“Lives of great men all remind us; we can make our lives sublime,
and, departing, leave behind us, footprints on the sands of time.”
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Family, friends and comrades gathered today at the Agape International Spiritual Center to celebrate the life and legacy Black Panther leader Geronimo Ji Jaga Pratt. Speakers included Pratt’s attorneys Stuart Hanlon, Shawn C. Holly and Kathleen Cleaver. Other scheduled speakers were U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, Mrs. Mollie Bell, nephew Patrick Pratt and former Panthers Wayne Pharr, Roland Freeman and Mubarakart. He was eulogized by Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith with music by Rickie Byars Beckwith and the Agape International Choir.
Many speakers reminded us we best honor him by honoring that part of ourselves that also seeks Freedom and knows that to that end, there is still much work to be done.
Pratt, the target of the notorious FBI COINTELPRO program, served 27 years behind bars for a murder he did not commit. His conviction was overturned in 1997. He won a $4.5 million judgment against the City of Los Angeles and the FBI after his release. He had been splitting his time between his childhood home in Morgan City, Louisiana and a community founded by former Panther Pete O’Neal outside Arusha, Tanzania in East Africa. He died there in June of malaria.