March 14, 2011

To DC with Love

by Aaron Dixon


I heard the news today that the field marshal has left this world.  Don Cox, one of the exuberant military and strategic leaders of the Black Panther Party, passed away in France while in exile.  I remember first meeting DC, as he was known, in April 1968 at his Victorian home in San Francisco during a meeting with Stokely Carmichael, Bobby Seale, David Hilliard, and Emory Douglas.  I wondered who this older distinguished gentleman was and why a man of his stature was willing to sacrifice what seemed like a comfortable life for the life of a revolutionary.  A life that had no personal future.  His perfectly combed Afro, his Fu Manchu moustache and green eyes gave him the look of a distinguished professor. 


He was often a voice of reason during very difficult and dangerous times.  His position as field marshal would take him across the country to BPP chapters and branches, trying to develop defenses and some form of military strategy as we faced the onslaught of the government’s repressive agencies.  Death and funerals were our constant companions during those times as we looked to our leaders for direction.  DC eventually joined other comrades in Africa exiled from their homeland.  Most of whom never returned.  DC continued to advance the Party and our revolution in Africa as best as he could until the Party split and in time disintegrating into history.  DC would travel from Africa to Brazil, in due course settling in France, trying to find his place and happiness and peace of mind as best as one can living in exile, away from family and friends and loved ones.  His place in our history would live in the memories of us all. 


We will never forget you Don Cox.  Your sacrifice, your wisdom, your tireless dedication.  You can now rest and watch as the world continues in the endless struggle for freedom.  With Love, Comrade.


(Link to NY Times article and