be worked on, and we're not even going to know how it happened because nobody like us is in the labs and doing the work. We need you as a researcher, we need you as a doctor, we need you in the community to help Miss Jones-- you know, we had our clinics and we had our free clinics. A lot of the clinic work-- you know, clinics are just clinics. They're not big treatment centers. But it was really nice to have someplace around the corner. And you know Miss Jones, she's going to come and talk about girl, you know my knee is bad. Because she needs a note getting her out of that work that she didn't want to do in the first place-- she's not getting paid enough money, right? So it's like yeah, Miss Jones, your knee looks bad to me-- you know, whatever. A lot of it is psychological. It's like just having somewhere to come to, and the reward of that. When we formed our first clinic in Los Angeles, the Black Panther Party Southern California Chapter, we got a lot of doctors to come in and give us an hour here. Now, that's how we staffed it. We had volunteer doctors from different medical schools. We couldn't find one black doctor that wanted to come down there and work with the Black Panthers. All young whites would come from the schools and want to work with us. Same time we had a woman, one woman, and she was a professor of nursing, black women, at UCLA. And she lost that job ultimately not because of the Black Panther Party, but because UCLA teaching hospital, she was a professor at the Nursing School, they were giving Latino women who could not speak English hysterectomies. Knowing this was against their religion and against their whole thing. They would say you just sign this paper. And she blew the whistle on that and she lost everything. So you are needed, and that needs to be your focus, that you are needed. We so need black doctors and people who are committed to the communities. Who will say, why do we have cervical cancer? We do need to do-- we did pap smears on the spot in the Black Panther Party in 1970-- pap smears on the spot. All it is just a swab and go to the lab, right? This ain't complicated. Right now we're dying of cervical cancer at the highest rate because we can't get a pap smear. That's the work you need to focus on. You do not need to worry about what anyone thinks about you on a plane. I wish somebody would say something to me on a plane about anything. There'll be like snakes on the plane. [LAUGHTER] I'll be the snake. So you hear how everybody applauded you. We're looking to you, young sister. You are our hope. We're looking to you to help us and bring us the medical care that our people desperately need. So that's what your mission is. Don't you worry about those other people. AUDIENCE: Thank you. [APPLAUSE] ELAINE BROWN: Become another scientist. Go ahead. We got some more scientists in the room. Go ahead. AUDIENCE: Hi, Miss Brown. Thank you so much for being with us today, and for all the work that you have done, and all the sacrifices you have made. I am so thankful to be hearing from you. I wanted to ask you about something that you had mentioned at the beginning of your talk with your piece revolutionary intercommunalism, and in that, you kind of segmented into technology. And I've thought about technology specifically as a computer scientist from the framework of accessibility and how do you make products that are accessible for other folks. But something that has fascinated me since you said it today at lunch was using technology as a tool for global revolution. And I was hoping to hear from you about what structure you think could be created for that, and what are the major barriers that you think would be associated with creating that structure? ELAINE BROWN: Well, the first thing I'd do is that we did-- I learned in the Black Panther Party I'm not worried about obstacles, because I'm going to assume there are going to be obstacles. So we can't get involved in that because what happens if this happens? I did go to law school for about 10 minutes-- no, more than that. But in any case, what ifs are myriad. What if the sky falls? What if, what if, what if. There's a million of those, so you have to just eliminate those. The question is what can we do? I have an organization called Oakland & the World Enterprises, and our mission, as we say, is to launch and sustain businesses, for-profit business for formerly incarcerated people, to be owned by former incarcerated people, because they're never going to get a job. So you might as well just give that up. Create your own business. That's it. So we have some businesses. And one of the businesses I have now is a farm, believe it or not, in the hood, in West Oakland. I have an urban farm. We got 10 workers, $20 an hour. But it's their farm. They've got to build it up. But our job is to sustain and hold until they can turn the profit turnaround, turn the corner. So one of the businesses that we're going to have is what I'm calling tech design. And once I saw a 3D printer, I was like, OK, that's it for me. That bad boy could [INAUDIBLE] me. I'm not interested in the Facebook thing, although I do believe that you can flip that around and trick it out the way we do, and probably flip it into something else. It's just that we don't have access. It's like the Uber guy. Here's a guy who comes up with a-- at least he's a coder, though, right? Unlike Zuckerberg-- not even a coder. Just a little ugly guy looking for a woman, right? [LAUGHTER] That's all Facebook is anyway. Oh, I want to meet someone. Tell me about your play cousin. I don't care, OK. People be posting pictures up of stuff that nobody on the planet-- And this makes them feel good. Like people say to me, I'm your Facebook friend. OK. I have no idea what that means. And I tell people don't put it-- So Facebook is not the issue, is it? That's a communication tool, though, and it is a tool, and it could be used. But we could come up with some other ideas on that. But right now I'm on the mission of the 3D printer. And the reason is this. Once I saw that you could build like a house, body parts-- where's our doctor-- body parts being replicated. In Germany they just did an entire human body, the colors and everything. And so people who happen to be-- say, Muslims are people who don't want to actually cut a human cadaver can now see what the human body looks like, literally perfectly. That's the kind of stuff we need. And we need to get into that. And the only way we do that is we have to figure how to finance that. But we can create it because we're not stupid. You know we're not-- I know Mark Zuckerberg is not smarter than I am. I absolutely know that for a fact. It's not even possible. [LAUGHTER] It's not possible. So I know that he just had some little-- it's like Donald Trump is smarter than who? You get $3 million from your dad, who was a greedy real estate operator, it's not going to be difficult for you to get some little head start, so forth and so on. So what I'm trying to do is do that, and I want to use quick manufacturing to build up money. Because I want people to make a lot of money as a group-- they're all cooperative businesses, just so you know. They can't get to that capitalist model. They're like, oh, no, we're not going to fight. If you don't want to be in this group you don't have to be here, but you've got to get the stuff that if you're going to be here, you have to do this. And my experiment is cooperative ownership. I don't say cooperative workers because that sounds communisty, and so people get nervous. So I just go it's cooperatively owned. [LAUGHTER] And that's better, isn't it? But the owners do have to work. [LAUGH] [LAUGHTER] But they get it and they like it because it beats a blank, you know what I mean? And it beats going back to the joint, especially. And so with this, it's not-- you don't have to be a coder to operate a 3D printer, right? And coding is going to be like nothing in about 10 years, less than 10, right? Have you heard of a book called The Second Machine Age? Anybody heard of this book? It's two MIT professors, Second Machine Age. It's like my little bible right now. And these guys assert-- and these are fundamental-- it's not even a theory, it's an observation-- one that all things that were made on the planet for, let's say, all of human history as we know it, 10,000 years-- however many years we know it-- was all made by human labor, right? Everything, unless we can figure out something about the pyramids, because that's like the little mystery. Which ain't really that mysterious, but people would like to think it is. But OK. But barring all of that, for thousands, thousands, thousands of years, all that ever was made by human beings-- clothing, housing-- everything that we ever did was made with human labor. And then came the steam engine and everything shifted, right? I don't have to sit and go like this to make one little dress, right? One little piece of cloth on the loom or whatever it is. I've got machines to do that, and that shifted everything