[News] Alprentice ‘Bunchy’ Carter ‘would have rode with Nat Turner’

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Oct 14 11:02:38 EDT 2016


  Alprentice ‘Bunchy’ Carter ‘would have rode with Nat Turner’

*/by /**/Norman (Otis) Richmond, aka Jalali - October 12, 2016
/* <http://nation.lk/online/author/thilinap/>

/“If Bunchy had been on the same plantation as Nat Turner, you can 
believe he would have rode with Nat Turner. That’s the type of person 
Bunchy was.”/ – Kumasi

Oct. 12 is the birthday of one of the most talented and promising young 
men martyred in the massive state repression against the Black Panther 
Party for Self Defense.

NBC television has resurrected Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter with a series 
called “Aquarius.” The imperialist media has brought back both Carter 
and Charles Manson. Carter was an iconic Black revolutionary from Los 
Angeles. Manson was a cold-blooded serial killer who led the Manson 
Family that murdered many in California.

Somehow Hollyweird has united these two polar opposites for television. 
It is not that weird when we understand that these forces are part of 
the state whose job it is to keep Africa, Africans and all oppressed 
people confused.

Gerald Horne, who wrote the volume, “Confronting Black Jacobins: The 
U.S., the Haitian Revolution and the Origins of the Dominican Republic,” 
taught Carter’s daughter Danon at the University of California, Santa 
Barbara, and has written extensively on Hollywood. Horne says Hollywood 
has done a number on Africans in America from “Birth of a Nation” to 
“Gone with the Wind,” depicting Black women as mammies, servants and sex 

Linden Beckford Jr., a graduate of Grambling University, is currently 
writing a biography of Carter.

      *Carter is almost forgotten*

Unlike Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver and George Jackson, 
Carter has almost been forgotten from the history of Africans in America 
except for diehards.

Yes, the Fugees – Wyclef Jean, Lauryn Hill and Pras Michel – mention 
Carter on the 1996 soundtrack film “When We Were Kings” about the famous 
“Rumble in the Jungle” heavyweight championship match between Muhammad 
Ali and George Foreman, which took place in 1974. And yes, M-1 and stic 
man of dead prez did “B.I.G. Respect,” a song on their mixtape, “Turn 
off the Radio,” that mentions Carter. But that is about it.

Who were Carter and John Huggins and why are they important for the 21st 
century? Carter, then 26 (born Oct. 12, 1942), was assassinated on Jan. 
17, 1969, along with John Huggins, 23 (born Feb. 11, 1945), in a 
Campbell Hall classroom at UCLA in Los Angeles.

The team of Carter and Huggins are interesting for several reasons. 
Number one, Carter was born in Louisiana but was made in Los Angeles. 
Huggins was born on the other side of the country in New Haven, 
Connecticut. Number two, Carter was a product of the Black proletariat 
while Huggins was from the Black middle class.

One of Huggins’ aunts, Constance Baker Motley (Sept. 14, 1921 – Sept. 
28, 2005) was an African born in America whose parents hailed from Nevis 
in the Caribbean. She was a lawyer, judge, state senator and borough 
president of Manhattan, New York City. Huggins committed class suicide 
and he and Carter had no problem working together.

It is a tragic coincidence in history that eight years before Carter and 
Huggins joined the ancestors, Patrice Emery Lumumba, the first 
democratically elected president of the Congo, Joseph Okito, vice 
president of the Senate, and Maurice Mpolo, sports and youth minister, 
were killed in the Congo by an unholy alliance of the CIA, Belgian 
imperialism and other agents of imperialism headed by Mobuto Sese Seko 
Ngbendu Wa Za Banga, aka Col. Joseph Mobuto, on Jan. 17, 1961.

Carter and Huggins were gunned down by members of the cultural 
nationalist US Organization. An FBI memo dated Nov. 29, 1968, described 
a letter that the Los Angeles FBI office intended to mail to the Black 
Panther Party office.

This letter, which was made to appear as if it had come from the US 
Organization, described fictitious plans by US to ambush BPP members. 
The FBI memo stated, “It is hoped this counterintelligence measure will 
result in an ‘US’ and BPP vendetta.”

Many feel that the leader of US, Ron Karenga, was working for the other 
side. An article in the Wall Street Journal described Karenga as a 
thriving businessman, specializing in gas stations, who maintained close 
ties to Eastern Rockefeller family and LA’s mayor.

Michael Newton pointed out in the volume, “Bitter Grain: Huey P. Newton 
and the Black Panther Party,” a Wall Street Journal article which 
reported: “A few weeks after the assassination of Martin Luther King … 
Mr. Karenga slipped into Sacramento for a private chat with Gov. Reagan, 
at the governor’s request. The Black nationalist also met clandestinely 
with Los Angeles police chief Thomas Reddin after Mr. King was killed.”

