With great fear for this nation and greater anger for its direction, I hail and salute the 35th Anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party. The four years I spent at the helm of the Party’s paper were four of the most valuable years of my long, activist life. That life began as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Infantry in the Philippines at the close of World War II, in the streets of Manila demanding to go home; an activism that continues to this day in my 77th year.


The fear and anger I feel today is fed by the nearly thirty of those years spent living, working and playing in Egypt in North Africa and in Ghana in West Africa. There, through the 1960s, I witnessed and was a part of the coming to political independence of one African nation after another using all means necessary. And I also witnessed and was a part of the residual and continuing horrors of colonial exploitation of the natural and human resources of a rich and bountiful continent of ancient and proud peoples.


When I came home in 1972, like a magnet, I was drawn to Oakland where I believed I would be welcomed and might be needed. I was right. Without knowing me personally, but honoring the name and legacy I bore and the years of first-hand liberation experience on the African continent that I came to them with, Huey and Bobby welcomed me like a brother-comrade and gave me carte-blanch authority to edit and guide the Party paper. The Party comrades with whom I worked over those three years will attest to my loyalty, to my total commitment and to my devotion.


The fear and anger I feel today as I watch the nation react to September 11, is fed by what I know of the utter ignorance of the American people of the truth of what is happening in the world around them. It is fed by the first hand knowledge I have of the Corporate U.S. media’s refusal to inform Americans of what is happening outside these shores. Its selection of only that which makes the U.S. look good on the one hand and what makes that world of peoples of color - - the developing nations and peoples of Central and South America and the Caribbean, all Africa, the Middle East, Asia, the Pacific Islanders and the indigenous peoples of Australia and New Zealand, some four-fifth of humanity - - look bad. That world that for at least four Centuries was both the playground and the exploitation fields that made Europe rich and powerful..


As Editor of the Black Panther Party weekly newspaper I had the great opportunity and responsibility of telling the hidden truths of what was happening to people of color in the US and around the world. During my three years we utilized my contacts on the African continent to tell our readers also the truth of the great liberation struggles sweeping the African continent; struggles that the mainstream media either ignored, lied about when they could not be ignored and always and consistently distorted.


The nations that have pledged direct military contributions to the US. armed aggressions against Afghanistan, one of the poorest nations of peoples of color in the world, are Britain, France, Germany, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Is this Bush’s "coalition" to fight terrorism?" Is this that "international community" so often referred to in their rhetoric?


My fear and my anger arises from the fact that the worlds’ peoples of color are today being challenged by the centers of power and wealth in Europe and North America. The gauntlet has been thrown down - - in Afghanistan. It is being taken up by peace loving, justice seeking, courageous and proud peoples everywhere. There may yet be awful devastation. But, W.E.B. Du Bois said it nearly a Century ago: "Most (wo) men in this world are colored. A belief in humanity means a belief in colored (wo) men. The future world will, in all reasonable probability be what colored (wo) men make it."



David Graham Du Bois


Editor - Black Panther Intercommunal Service from August, 1972 to December, 1976