in the entire world. And the shift now is technology. And you're going to have to live with it. You can go we know this is going to lose jobs. That's right. Do you really want to be the operator that answers all the calls from somebody complaining? You know what I'm saying. We already know many, many jobs, and most jobs in America right now will be gone within 20 years, 50%. Their prediction is 50% of the jobs as we know them will be gone in 20 years. And that's really probably a big-- it should probably be less. Isn't that something? So we have to adapt and adjust to the fact that there are machines that can do things. The question is, how do we access the things? How do we make it work for us? How do we distribute the wealth? How do we stop manufacturing stuff in Bangladesh and exploiting the women of Bangladesh, as Phil Knight and all these other reactionary manufacturers do, including Jay-Z. Malaysia. You're going to make all your clothes in Malaysia? You could have gone to Brooklyn and paid some people to make clothes, and give them a little bit of money, where you claim to come from, to [INAUDIBLE].. But you didn't do that. You chose to exploit some Vietnamese women, and the Malaysian women, and some Indonesian women or something. We're paying them $1 a day to make some nasty shoes that are going to cost $250 or whatever. [LAUGHTER] Now that's where the game is. So we have to find out how can we-- the good thing for black people is this. We never had a job in the industrial world. We don't owe nothing. We ain't got to worry about dismantling the steel mill because we didn't have one. Don't have to worry about the Buick plant, didn't own it. Don't have to worry about the coal mine, never got until after we built them up, then we got a job. So we can now start anew and say what is it. Now, why is technology important, though? Because if I can in one second pass on some information to anywhere in the world, which we can do right now, any information to anyone in the world has got access to the other part of it, right? This builds up the ability of people to communicate. Now, we don't always have to be talking about our play cousins' birthday party, right? We could be talking about some other stuff. The people who run the world, Coca-Cola for example-- largest private employer on the continent of Africa-- they need this technology to sell the world a Coke, right? They need this technology to sell people Ford cars and everything else. So the whole economy is global. It really is global. Where do we jump in on that? Well, we've got to have some way of poor people developing an understanding of technology and using it. We need more technological development in medical care. I mean I had a surgery that I don't think could have happened five years ago where they [HASANNI GIVING A NOTE]---- It's time to go? OK. I mean I had a shoulder surgery that was just phenomenal. I couldn't even believe the stuff that they did and how fast they did it and all this other stuff. But that wouldn't have happened even five years ago. We want to see stuff to advance it. In North Korea, or as people call it in North Korea, in Pyongyang when I was there, spent a month in Pyongyang back in the day. And they said, we're working for the day when we can free man from arduous labor. Do we really want to grovel for a potato, or are we just happy having a potato? That doesn't mean you won't have a potato that was made by the chemical. All of these things are necessary, but we have to move forward, and it's very important that people begin to understand computer science, and to understand language of the computer, and so forth and so on, so we can figure out ways that human beings can live better. Because right now, technology is bonding the capitalist structure of this country so that it can do anything in a matter of minutes. I mean jet planes-- and we don't even know what kind of weapons are out there. Half the stuff is out there, we don't even know what it is. We've got to get involved in that and stop just worrying about little mundane stuff. But of course, if you don't have food, if you don't have housing, then you're stuck worrying about just surviving, so we have to work on two things, and that's what we did in the Party. And we thought, we want to know about the stars. We want to know about the other planets. That's the stuff we want to know. I want to talk to Stephen Hawking. I don't want to sit around here groveling for housing for the homeless. Why am I dealing with some potatoes for people to eat, or tomatoes, we don't have any good vegetables. This stuff ought to be resolved so we can get on with big stuff, like what is this universe that we're in, and so forth. So technology is critical to our future, and I think that everyone at least has to be computer savvy because that is the language of technologies-- language that you have to have. I work with a group called Black Girls Code and all this other stuff that we just try to roll hard so everybody can get ready. These girls are 10, 11 years old, and they are doing stuff, I'm like huh? I don't need to know it because they know it and I know them. [LAUGHTER] So we've got to do it and we have to remember. But that's the technology question is that technology has produced the ability of human beings to produce materials and goods and services in a manner in which we never even imagined. Who thought I could hold a handheld device-- I don't need a thesaurus anymore. I can get on there and go into the dictionary and say, how do I say hello, how are you in Japanese? In French? In Arabic? And bam, dictionary will pop up and will say it for you-- spell it for you, say it for you and everything else. Who knew? Who imagined such a thing? We couldn't imagine. I love it. Why would anybody reject that? We love that stuff. So we need to be thinking ahead of the game and thinking on how we can use this in the interest of the people. Lastly, we had a workshop at our Black Panther Party 50th, and was called Mastering Technology as a Tool for Self-Determination. And that's what we have to do, master technology as a tool for self-determination. That's what I believe. AUDIENCE: Thank you so much. ELAINE BROWN: I'll take a couple more questions. Yes? Because otherwise, people get bored. AUDIENCE: I'd like to ask if there's a Black Panther Movement nowadays, a revival, and there is if you would tell us more about it? ELAINE BROWN: Not that I know of. There just isn't one. I don't know of anything. I mean there's these people calling themselves the New Black Panthers. And there's Black Lives Matter. There's all that. But remember, we had several things that none of these groups has, and that is we had an ideology. We were Marxist-Leninists, we were communists, we were leftists, whatever you want to say. We studied Marxist study, and we studied in Kruma. We were Maoist. We were everything, because there was no blueprint for what to do in the United States of America. But we know there were fundamental issues that we agreed with with the other liberation struggles, and so forth-- other thinkers. I don't see anyone out here in a cohesive, organized fashion with that kind of ideology. Secondly, we had an agenda, like this is what we're going to be doing. And we had a structure, and we lived somewhere. We weren't living in the ether world. We had places in LA that people could find us. You didn't have to look for us. So I think all of those things I'm hoping they will come back. I don't think they're old-fashioned. I think they're necessary, that people have an ideological structure, that they have a structure. I'm not a great believer in this kind of so-called liberal democracy or what have you. It's like now we're voting, and what is in the end of the day? You've got two very, very rich people. If you're not rich, you've got to have access to a lot of money to be president, right? I mean that's it. There's nobody else going to win. You're going to have a great idea and going to be president. Goody. You're not going to be president. You better have some money out there. So we're down to two people, and I don't know what democracy this is about. We're down to two people who are not going to do very much, either of them, for any of us in the end of the day. So we do need organizations that are here, there, and everywhere, maybe dealing with local politics, dealing with local issues, or dealing with local issues with a global perspective. All of that. But I don't see that right now. I don't see that anywhere. I don't think that people are doing anything wrong. I just don't see that level of commitment that we had where our lives were on the line, and we accepted that. That was part of the surrender to the movement, to what was greater than we were. So I don't see anything like that. AUDIENCE: Who do you support for president if I may ask? ELAINE BROWN: I'm not dealing with-- I don't support anybody for president. I don't see that there is anybody. I don't think the presidency is relevant to us. The Black Panther Party called