      *We need some stronger stuff*

At that moment in history, many cultural nationalists maintained that 
the cultural revolution must take place before a political one could 
proceed. Huey P. Newton, the co-founder of the Black Panther Party, 
countered with the view: “We believe that culture itself will not 
liberate us. We’re going to need some stronger stuff.”

The Black Panther Party led by Newton and Bobby Seale was like the 
African National Congress of South Africa (ANC). It was an 
anti-imperialist alliance; many like Carter embraced revolutionary 
nationalism while others like Newton, George Jackson and Fred Hampton 
took a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist (MLM) position. Hampton openly said he 
was fighting for socialism leading to communism.

      *Carter named Geronimo*

In its Feb. 17, 1969, edition, The Black Panther newspaper pays tribute 
to assassinated leaders Bunchy Carter and John Huggins. Click to enlarge.

Carter was a firm supporter of the Native American struggle. It was 
Carter who changed Elmer Pratt into Geronimo ji-Jaga Pratt (Sept. 13, 
1947 – June 2, 2011) after the great Native American warrior Geronimo, 
“the one who yawns” (June 1829 – Feb. 17, 1909) was a prominent Apache 
leader who fought against Mexico and Arizona for their expansion into 
Apache tribal lands for several decades during the Apache Wars.

Geronimo replaced Carter as the deputy minister of defense of the 
Southern California Chapter of the BPP after Carter was taken out. 
Carter left a memo saying his wish was for Geronimo to replace him.

Carter was never known as an anti-Communist. Before joining the Black 
Panther Party, Carter was recruited by Raymond “Maasi” Hewitt to a 
Maoist study group called the Red Guard. I was a part of the same group; 
however, Carter came in after I left Los Angeles.

Carter was influenced by Jean-Jacques Dessalines of Haiti and Dedan 
Kimathi of the Land and Freedom Army, the so-called Mau Mau. The Los 
Angeles Chapter under Bunchy’s leadership required that members take the 
Mau Mau Oath. Here is the Mau Mau Oath:

“I speak the truth and vow before God / And before this movement, / The 
movement of Unity, / The Unity which is put to the test, / The Unity 
that is mocked with the name of ‘Mau Mau,’ / That I shall go forward to 
fight for the land, / The lands of Kirinyaga that we cultivated, / The 
lands which were taken by the Europeans, / And if I fail to do this, / 
May this oath kill me, / May this seven kill me, / May this meat kill me.”

      *Days at Los Angeles City College*

Carter and a small segment of people who lived in my area of Los Angeles 
had an international world view. He was a legendary figure in my 
neighborhood. After he was released from prison, he attended Los Angeles 
City College. Carter was my senior and I didn’t meet him until he was 
released from jail.

He and others, like Sigidi Abdullah and his S.O.S Band, “Take Your Time 
(Do It Right)”; Rhongea Southern, now Daar Malik El-Bey, who worked 
closely with Abdullah; Earl Randall, who went on to work with Willie 
Mitchell at Hi Records and wrote Al Green’s “God Bless Our Love”; Fred 
Goree, who became Masai Karega Kenyatta and a DJ on WCHB 1440AM in 
Detroit, went to LACC at the same time.

Sigidi told me that Carter asked him to organize a talent show at LACC. 
I remember singing the Spinners’ “I’ll Always Love You” at this event. 
El-Bey was my guitarist.

Carter’s political consciousness was raised before he joined the Black 
Panther Party. Kumasi, who Huey P. Newton asked to replace Carter as the 
leader of the Southern California Chapter of the BPP, talked to me about 
the LA legend.

Says Kumasi: “When Malcolm X first came to Los Angeles, he built the 
first outpost right there in our neighborhood. The Mosque (Temple 27) 
itself was close to us and all of us had visited the Mosque. As a matter 
of fact, Bunchy and many of the Renegade Slausons (Bunchy had his own 
set of Slausons inside the Slausons) were the first youth Fruit of Islam 
(FOI) in LA. Carter was only 15 years old at that moment in history.

Carter was a 20th century renaissance man. He was great at many things 
and was a poet and a singer. Elaine Brown has written that many Panthers 
sang together: “John (Huggins) sang bass to my contralto and Bunchy’s 

Brown pointed out in her autobiography, “A Taste of Power: A Black 
Woman’s Story,” how the trio used to sing the Young Hearts’ “I’ve Got 
Love for My Baby.” He was also a great dancer. David Hilliard maintains 
that if it were not for racism, Carter may have become an Olympic swimmer.

Brown says while all this is true, Carter was first and foremost a 
revolutionary. This is extraordinary if you consider that Carter 
suffered a childhood bout of polio and moved to South Central LA, where 
his mother, Nola Carter, enrolled him in a “therapeutic” dance class.

