Elbert “Big Man” Howard #BlackPanthersAt50

Born Elbert Howard 1/5/38 Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Served in the United States Air Force and was honorably discharged.

One of the six original founding members of the BPP, the 3rd member.

Was 28 years old when he met Huey Newton and Bobby Seale at Merritt College in Oakland, California.

Panther on the Prowl is his memoir.

He was the Deputy Minister of Information, member of the Central Committee and the first editor of the Black Panther Party Newspaper.

He went to Japan, Africa, and Europe on behalf of the BPP.

He said:

“I like to think that I didn’t choose the Black Panther Party, the Black Panther Party chose me. . . . The police patrolled, not to protect our property—we didn’t have any. It was to control and dominate us. We saw someone killed by the police almost on a weekly basis. We saw that the power they had over us grew out of the barrels of those guns, and we surmised that one way to deal with that was to arm ourselves.”

He developed the free medical clinic for sickle cell anemia and a work-study program for parolees.

After the BPP he founded the Police Accountability Clinic and Helpline.