for the dismantling of the presidency as an interim step to revolution. But right now, there's no particular reason to have a president. The president doesn't really run the Army. Who is the president? A figurehead, maybe, maybe not. I don't know. But what do we really have to do with the president? Really nothing. What does a president do? We elected Obama, and we have what, Obamacare to show for it? We still got mass incarceration, poverty, ongoing conditions that we had under Bush. We elected him because he wasn't Bush. And that's it. And we don't want to admit that because then that's to say-- But it was always predictable, because the person that fills that slot is going to go I'm the commander in chief of the armed services. What am I going to do? Shut down the war in Afghanistan? No. Everything going to stay in place no matter who you got. Because the machinery is in place, and that machinery doesn't exist in Washington, DC per se. So we have to keep it moving on our own levels until we get to that place where something as big as the presidency matters. I don't really think it's going to make that much difference, other than we'll be embarrassed if Trump wins. It's just like global embarrassment for me. That would be my opinion. But as people say, well, Hillary Clinton didn't do the omnibus crime bill, but she certainly supported it. But what she did do for me-- this is like you go to hell directly-- she killed Muammar Gaddafi, and that's my opinion. And the reason is because Muammar Gaddafi was the only-- well, not only, but he was certainly one of the leading-- Africans-- not to be confused with an Arab-- who is an African out of the country of Libya, although some people like to say Egypt is not in Africa. Because whenever you talk about the origins of the world and they go back to Egypt, then they go, well, no, that's not really in Africa. People say these words out of their mouths. Have anybody ever heard that when they say Egypt is not in Africa. And Gaddafi was attempting to organize an African economic union, very much like the European Union. So that all those resources that have been ripped off for all these hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years would be united under one economic union, and they could then move as one, because no country in the African continent rises to anything near the most minimal-- Poland or somewhere. You know what I'm saying. So Gaddafi was an important person in the continent of Africa, and he was murdered by the CIA. And he was murdered by that-- everybody talks about the little Benghazi thing where four people are killed. But they don't talk about wiped out the-- you have just walked into somebody's country and wiped them out. And Hillary Clinton now says, yes, I did. I felt there should be regime change. First it was an Arab Spring that was all done by phones-- remember that one? Remember the era of we all thought the phones were the reason why you have revolution? So Hillary Clinton did that. I don't forgive her for that, because we black people in America, we need a relationship with a very strong power. I mean Sierra Leone is the poorest country in the world, according to the United Nations' definition of poverty. Poorer than Haiti, and that's kind of hard to think about. Sierra Leone is the poorest country in the world, and yet it has the richest diamond deposits of any country in the world, to the point where the Queen of England says she will not put a diamond in her crown unless it's from Sierra Leone. How is that possible? How is it possible that the poorest country in the world has the richest diamond deposits? I mean how does that work? So we have to have a global view of this. It's not just Hillary Clinton, I like her, she's going to be the first woman president. I don't care. I don't feel better being shot by a black cop. You know, that's like, oh, well, black cops killed Mary Woods, and what? I know that he was killed because he was black. If a black guy joined in, that's like saying Clarence Thomas is black, and what? He's Clarence Thomas. He's just Clarence Thomas. So we have to know that the presidency, what is the value of the presidency to us at this point? We really won't have much control over our lives because we voted for Hillary, or we voted for Jill Stein, or we voted for whatever that other guy's name that nobody can remember. Johnson. What's his name, something like Johnson. AUDIENCE: Gary Johnson. ELAINE BROWN: Yeah. I mean what difference is it going to make to us, even if they could win but they're not. We already know there's only one of two people that will become president of the United States, right? Unless every morning I get up and go is Trump dead yet, or what? So assuming that he lives to the presidency, he's going to be president, or Hillary Clinton's going to be president. The only other option is that the current vice presidential candidates will be president or not. So basically, you have no choices. Where does this change your life? How does this affect your life meaningfully? Is this going to really bring a manufacturing base back to the US? No. Is this going to wipe out NAFTA? Ain't going to be no wiping out of no NAFTA. There's going to be expansion. We're going to be into AFTA soon, and SAFTA, and every other kind of trade agreement, right? Why? Because we're trying to move product in this country. Who's going to sit there and say let's dismantle NAFTA? If people believe Donald Trump on that, they're crazy. Donald Trump ain't trying to dismantle NAFTA. This means I can ship my goods back. I don't have to pay taxes on this and that. It comes through Oakland is a big port. That stuff comes through. Nobody even opens those containers. Did you know that? You hit the Port of Oakland and you keep on moving to Iowa. And here we are being searched at the airport-- oh, wait a minute, you got something on your shoe. Now I've got to take off my shoe, it has to be examined, have to be patted down. But a whole container comes into the Port of Oakland, Port of Los Angeles, Port of everywhere, and nobody ever searches those containers. Did you know that? Can you imagine that? They don't even-- what are they going to do? Put a metal wand on the stuff? It's metal inside. It's crazy. So they don't do it because it's too much money moving goods, and moving goods is part in producing and selling. This is the fundamental issue of capitalism. I make it, I sell it to you, and you buy it. And all I want the rest of the world to do is be a consumer of all American products. If they're not all quite American, that's really not that relevant. If some are made in China or wherever, that's not relevant. It's American as far as I own it, right? Right? No? You don't agree? AUDIENCE: Once more. What'd you say again? ELAINE BROWN: I said, we don't care if it's made somewhere else, and the parts, the car is like 75% made somewhere else. It's still Ford, right? And I'm selling Ford cars to everybody. I'm going to build roads for you to have a Ford car in it. Look, I'm selling cars to the Chinese. They want bikes. I'm trying to help them to get off the bike and get in a car. And if you want Mao's picture on it, you're wanting Kruma's picture, you want to call it a communist car. I don't care, because all I want to do is see that profit margin. I want see it those numbers line up. So if you think a Trump or Hillary Clinton's going to change that dynamic, then we're living in dreamland. That's in place. That is in place. That's why you kill Martin Luther King. You don't want anybody talking about that piece. That's where the road gets rough. It's not going to matter to any of us. Our lives are not going to be any worse off or better off at my prediction. Because what are they going to do to upset the system? And even if they wanted to-- people telling me, oh, I never thought a revolutionary would run for office, and I thought they were talking about me. They were talking about Bernie Sanders. You call Bernie Sanders a revolutionary? When did that happen? [LAUGHTER] Bernie Sander's just another democrat. His program is down to lower tuition. He started out with like we're going to have a revolution, a revolution. OK, Bernie. But Bernie's not-- even if he wanted what he said he wanted, he couldn't do it. That's my point. It is the structure is so powerful that even if there were a good candidate, it's not really going to matter. Even if Obama were a guy with great intention and no intention of having Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff. [LAUGHTER] He couldn't do anything. What are you going to do, say I want to let the black people out of prison? It's not going to happen. So we have to have a realistic analysis so local stuff can be done. Where you have control is where I want to play. I don't want play where-- I can't fix that. That's like saying I'm going to fix the sun coming up. I hope it doesn't rain tomorrow. It's not within my power. So what we want to do is seize power within the places we can so we can build up the momentum