And human rights activist, educator and founding member of the Black Panther Party, Elbert “Big Man” Howard, has died. Born in Tennessee in 1938, Howard was also the first editor of the Black Panther Party’s newspaper. This is Elbert “Big Man” Howard, speaking about visiting with prisoners during the 1971 Attica rebellion.
Elbert Howard: “The Panthers were there. I accompanied Bobby Seale and several other Panthers, and we went and we listened to the grievances of the inmates. And there was very little that we could do on the spot, other than we got party authorization to offer the inmates assistance if they wanted to leave the country, because at that time we had some friends—revolutionary friends—who would give them sanctuary, if we could encourage them to come out. And that was about all that we could offer. … And the day after we were there, he [the governor] issued the order to take the prison back at all costs.”
Elbert “Big Man” Howard died on Monday at the age of 80.