To the former members of the Black Panther Party

As a member of the Black Panther Party for ten years, I write this letter to each of you. Thirty years ago, on this exact date, I was shot in my legs as a result of the police department's raid on the Panthers' LA facility on Central Avenue. I could have been killed, maimed or crippled, however God spared me.  I write this letter to all who receive the It's About Time publication to be true to myself, to be true to my God, and to share with each of you what has made the utmost difference in my life.


I have always been a compassionate and caring person, extremely interested in the welfare of all people, particularly the "underdog, which is why I chose the vehicle of the Black Panther Party, to serve people. There were wonderful programs, which helped people, particularly the underdog, and I was and still am proud of the courage and self-sacrifice that was evident in so many members of the Party. Because of my convictions and determination to help people, particularly oppressed people, I hung with the Party for many years despite observing actions that were sometimes contrary or as oppressive as what we fought against. I do not regret being apart of the Party and I have great admiration for so many of the members who sacrificed and devoted their lives for the betterment of oppressed people.


However, in retrospect, I strongly believe and know that what the Party lacked, and what contributed to its demise was the fact that the Party conscientiously rejected God and His Son Jesus Christ. I was one of the ones who chose to reject God and anything related to God. I originally started attending church in early 1983 because I wanted to show my son another aspect of life. However, although I intended this for my son's benefit, it turned out to be for my benefit. I am still on the battlefield, but I am now and have been for the past seventeen years on the battlefield for the Lord. I've had challenges in life and I've been through storms, trials and tribulations, particularly when raising my son as a single parent in the urban LA area. But through it all, God has kept me.

Take care and God bless!


Tommye Williams