to get to the big question. OK, I'm finished. AUDIENCE: Thank you. ELAINE BROWN: OK, we're going to close it down. AUDIENCE: Close the line? ELAINE BROWN: Oh, the line is still very long. We've got three over here, and three over here. OK, those three and three. That's a lot. I'll try to go fast. HASSANI SCOTT: [INAUDIBLE] ELAINE BROWN: One answer for a couple of questions? HASSANI SCOTT: No, no, no. ELAINE BROWN: I'll just be brief. I'll try to be brief. If you're brief, I'll be brief. Bye, everybody that's leaving. [LAUGHTER] So go ahead. AUDIENCE: Good evening. My name is Falatine. I'm a Oakland native, actually. Just recently graduated from Howard University. [APPLAUSE] AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] AUDIENCE: Thank you. So my question is, can you repeat the list of organizations that the Black Panther Party was partnering with to provide the free lunches for children and the free health clinics, please? ELAINE BROWN: Well, we weren't partnering with them. We all had our own things. So when I talk about the Brown Berets, for example, they were the Mexican, Chicano group/organization, came out of Los Angeles. They had their own programs, but they were like our programs, and we were sort of the vanguard organization. So if we said, OK, let's have free clinics, then everybody would probably agree to have a free clinic. But they would be in the Latino community, and we would be in the black community. So we didn't partner with them on that piece, but we had a coalition around the ideal of revolution. So if we had an action, we want to all protest, then we could all pull our own people out, right? So it was a working coalition, not a partnership where we did things with them. We had our own agenda and we did it, and they basically followed our agenda. AUDIENCE: OK. I had just another question. Sorry. ELAINE BROWN: Oh, no, no. You don't get it. You blew that one, brother. I'm sorry, go ahead. I'm going to go fast. No, I can talk to you after if you like. Go ahead. AUDIENCE: Thank you so much for coming. My name is Moe, and I was born and raised in Southern Illinois, all white town. And since I was little I've been reading books on the Black Panther Party. I mean there's been a poster of Fred Hampton in my room for my entire life. And that was just always something that was within me to kind of search for answers of why there's so much injustice in the world, and trying to understand my role as a person of color in this all white town. And coming to Brown, you learn a lot more, but you still can't change anything because the point of it being Brown is it's an institution, and the definition of institution is that it doesn't change. And so my question is how can someone like me and my peers who are well-educated, and those who don't have the opportunity to seek out the same kind of education as I've been blessed to seek out, how can we inform ourselves, how can we spread the word, how can we build each other up and make each other feel respected, feel like there's justice in the world? How can we build this-- ELAINE BROWN: I think what you've got to do, though, is decide what your goals are. In other words, is it that you want to be sort of loved and respected yourself, or as I was telling this young sister who is going to be a doctor-- was studying to be a doctor, going to be a doctor-- what do you want to do? And what we did in the Black Panther Party was we started our own school, for example. And all that will go out the window, everybody's going to feel good if you get a school going-- after school program right here. Aren't there some little children that probably could use after school care for free? Right? Am I making this stuff up, what? Yeah. So it comes down to doing work. That's what you have to do. You have to put in work. And one of the things that I always recommend to college students is that when you have a big campus like this and you have a lot of money, you don't have to go crazy and get put out, and you don't have to worry about, oh, I'll get put up, I do this. But there's a lot of food here, for example. You know, seriously, there's a lot of food. I can tell you about how much food went out the window today. We ought to snatch that food. It's like you took the food back, and you're going to actually throw it away? A friend of mine was in a hotel in Atlanta yesterday, and she was on this fabulous floor and they had all this food, and every single thing that they didn't eat was thrown out. And this is like salmon, and meat, and salad. You know, all this food. And there's food. Just that alone, if you were to go into a community here in Providence and say we want to start a program to at least do some after school work with some kids-- we can tutor, we can feed them-- you could do that without even breaking a sweat. And that's the kind of thing that you can do that will transform you and your peers that, as you say, are privileged. But you're not that privileged, because in the end of the day, it's like talking about the black capitalists. Like even Oprah, any time she decides to step out of her role, whatever it might be, she won't be able to sustain that. She doesn't even own OWN. That's owned by the Discovery Channel, right? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] ELAINE BROWN: That's sad, isn't it? But it's true. It's true. So we have to look at are you really a [INAUDIBLE].. Don't get too gussied up about being privileged because in a minute, you're not that privileged. But if you want to use this opportunity that you have like I do. I feel like I'm in a privileged position. I have food and a car and a place to live. You know what I mean? I have the things I need to get through and navigate my life, and I'm not sweating about it. And so for you, I would think that a bunch of young students here could put together a very quick program. You could ask for all the extra food from-- I don't know, do you have dormitories here at Brown? They have a dormitory life here? AUDIENCE: We have a food recovery network that takes a lot of our extra food that we normally would throw away-- ELAINE BROWN: OK, well,-- AUDIENCE: --distribute. ELAINE BROWN: --then you have that going. Well, then do something else. Let's not be bored by it, let's enhance it. Let's do something else. That isn't enough. I was just giving you a quick idea. You can flip that idea around any way you want to, but I'm saying there are things that you can do right now. You can go into some neighborhoods in Providence where people don't have a child care program, and you could do a child care after school. Do you have a pool here at Brown? AUDIENCE: Um-hmm. Yeah. ELAINE BROWN: Well, don't nobody know if there's a pool at Brown? AUDIENCE: We have a pool. ELAINE BROWN: You could bring some kids in here during the summer, in a season teach them swimming. I mean there's just like a bunch of things that you could do that would be very quick and meaningful and not-- pardon me? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] ELAINE BROWN: No, no, no. Let me tell you about liability insurance, because I know this stuff. I just about know a little bit about everything. That's called a generalist. OK, McClymonds High School in West Oakland. Where is my West Oak-- you know McClymonds. All right, so they have a swimming pool there, am I right? When's the last time you saw it used? 10 years ago, something like this. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] ELAINE BROWN: And it's a three-quarter olympic-sized pool. Beautiful pool. It's in the hood. Nobody uses it. It's been cordoned off, and it's been sitting there. So we go-- people that I'm working with said, why is the pool open? The kids can't swim. They're right there at the high school-- you know, black children have a high drowning rate. Did you know that? We're the highest death by drowning rate, black children. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] ELAINE BROWN: What? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] ELAINE BROWN: Water blocks? