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My People Are Rising: Memoir of a Black Panther Party Captain
In an era of stark racial injustice, Aaron Dixon dedicated his life to revolution, founding the Seattle chapter of the Black Panther Party in 1968 at age nineteen. In My People Are Rising, he traces the course of his own radicalization, and that of a generation. Through his eyes, we witness the courage and commitment of the young men and women who rose up in rebellion, ris ...more
Paperback, 360 pages
Published October 9th 2012 by Haymarket Books
(first published July 17th 2012)
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Dixon was one of the founders of the Seattle Black Panther Party chapter, the first BPP chapter to form outside California. He gives a frank and engaging account of his upbringing in Seattle and his years in the party from the early days of the Seattle chapter to the slow demise of the entire party. As a Seattle resident with a strong interest in local history, I found the chapters on his teenage years in Seattle and the beginning of the local chapter particularly intriguing. It provided real in ...more
Lenin is reported to have said that there are "Decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen." Aaron Dixon lived several lifetimes before he turned 30, in magnitude and importance. This memoir captures that momentous decade through every phase of the party, except the beginnings in Oakland: launching the Seattle Chapter, the "Free Huey' Movement, armed confrontation with the police, development of serve the people programs, the split with Eldridge Cleaver, the relocatio ...more
What he says at the end, about the Black Panther Party being a beacon to unite people, is somewhat at odds with much of his description of day-to-day events in party life.The Panthers did many good things in communities, & built community wide solidarity. The descriptions of communication within the party worked sometimes, but often didn't happen. I believe, as Assata Shakur said in her book,that in order for an organization to be truly radical in it's politics, radical (happening on a regul ...more
An open-eyed memoir of a man whose youthful passions revolved around armed revolution. A great look at the black panther movement from a foot soldier and true believer who was there from beginning to end. Worth reading by anyone interested in the radical solutions to societal ills that came about in the late 60s, and particularly interesting to anyone involved in community development struggles in Seattle.
I came across this book on a thread where people were arguing about Beyonce's Black Panther Superbowl backup dancers, which was a very happy accident. This is a great and interesting first-hand account of the Black Panther Party, as told by the Party Captain in Seattle. It's both local and national history of the Black Panther Party, and provides some needed historical context for the current epidemic of police shootings.