OAKLAND––In 2008 a handwritten page from the diary of Eldridge Cleaver sold for $700. Among other things, Cleaver’s diary reveals the history of The African People’s Socialist Party’s determination to forward the African revolution even after its brutal and bloody defeat by the U.S. government and its abandonment by some of its most significant leaders.
Eldridge Cleaver was one of the most controversial leaders of the U.S. Front of the African liberation movement. He was a brilliant thinker and writer and played a major role in the early political and ideological development of the Black Panther Party.
On April 6, 1968, two days after the U.S. government assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Cleaver and a group of Panthers engaged in a gun battle with the Oakland Police Department that resulted in the police murder of 17-year-old Bobby Hutton, the first member of the Black Panther Party and its first martyr.
Cleaver barely survived the shootout with his life, but was never able to fully escape a claim of responsibility for his role in the death of Hutton at the hands of the notoriously brutal Oakland Police Department.
In 1971 Cleaver initiated a violent split within the Black Panther Party that facilitated its destruction by the U.S. government.
Years later the African People’s Socialist Party, fulfilling the revolutionary mission inherited from the Black Revolution of the Sixties and determined to push forward til victory, initiated a revolutionary anti-colonial free healthcare program in the most oppressed section of Oakland. It was named for 17-year-old Bobby Hutton.
After jumping a $50,000 bond and escaping to exile in Cuba and Algeria, Cleaver returned to the U.S. as a follower of a reactionary Korean preacher connected to the Korean intelligence organization.
He was to join the Mormons, the Republican party and engage in an assortment of reactionary actions that supported the U.S. colonial government.
The auctioned page in his diary (shown here) reveals the fact that our Party did not allow the revolution to stop because of the defection of Eldridge Cleaver and others of his ilk.
In part, the diary page reads:
“April 6, 1987 Monday
“This is the anniversary of the shootout we had in which Bobby Hutton was killed. Uhuru House is staging a Free Huey Rally featuring Omali Yeshitela, Charles Gary, and Dollie Mae Hutton. 7:30 p.m., Uhuru House, 7911 MacArthur, Oakland. Sponsored by African People’s Socialist Party…I will not be there—because they reject me not vice versa…”
The photo below shows the panelist for the Free Huey event Cleaver’s diary mentions.
Seated at the table are, from left, APSP Chairman Omali Yeshitela, former Black Panther member Melvin Dixon, Huey P. Newton lawyer Charles Gary, Huey P. Newton’s wife, Fredericka and Dollie Mae Hutton, Bobby Hutton’s mother.