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] ELAINE BROWN: No, well, we know why. There's nothing wrong with black people, that's like we die of breast cancer at a higher rate. I'm just saying we have a high drowning death rate. So we need to teach children how to swim. That's just a quick-- these are thoughts, right? They're just popping off the top of my head. So I'm going to McClymonds High. It's an all-black high school, and it's considered inferior and all this other stuff, blah, blah, blah. And I said, why can't you have the pool open? It's an insurance problem. So OK. Now, I'm working with a guy named Keith Carson. He's a county supervisor. So I say, well, Keith Carson's office will pay for the insurance. What's the problem now? Oh. Now they don't have a problem. So then nobody wanted to do it. So I go to the school district, bring in the associate chief council or whatever she was, and she says, oh, well, the district is supposed to pay for the insurance anyway. Now, who knew that? All these years, the pool is closed. So what did it take? We had to get little chemical things, we had to look around, had to put up some little stuff saying this is deep end, repaint. I'm serious. We had to just clean things up. This took all of about maybe, what, $10,000. We bought all the children swimsuits and stuff, which was like another $5,000, $6,000. Gee, that was a lot of money to get kids in the swimming pool who needed to swim, and in the neighborhood who could use the swimming pool. So when people tell me well, that's being done, well, if it was being done, then we wouldn't have hunger in America. So it's not really being done, is it? So whatever that was you were talking, so I'm going to just get real. So if you want to do something, I'm giving you things to do. You don't want to do those things, do something else. You know, take children ice skating. I don't care, but you could be doing stuff that will use your privileged position to transform some child to say, gee, I don't even know there was a Brown University. I have taken children in Atlanta, who live in the hood, to Spelman. They didn't know black girls had a college and that they wanted to be doctors. They didn't even know. They didn't dream such a thing. They didn't look at the Cosby show-- thank God for the little things. They didn't know that. [LAUGHTER] But they went there and they went, wow! These are black girls in college? They didn't know anybody like that. So that's the point I was making, that there's things that you can do now within the framework of this school. If the insurance is a problem, you can either resolve it or move to something where it's easier to do. I'm not trying to find obstacles because everybody always-- as Huey Newton told me, everybody's always bringing me a problem. I know what the problems are. What's the solution? So if that's not a workable plan, then do something else. That's my position. But do something. In my words of my friend Bunchy Carter, "If you only spit, something got to get done." And you can use your position to do that. I'm going to take these last questions. Go ahead. AUDIENCE: Hello, Miss Brown. ELAINE BROWN: Yes. AUDIENCE: You spoke on medicine and technology and business. But what can a public policy or a political science student do to help contribute to the black community? ELAINE BROWN: Well, if you understand that public policies are really political policies, it's political as it's going to get, right? Right? It just means that we don't even have to have a law. We just create a policy to do x, y or z. The question is, can you use that political machine to, for example, snatch money from the state, the federal government or somewhere, and build housing. What do you want to do with public policy? Do you want to just study? Like what are we going to do about mass incarceration? Can we change that? We have a policy where the executive of the state, which is the governor-- the governor, executive branch, that's the highest executive branch-- the state has the power to conduct, to run the prison system. So that means there are never any checks and balances on the prison system. None. Zero. None. Believe me. So the governor appoints the head of the Department of Corrections, or whatever it's called in this particular state versus that one. And that person does whatever that person wants to do. When it gets down into the day-to-day life of the prisoner, the prisoner is there, so guard x that's finally got a little bit of power can say, you better clean that little corner. And they say no, and you go to the hole. So those kinds of-- that is a small policy that's affected by the big policy. Why does the governor have that kind of absolute power to decide? And so a prison guard can say, you were rude to me, and I didn't like the way you rolled your eyes. I'm writing you up. Now you got 10 write-ups. You go to the parole board, it's a wrap for you. Do you understand what I mean? All those things are in play all day long. And we don't even know where half this stuff came from. And it's policies that people put into place that nobody ever challenges. So if you're ready to challenge that-- but I'm not sure how that goes-- but you could begin to understand what are the policies that affect prisons and affect hunger. Why don't we have more food? Why don't we have a policy where everyone has a home? I mean I don't know, do you? You know what I'm saying? I honestly don't know. Why don't we have a commitment to a policy, and then people say, well, that requires a budget, and the budget requires this. It goes on and on. So I think that there is something for everyone to do within every sphere of study and every sphere of information. I'm going to go and finish. Yes, sir. AUDIENCE: Hello, ma'am. ELAINE BROWN: How are you? I saw her hair-- I'm not lying, this is so funny. I saw her hair on your head. I know that sounds really weird, but her hair was on your head. AUDIENCE: She has nice hair. ELAINE BROWN: No, really. When I turned around-- I'm sorry but if you were sitting where I am it's like he had hair coming out here. You had blonde hair a minute ago. AUDIENCE: She has nice hair. ELAINE BROWN: No, but anyway, go ahead. AUDIENCE: Thank you for your talk tonight. And also more specifically, thank you for the survival programs of the Black Panther Party, including the free breakfast program that fed me plenty of mornings in Mississippi-- ELAINE BROWN: Well, I'm glad to hear that. AUDIENCE: --going to school. ELAINE BROWN: Especially since you're not as old as some of the people that tell me they were fed. I'm like you were fed by the breakfast program? Wait, no, I'm saying I see these people looking like they're old, and I'm like, oh, I must have been 12 when I was working in the breakfast program. [LAUGHTER] AUDIENCE: So I am currently attending Providence College for my Master's in Education, and I'm a sixth grade teacher at an all-male school. ELAINE BROWN: Are you a fifth grade teacher? AUDIENCE: Primarily sixth grade. ELAINE BROWN: Oh, oh, wait a minute. Oh, sixth grade. AUDIENCE: I mean they're from about sixth grade. ELAINE BROWN: But you know one thing? You do know that's the most important job, other than a doctor I would say that-- AUDIENCE: And that was my question. ELAINE BROWN: Truly, other than a doctor, I would say elementary school teacher is probably the most important job anyone could do right now. That's just my assessment. AUDIENCE: It's a blessing I get to work with them. ELAINE BROWN: Yeah. AUDIENCE: Can you speak more specifically to schooling and literacy instruction by the Panther Party? ELAINE BROWN: Yes, I can. AUDIENCE: Thank you. ELAINE BROWN: Because we created a school, and we had a school in East Oakland, it was a model. Everything we did was like a model, because we can be the school system. We couldn't be the food program, you know. But we'd like encourage people to see that this is what you could have. And our school, we bought that school. We paid cash for this building. It was very beautiful. And the story is, the first thing we did was we took care of-- I mean I hate these kinds of conversations that has this kind of jargon, but the whole child kind of concept. People say now, the whole child, as though you could separate out the child. I don't know what the whole child means. [LAUGH] I'll just take half the child. You know, you got children that don't have anybody at home, right? Or they really don't have home. I mean there's a lot of people-- how many people know somebody that calls himself having a place to stay, but they're really couchsurfing. I consider that to be a euphemism. Do people know people like that? They don't really live anywhere, right? They're living in somebody's house, you know, somebody's play grandmother's house. And she's going to get mad because you're eating out of the food, and you're not cleaning up, and whatever, I just don't like you, or whatever it is. But there's a lot of homeless teenagers in America. And I'm working with a lot of them in West Oakland. And I'm like, you don't live anywhere, brother. I'm sorry. Do you have a key somewhere? No, you don't live there. You have to wait till that person gets home. So what we did was we said, in order for you to learn, we have to create the conditions for learning. You cannot be distracted by things like hunger, you know. But when you're hungry, you're not really thinking about whether or not it's a black poetry session or not. You don't care, right? You're looking for a burger or something, right? You don't care. And you not worried if it's a vegan food. It's like there's this place near where I am on 7th Street-- you know where the Bart is over on 7th Street? AUDIENCE: Yeah. ELAINE BROWN: And they had this place called Mandela Foods, and it's like vegan-- you can buy kale chips for $5 a bag. $5. $5. But next door is the dollar store where you could buy two big bags of Funyuns for $1. Let me think. Am I going with kale chips or I'm going to two big bags of Funyuns, because I ain't got no money