Carter’s Louisiana-born mother is still in the land of the living at the 
time of this writing. She is almost a century old and has lost two sons: 
Arthur Morris, Carter’s older step brother, acted as Carter’s bodyguard 
and was the first member of the BPP to lose his life. He was killed in 
March of 1968. Little Bobby Hutton, who was influenced by Carter, was 
killed on April 6, 1968. Her youngest son, Kenneth Fati Carter, is 
currently locked down in Corcoran State Prison in California.

Caffee Greene, mother of Raymond Nat Turner, Black Agenda Report’s 
poet-in-residence, hired Carter to work at the Teen Post in Los Angeles. 
Greene first hired Raymond “Masai” Hewitt, who was replaced by Carter. 
It was at the Teen Post that I first heard Eldridge Cleaver speak. 
Cleaver and Carter were both Nation of Islam ministers in prison.

The Afrikan Students Union at UCLA keeps alive the memory of Black 
Panther leaders Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter and John Huggins with an 
annual commemorative gathering in Campbell Hall Classroom 1201, where 
they were gunned down, on the anniversary of their assassination on Jan. 
17, 1969. At the 2014 gathering, panel member Ericka Huggins, also a 
leader in the Black Panther Party and widow of the late John Huggins, 
encouraged them to “make a portal for students way younger than you to 
be here … Use the skills the university has given you and turn them 
toward your community … We are all standing on someone’s shoulders; 
imagine someone is standing on yours.” – Photo: Afrikan Students Union

Turner saw the cultural side of Carter: “Yeah, I heard Bunchy sing 
Stevie’s ‘I’m Wondering’ and ‘I Was Made to Love Her,’ and I used to 
hear Tommy (Lewis) play piano at the Teen Post my mom directed. … It was 
also fun to watch Bunchy dance – Philly Dog, Jerk and Twine … a lil’ 
‘Bitter Dog’ with the Philly Dog every once in a while … ‘Bebop Santa 
from the Cool North Pole’ and ‘Black Mother’ were also great to hear.” 
Tommy Lewis, Robert Lawrence and Steve Bartholomew were murdered by the 
Los Angeles police at a service station on Aug. 25, 1968.

Kumasi opines that Carter and George Jackson were like Henri Christophe 
and Jean-Jacques Dessalines. While they were well-versed in history, 
revolutionary theory and current events, both were soldiers ready to 
take to the battlefield. Carter made a contribution to Africa, Africans 
and oppressed humanity. We should remember him every Oct. 12.

      *Post script*

In his Executive Order No. 1, “The Correct Handling of Differences 
Between Black Organizations,” issued in 1968, Alprentice “Bunchy” 
Carter, then the deputy minister of defense of the Southern California 
Chapter at Los Angeles of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, 
wrote: “Let this be heard: The Black Panther Party must never be the 
enemy of the people. The Black Panther Party must never put itself in 
that other organizations can make them seem to be the enemy of Black 
People …

“History will show we have the correct analysis of the problem. The 
people will relate to the party that relates to them. Therefore, we must 
continue to relate to the people. Therefore, we do not get into 
squabbles with other Black organizations; we do not have time for this 
when engaging in revolution. Let this be done.”

/Norman (Otis) Richmond, aka Jalali, was born in Arcadia, Louisiana, and 
grew up in Los Angeles. He left Los Angles after refusing to fight in 
Vietnam because he felt that, like the Vietnamese, Africans in the 
United States were colonial subjects. In the 1960s, Richmond moved to 
Toronto, where he co-founded the Afro American Progressive Association, 
one of the first Black Power organizations in that part of the world. 
Before moving to Toronto permanently, Richmond worked with the 
Detroit-based League of Revolutionary Black Workers. He was the youngest 
member of the central staff. When the League split, he joined the 
African People’s Party. In 1992, Richmond received the Toronto Arts 
Award. In front of an audience that included the mayor of Toronto, 
Richmond dedicated his award to Mumia Abu-Jamal, Assata Shakur, Geronimo 
Pratt, the African National Congress of South Africa and Fidel Castro 
and the people of Cuba. In 1984 he co-founded the Toronto Chapter of the 
Black Music Association with Milton Blake. Richmond began his career in 
journalism at the African Canadian weekly Contrast. He went on to be 
published in the Toronto Star, the Toronto Globe & Mail, the National 
Post, the Jackson Advocate, Share, the Islander, the Black American, Pan 
African News Wire, and Black Agenda Report. Internationally, he has 
written for the United Nations, the Jamaican Gleaner, the Nation 
(Barbados) and Pambazuka News. Currently, he produces Diasporic Music, a 
radio show for Uhuru Radio, and writes a column, Diasporic Music, for 
The Burning Spear newspaper. For more information, contact him at 
//norman.o.richmond at gmail.com/ <mailto:norman.o.richmond at gmail.com>/and 
his blog, //https://normanotisrichmond.wordpress.com///./

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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