Institute for Arts and Media

  • Black Power Archives

Black Power Archives Oral History Project

The Black Power Archives Oral History Project is a collection of oral histories documenting the experiences of Black Power activists in Los Angeles. See clips of interviews on our YouTube channel.

The interviews were conducted by Dr. Karin Stanford and Keith Rice.

Byron Booth

Byron Booth, a Black Panther, discusses his family and childhood in Chicago. He also describes serving prison time with Eldridge Cleaver, escaping from prison by hijacking a plane to Cuba, and moving to Algeria with Cleaver.

Watani Stiner

Watani Stiner is a former member of the US Organization. He discusses the difficulties with being a child of the great migration from Houston to Los Angeles, joining the Gladiators social club/gang, his conviction for the killing of Black Panthers Bunchy Carter and John Huggins at UCLA, his escape from prison and life in exile in South America Guyana, and return to the United States.

Kicheko Davis

Kicheko Davis is a former member of the US Organization discusses her leadership role in the organization and how they created the internationally celebrated holiday known as Kwanzaa in Los Angeles.

Ngoma Ali

Ngoma Ali is a former member of the Gladiators social club/street organization and the US Organization and discusses his life growing up in Los Angeles.

Tamu McFalls

Valerie “Tamu” McFalls, is a former member of the Che-Lumumba Club, former wife of Soledad Brother John Cluchette, and former roommate with Angela Davis. Tamu discusses growing up in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, her membership in the Che-Lumumba Club, and her work on the Soledad Brothers and her work with Franklin and Kendra Alexander.

Tamu McFalls On the Che-Lumumba Club

Joseph Johnson

Joseph “Little Joe” Johnson was a former member of the Che-Lumumba Club and the United Front, and fierce advocate of Black Marxism during the Black Power era. He worked with Hakim Jamal, the co-founder of the US Organization and the cousin of Malcolm X. He also discusses his family history, growing up in the Pueblo Del Rio Projects and significant members of the Black Power Movement.

Monroe Jones

Monroe Jones is a former member of the Nation of Islam in Los Angeles. He discusses the foundation of Mosque #27 and how his family was one of the first to host meetings for the Nation in the city. He recounts the LAPD police shooting of 7 members of the Mosque on April 27, 1962, that resulted in the death of Ronald Stokes and wounding of others.

Bird

Bird is a member of the Slausons street club in Los Angeles. In this clip, he and Kumasi, who is also a Slauson, discuss the street clubs of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s and their relationship to the Black Power Movement and the gangs that came after them.

Franklin "Jomo" Shuford

Franklin “Jomo” Shuford was recruited into Black Panther Party at age 14 by Eldridge Cleaver in Riverside, CA. He worked alongside his mother as a community activist. Shuford spent 10 years on death row for a crime he did not commit as part of an attempt to connect him to a Black Panther murder of an Orange County Policeman.

Deacon Alexander

Deacon Alexander recounts his participation in the activities of the Black Panther Party under Bunchy Carter, Elaine Brown, Eldridge Cleaver, and Huey Newton in the mid-1960s. He also talks about his recruitment and early participation in the Communist Party with Angela Davis during the same time period.

Kumasi

Kumasi is a member of the Slausons social club/street organization and a leader in the prison movement, where he articulated points of the Folsom Prison Manifesto and was a comrade to Soledad Brother George Jackson. Kumasi has been featured in the documentaries Crips and Bloods: Made in America and Bastards of the Party.