because I have to feed four children, and I'm going to make a meal out of Funyuns and some hot dogs and a can, right? And people can say, oh, you're not eating healthy, which I think is an incorrect adverb. It seems like it should be healthfully. But anyway. [LAUGHTER] We fed our children three meals a day. This cut down on all absenteeism. We never had absentee children, because even the worst person on the planet were going to kick their children out to go to that school because that's breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We combed people's hair. We brushed people's teeth that had never brushed their teeth. We gave people showers. We bought clothes for them. We got glasses for people that couldn't see because we tested everybody coming in. We had hearing stuff that we found out. Children had infection. You're poor, you're living where you have mold, you have all kinds of asthma, hearing, and other problems, right? AUDIENCE: Um-hmm. ELAINE BROWN: Then you have problems at home. Somebody's beating you every day. Your cousin came over and raped your other cousin, and all these other things that go on that we act like black people don't do. Have you noticed how we don't do that stuff? No, no, black people don't do that. Yes, we do. We do it. And so we got all in your life, and we let everybody know you're here, and you are loved, and you are going to be OK. So that first thing is, I am really comfortable in this school. Secondly, we never had more than 10 children in a class. Thirdly, we fixed up every single thing in the school. We painted that school every year. We put carpeting on all the classroom floors, which we thought was fabulous. We had a fabulous auditorium, and the children had a-- they had Wednesday night teen club, Sunday they had the Son of Man temple. Every day you could come to our, what we called the learning center, but it was also our school. And the next thing we did was we expected you to learn how to read and write. No matter where you are, you're going to finish up that year. And some children read at different levels, and we didn't put children in that read or did things. We took them where we got them, and we tried to bring everybody up to speed. We had one boy-- that I just want to say this very quickly-- and he was like fifth grade student, and he was actually classified by the public school system of Oakland as uneducable. What does that even mean? You've heard that before, right? AUDIENCE: Yes. ELAINE BROWN: Isn't that insane? AUDIENCE: Yes. ELAINE BROWN: So what does that mean, he doesn't have a brain, because that would be the only way you could be uneducable, right? Like I don't even understand that concept. So anyway, he was one of those boys-- you know, we feminize education in America. I know a lot of people won't like that that I say that, but it's true. We want boys to sit still. Boys cannot sit still. Am I right or wrong? AUDIENCE: You are absolutely correct. ELAINE BROWN: Do boys have to get up and jump around? AUDIENCE: Yes, they do. ELAINE BROWN: They got to have a cape, and they got to jump down the stairs. Boys cannot walk down a set of stairs. They have to jump and hit their head or something. Girls can just sit there all day long and chatter. Boys cannot sit like that. They need to run around. This one old teacher told me they have ants in their pants. Go on out there, run around. And we don't even have recess anymore, right? I mean a lot of schools don't have it. So what we did was we tried to have this one boy-- we tested him. He was pretty average in reading and everything else, but in math he did stuff so fast that we had-- We said, OK, well, try this, try that, try that. we had this guy Amar Casey, who's now a professor at San Francisco State, and the boy was just-- he was up into algebra and anything else. And so we're like he's the only person going to be in his class. He's going to be bored, and that's what was happening. You know, the reckless eyeballing where you get put out and you get in the pipeline for that one, don't you? AUDIENCE: Um-hmm. ELAINE BROWN: Am I making this stuff up? AUDIENCE: Not at all. ELAINE BROWN: You're going in the pipeline, sitting up there talking about [HEAVY BREATHING],, or throwing stuff, or doing spitballs-- whatever goofy stuff kids do. You're going in the pipeline for that one, right? So this boy was in a pipeline of being uneducable. They didn't come up with the police program at that time. They didn't have police in school like they did now. We found that he was just bored, and I know you know that, right? AUDIENCE: Yes. ELAINE BROWN: He was just bored. And the only way he wasn't bored-- And we bought a computer in 1973. We were like the only school with a computer, and we bought it for that boy, because he was only one that could really appreciate how to begin to do math and whatever it was on this-- it was a very rudimentary thing in comparison to today. My point is we had to take everything into consideration. Every single thing. And we created the conditions for you to be-- We took you back and forth to school from home. We had kids who were beaten at home. We threatened the parents, too. Oh, no, I know you're not beating up little Donte, because see, we'll beat you. We would say stuff like that. [LAUGHTER] And we would actually mean it, too. But see, you can't get away with that in a public school. AUDIENCE: No, not today, no. [LAUGH] ELAINE BROWN: But you could look like that. You could go-- You could do a evil eye or something. But my point is we took care of every single thing in your life. And once we got you into that school-- It's a no-brainer to learn. It ain't hard to learn. But it's hard to learn. When I was in North Korea they had if you have five imperialists that you kill for, how many will be alive? It would be stuff like this. So we did math like that, too. [LAUGHTER] Some strange math examples. AUDIENCE: Can't do that today in public school either. ELAINE BROWN: It wasn't a James Brown reader, I can tell you that right now. So we did all that, and we tried to make it relevant. But the most important thing was that you were safe, and you were whole, and you knew people loved you, and you knew that no one could come in there and hurt you. We had kids that would be running in, they come for dinner-- the kids that didn't go to the school, older. And they would run in there, running from the police. They'd run into school. They knew nobody-- You're not going to come past that door unless you got a warrant, and even then it's going to be a question. We had people on the roof. We were serious. That's in East Oakland. And so I say all that to say is we built in all of those things. I think we created a great model, and I would love to see this happen again in public schools. And we wanted it to be a public school model where the school becomes the base of the whole community. How many mothers did I meet that could-- One woman said to me, well, I know he got a problem writing curpis. I said, oh, I see the problem. He's writing curpis. What is that? It's cursive, right? And here is this mother that doesn't know. So we started a program for parents to learn to read. And we did a fundraiser and we gave away food. We did a lot of stuff with the family kind of thing, you know what I'm saying, what families there were. We had a woman that was shooting-- had her son shooting her up for heroin. And we just took him from her and put him in our dormitories and sent her on to Synanon, or whatever that was called at the time. What you going to do? Please, call the police and tell them we took your child because you're shooting up heroin. I'm sorry about the heroin, but we can't have it. So we're going to have to take you somewhere. We took that boy, and we did that to a lot of children, believe it or not. But we had to find the money, and that was the hard part. And we found the money, and we worked really hard to keep that school going. And we kept it for, I would say 12 years maybe it was in full operation. We were right across the street from one of the worst public housing projects. Still pretty rough area, 65th and East 14, Havenscourt. The home of Felix Mitchell. So that's what I think has to be done with education. We have to know that we love these children so much. I don't care if your mother is this or that. We're like, his mother should have done that. What kind of conversation is that? You know, everybody can have a baby. We have a duty to our children, all of our children, and we have a duty to take care of them. And that's what I meant by going out and using whatever resources could be here that would be available for the children. And I think that that's the most important job. And I have to say that beyond a doctor-- and I do think if you ever get sick, you ain't going to be calling for no teacher. You certainly not going to look for no hip-hop artist or basketball player. You'd be like, doctor, save me. Because the doctor is the only thing standing between you and the end, right, outside of other things