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Kathleen Cleaver

Kathleen Cleaver co-edited (with George Katsiaficas) Liberation, Imagination, and the Black Panther Party: A New Look at the Panthers and Their Legacy, 2001. She also contributed a text to Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas, 2007 and an essay for Back to Black, Whitechapel Gallery, London and The New Art Gallery Walsall, 2005.

Kathleen Cleaver was married to one-time Black Panther Party firebrand Eldridge Cleaver, for two decades. She has provided one of the most cogent accounts of Eldridge Cleaver’s life, in a five-page feature that appeared in the June 1969 issue of Ramparts magazine. In the piece, Kathleen Cleaver recounted that “Before I met Eldridge, I had read his “Letters from Prison” in RAMPARTS; what astounded me was the tremendous strength he demonstrated in recreating himself in prison. If a man can grow and develop as Eldridge had, subject to the conditions of prison, if a man is not broken by these conditions, but instead becomes a profoundly beautiful and sensitive man, then nothing can break him.” (1)

A biographical sketch of Kathleen Cleaver is included in George Otis, Eldredge Cleaver: Ice and Fire!. Lakeland, 1977, Kathleen, My Love, Chapter 11, pp. 75 - 82

(1) On Eldridge Cleaver, by Kathleen Cleaver, Ramparts magazine, June 1969, pp. 4 – 11.

Related items

click to show details of Back to Black - catalogue

»  Back to Black - catalogue

Catalogue relating to an exhibition, 2005

click to show details of Back to Black: art, cinema and the racial imaginary

»  Back to Black: art, cinema and the racial imaginary

Review relating to an exhibition, 2005