In Memoriam: Bobby Lee, Black Panther
Date Written: 13/04/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX20663
Hy Thurman remembers Bobby Lee.
I first met Bobby Lee in 1968 at a citizens' council in Chicago's middle class Lincoln Park community. The council would invite different organizations in to learn of their activities and needs. On that night they had scheduled the Young Patriots and the Black Panthers. We told the audience that Uptown was in need of funding to fight poverty and racism and to help feed the hungry. We were met with hostility, called a dangerous gang, cut short and not allowed to finish our program. But Bobby Lee would not have this attitude from the council and, as he never missed an opportunity to organize and educate, he explained that the Young Patriots were only trying to take care of their neighborhood people the same as they were trying to take care of theirs. The only difference between them and the Young Patriots and Black Panthers was that they had money to enjoy freedom, but all people are oppressed by the government, even the middle class in the end. Bobby believed that the only difference between the poor white man and the poor black man was the color of their skin: they are both oppressed. This was the beginning of the original Rainbow Coalition.