that may intervene. But you know what I'm saying. So I think being a doctor is a noble profession, but I think the other great profession is elementary-- not just any teacher, but elementary school because that's where the rubber meets-- I mean it's over by the time you get to junior. Kids going to McClymonds ninth grade, can't read. It's a wrap. You gotta start all over with them. I mean you can do it, but they're not going to be able to make it out of high school, and then they'll just quit, right? So you're doing a noble work, and just keep on doing it, and try to maybe develop some other programs that will supplement what the public school system is failing to do as a system. OK. AUDIENCE: Thank you. ELAINE BROWN: I'm leaving. She gave me the evil eye. You said the last people. One here, one there. That's it. AUDIENCE: Hi. ELAINE BROWN: You have to make your questions short, because you can see how I briefly answer question. AUDIENCE: I'll be quick. So you spoke beautifully in A Taste of Power about George Lester Jackson, and-- ELAINE BROWN: Yeah, thank you. AUDIENCE: Yes. I was wondering if now, all these years later, you could speak to the continued life, legacy and spirit of George Jackson in both the inside prison and the larger outside prison? ELAINE BROWN: Wow. Thank you for that question. George Jackson was Huey Newton's hero. There was no one that he probably admired more than George. And certainly, in my case-- and George Jackson was a prisoner. He was arrested at I think 18 or 19, and he was-- well, I know he was 18 because he did 11 years in prison. He went down on a $70 robbery at a gas station. At that time, they had this thing, something called the indeterminate sentence. So he was given a sentence of one to life. So that means that every year he comes up for parole, he's never going to get out, or it depends on how well you do with the officers and all that stuff. That's what I mean about that policy question where they get to make a decision on your whole life just because of whatever they feel like doing. So George decided to organize prisoners in what we call a prisoner movement, because we don't think about that anymore. We just think about mass incarceration. We have some kind of just generic terms and we don't really know. And George, the important thing about George and why he got killed was very much why Fred Hampton was, because George Jackson organized not just black prisoners, but Latino and white prisoners. I mean under George's authority, we could say, you had people from the Aryan Brotherhood, people from the Mexican Mafia, what have you. And one of the things that he said that I like to quote was, "settle your differences-- settle your differences and recognize who the common enemy is." And George fought to do that. And he was, at one point, soldered in his cell because he was becoming a Marxist, and he was soldered in his cell for four years, never left his cell. I mean sealed the cell up. He set an example for everyone and created one of the biggest prisoner movements. He had the Folsom manifesto, which I don't talk about, but there was. And all the prisoners really wanted was the same thing they want now, which is they're not even saying let us out. They're saying can we just have like decent housing so we're not freezing in winter and so forth. Can we have health care? The California prisons were just about emptied out because of the failure of health care. And so prisoners fighting for their own rights was what George-- And he said, but remember, we are prisoners who are in a prison within a prison, because those of you on the other side of this wall are also prisoners. And it's not that you have necessarily a duty to us, you have a duty to all of us because this is all one thing. When George was killed, of course, the response was the uprising at Attica State Prison in New York, which everybody should know was just a horrific moment. They took over that prison for maybe eight days, a bunch of prisoners-- black, white, Latino, what have you. And Rockefeller, the then Governor of New York, called an end to it and they shot down 40 people-- blowed them down in a matter of seconds. And that kind of ended the prisoner movement. I think that brought a pall on everybody. And so somewhere in these different pockets we still have people fighting. We need to get back to that concept. We need to get back to prisoner rights. I tried to be a part of a effort in Georgia in 2012-- no, 2010 now. In 2010, wow-- and in December. And my boy, who's been in the hole ever since that, was deemed one of the leaders, and they shut down work-- stoppage, did a work stoppage at eight prisons. And the spirit of George was a part of that. And they just said we're not going to work unless we're working for free. It's really slave labor. And it definitely goes against the 13th Amendment, not that that really matters, but it does. And so they refused to work for one day. There were eight prisons. All of them. And it was every single group of people that was there. And people were told don't even think about working if you could not-- you know. So they didn't work, and the prison guards, they started burning up stuff in the prison. They were hosing people down, they were beating people badly to make them work, amazingly. I mean it's not like they did something. They refused to do something. So it was really peaceful, really nonviolent, and they were beaten badly. But it went on for almost eight days. And about four of the prisons held out for quite a while, but people were-- There was one guy that was beaten so badly. I mean there are people with real severe injuries just because of that, but they still continued that spirit. And in California, the spirit of George Jackson is almost palpable on the yard at San Quentin. But at the same time there was an organization called No More Tears that formed in the prison, and one of the founders is working with me and my Oakland & The World thing. And No More Tears, the idea was that they were killing and stabbing each other so much, Crips and Bloods. We have gangs in the joint, right? Crips and Bloods, and these people identify as that, like whatever that means. Like what, you're getting money from the Crips society? No. There is no money. They just identify as Crips and Bloods. They're killing each other. Mexicans. You've got Northern California Mexicans don't even talk to Southern California. It's horrible. And so No More Tears said we're going to stop, finally. And it was Jerry Elster, this brother that I'm speaking of, and another guy who was a Blood. Well, he was-- yeah, he was a Crip and the other guy was a Blood. And they basically put the word out that we're gonna stop this, and they used George's statement, "settle your differences." So I think that spirit is there, but it's not organized anymore than anything else is, but I'm glad you mentioned, because George Jackson remains one of my personal heroes. And every August the 21st, I send a text message to Angela Davis and she sends me one back. And we cry over George every year. Thank you for asking about him. AUDIENCE: Thank you. ELAINE BROWN: You're the last one. Is this going to be a good question? AUDIENCE: I'm hoping. ELAINE BROWN: So we can wind up with a really positive. Look at the weight I put oh her. Go ahead. AUDIENCE: Thank you all for waiting. My question is also about A Taste of Power. So upon reading it, one of the things that struck me most was your focus and emphasis on the relationships that you had with people, and bringing out what they meant to you and how they influenced your decision process. And that blew me away because I'm so used to hearing men tell their stories, especially men in politics and in leadership positions describe their choices as being separate from the people around them and distancing themselves from emotional connection and perceived weakness and emotional bias. And I was just wondering why you chose to include that emotional vulnerability in the book? And if you think there is any power behind doing so as a black woman? ELAINE BROWN: I could give you one example. For example, like Huey? You mean my relationship with Huey [INAUDIBLE]?? AUDIENCE: Or with your daughter, and how caring for her inspired you to like-- or helped inform your decision to like [INAUDIBLE]-- ELAINE BROWN: Well, we do, we are inspired by things, aren't we, in our lives. Most of us are-- Everything that we've experienced becomes the experience. You know, it's like if mom made the best something, then you can't even imagine anything being better than that. You know, that kind of thing. And I felt that this was my story. It was a political story in a certain sense, but it was like how did some woman become the head of the Black Panther Party? You know I would get asked that question all the time. And people ask me, well, I heard you slept with this one, this one, and this one, and that's how you became the head of the Black Panther Party. So there was, first of all, some big pay-off. And second of all, as though Huey Newton was some kind of idiot, and as though he hadn't been with 80 million women. You know what I'm saying. So that's going to be the criterion. I don't think so, because that wasn't there. But I felt it was necessary for me to be cathartic, and also to be somewhat honest. I don't mean like I was brutally honest. There were things I didn't talk about. But everything I talked about was true, as far as I recalled, as I said. But that was important, first of all, because I was in so much pain after I left the Black Panther Party. I probably cried for the next 10 years, and my daughter suffered tremendously because of that. All I wanted to do was just die after I left the Black Panther Party. I felt there was no point in my life. And you have to get in touch with that, and just go ahead and say that's what's happening, as opposed to I can do this or I can do it. We all suffered. We had tremendous pain that we suffered, even in the Party, emotionally. Somebody asked me about that today, and I don't know how to necessarily resolve that or address that because it's really not that deep. But I did think for myself it was important to just be cathartic and just say what I had to say. I mean I felt one of the most difficult things, outside of talking about how I wanted to be white-- that was hard. People were like, well, why did you tell that? Because it's true, and I know a lot of black girls growing up that have to deal with that question every day, whether or not-- We make a decision. I'm a black person in America, but that takes a lot of decision-making in the sense of when white people say, well, you're not like the other black people. You're special. And you're articulate, you know. And you don't even look like black people. And we really like you. And black people like that. It matters, if you'll pardon the use of the term. You follow me? It matters. So what do we do about that? And I felt in my journey-- People were mad with me about the white man that was in the beginning of my book, and I've been attacked for that, but I'm still standing and they're not. So I told my story. And you know what? My book has never gone out of print, and I think it's because a lot of young women, especially, and I still get a lot of letters, believe it or not, who feel like the book affected them. Like finally somebody said what they were thinking and they were scared to say it. And in some of the other books that come out of this period or any period, there's always this black and white. No, I mean I did some stuff that was really horrific. For me to show my daughter that book was, I couldn't even think about it. It was hard to show my daughter that book. And she had her judgments about it, like why did you sleep with all those people? It was the time, what can I say? And that wasn't even the half of it, you know what I mean? It's like this was the cleaned up version of it. She was embarrassed. My daughter was very embarrassed by that. But I couldn't allow her to be [INAUDIBLE].. My mother, who didn't have sense enough to be embarrassed, I didn't speak about her very positively, but people think I did because they don't read. They think that she was this wonderful woman that sacrificed for me. But she was something other than that. So all of those elements, those were the themes of the book. But it was my one story as it crossed into this incredible whirlpool, vortex of revolution, and how it came to be there. So if that touched you in some way, as it has touched a lot of people, then that may have been the real reason I had to do it anyway. That people said, wow, this brought-- I didn't come on like I came out the womb, power to the people. [LAUGHTER] I didn't. I grew up in America, and all these things were influences on what I did and what I didn't do. And I made decisions not based on like I made a bad choice. No. I had the choice of A and B. I didn't have C, D through Z. You know what I mean? It's like people are like, this person made bad choices. Like let me see, I'm offered to be a millionaire or I'm offered to stay in the hood and sling dope. I'm going to say no, I'd rather stay in the hood and sling dope. Really? I don't have the other offer on the table. These are the offers I have. Zero or slinging. You know what I'm saying. I'm going with slinging. So those are the things that I do, and I appreciate you're asking me about it, and I hope people do read it. And we're going to do a book signing, Miss Hassani. And I think it is, I really know that I worked hard. It took me eight years. I cried over that book. I broke out into hives. It was so hard to admit some of that stuff for me. And then I had this wonderful mentor named Calvin Hernton-- I don't if anybody's ever heard of him. He did a book called Sex and Racism in America, and he said, are you going to cry or are you going to write this book? I was like, [SAD FACE] I'm gonna write the book. [LAUGHTER] But it was really hard, and I had to admit things, and look at myself, hold up that mirror. But I think I did it-- A lot of other young women and women like me could identify with. And I really, truly-- the book is now an e-book. It has never gone out of print. So I'm very proud of that. And hopefully we'll have a movie one day. And maybe my little daughter Alicia Keys will play me, huh? [LAUGHTER] Yeah. She and I identify on-- I always tell her that I intended to be her when I played piano, sing my little songs. Kind of be cute and just play piano and sing songs. And she said, well, you know, if I had been around when you were there, I'd have been you. So we always say, I would have been you. She's a very cool, good person. So let's see, maybe we'll get a movie out of that. All right. Thank you so much-- AUDIENCE: Thank you. ELAINE BROWN: --for just-- [APPLAUSE] ELAINE BROWN: What are we doing? We going to sign books? Thank you. HASSANI SCOTT: Thank you, everyone, for coming out tonight. Hold up, y'all. Thank you. Before we transition into the book signing, I would like to make a few acknowledgments. I organized this event independently, which means that I had a lot of support, and I think it's very necessary for me to acknowledge that. So Black Power 50th, Affirming Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow featuring Elaine Brown was made possible through the generous support of the Office of Institutional Diversity, the Undergraduate Student Event Fund, the Dean of the College at the Taubman Center for American Politics and Policy, the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, the Department of Africana Studies, the Rights and Reason Theater, the C.V. Starr Program in Business, Entrepreneurship and Organizations, the Cogent Center for Humanities, the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women, the Department of Modern Culture and Media, the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, the BCSC, specifically the Black Heritage Series, and the Lambda Iota Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated. Thank you to each of my co-sponsors, and the team members who offered support and helped bring BP-50 into fruition. I would also like to thank Elaine Brown, Dr. Anthony Bogues who provided a lot of support, intellectual as well. Yes. I'll keep it at that. Shina Want-- Shana Weinberg, my apologies. Dr. Liza Cariaga-Lo, Margo [? Swarett, ?] Anne Marie Pont, Joshua [? Siggee, ?] Shelley Adriance, Marguerite Joutz, Dean Maud Mandel, Barbara Sardy, Dr. Mama Francoise Hamlin, Dr. Tricia Rose-- seriously, Dr. Francoise Hamlin, thank you. Dr. Tricia Rose, the Shomburg Center for Research and Black Culture, Dr. Sylviane Diouf, Sonia Sanchez, Dean Maitrayee Bhattacharyya, Dr. Brian Meeks, Karen Allen Baxter, Alonzo Jones, Kathleen Moyer, Deborah Bowen-- a lot of people, y'all. Jordan McCracken-Foster-- I'm going to make you stand, because Jordan is responsible for the poster designs. We went to middle school together, we went to high school together, and he's at RISD now. [APPLAUSE] ELAINE BROWN: So it's Sat out for Jordan. Warren Harding, Lydia Kelow-Bennett, Amory Bennett, [? Tobe-- ?] I may be mispronouncing her last name and my apologies in advance-- [? Baser, ?] the Brown Bookstore, Diana Richardson, Brown Graphic Services Copy Center at the Brown Faculty Club, Cheryl Carberry, Brianna Peters, Melissa [? Vigilance, ?] to [? Rolodox ?] from [? Jay ?] Wu. Antoine Matthews, Media Services, Event Support, Bluestockings Magazine, Brown Dining Services, to everyone who shared and publicized this event, to those whose names I have failed to mention. Two of those names are [? Kaylee ?] Wyatt and Dominique [? Balu, ?] to [? Zorno ?] Hurston, to Shante Taylor, my mom, my dad who's not here with us tonight. He's back at home in LA. And my brother Ethan who looks like he's just waking up from his slumber. [LAUGHTER] And to God. I am deeply grateful. Thank you for your time. Thank you for your presence. [APPLAUSE] And the book signing is outside. [APPLAUSE] writing a good thesis discussion New York State College of Human Ecology.