Eddie Griffin, ex-Black Panther, ex-convict, Blackosphere advocate for the accused, Christian community organizer, and author of 'Breaking Men's Minds: Behavior Control and Human Experimentation at the Federal Prison in Marion (IL)'. I encourage you to visit his blog to best enjoy his honest, candid and insightful analysis of current events. I hope you enjoy this blogger interview!
Q1. What were you like when you were younger?
Youth is like a deep, deep sleep. You wake up and hardly remember what it felt like to be young. I guess you can say I was a romanticist, in love with life and every young woman I could put my hands on. For a brief period, I was Mr. Popular, with a reputation everywhere I went. I was too popular for my own good, so I gained a gangster pimp image, and later a Black, gun-toting revolutionary… seems like to me, on a suicide mission.Q2. Name a famous historical figure, living or deceased, you would like to meet and tell us why.
I am not a hero worshipper. But I see in myself some of the influence of people who helped shaped my life. I would have loved to meet Angela Davis. Her book 'Soledad Brother' converted me to the revolution. I fell in love with her face on the FBI Most Wanted poster. If a sweet sister like this could be branded as an outlaw, then I realized that I was on the wrong side of the law.Q3. Name a person in your community who is relatively unknown to the rest of the world, who you believe is significant in some way, and that you would like the rest of the world to know more about.
After being exonerated, Angela Davis went to work on behalf of other prisoners, after the death of George Jackson, the original 'Soledad Brother'. She took up the cause of a band of politically conscious prisoners and named them the “Marion Brothers”, of whom I am one of the three set free by President Jimmy Carter.
Without her, I would still be in Leavenworth until the year 2022.
My protégé, Junichi Lockett, Jr., is an unknown, and has yet to 'make his bones'. But he is a young man full of potential and determination. He was a proven leader among his college peers, serving as the university’s NAACP president and being awarded Man of the Year recognition.Q4. What are two items in your 'bucket list' ... things you want to do or accomplish before you kick the bucket?
He has finished a manuscript on militaristic determinism as used in goal achievements. I like his thinking and work in the trenches, as an elementary school teacher. He studies my writings for inspiration and insight.
I would love to see the day all my kids and grandkids march across the stage upon high school graduation, ready to move on up to the next level in life.Q5. Describe your first experience on the Internet?
I started in the telephone dial-up connection system on a 486 computer. Every time the phone range, the Internet crashed, until the age of the Pentium, when I routed my telephone calls through my computer.Q6. Tell us about your current blogging career and how you got into it.
Before I started blogging, I wrote essays and commentaries and mass emailed them to about 1,000 local and national readers. One of my commentaries about the ordeal of Shaquanda Cotton attracted the attention of Francis Holland, who set up a blogsite for Black Accused Support Group (BASG), which I have operated for two years.Q7. Who are the two bloggers you read the most and why? Include their links and tell us why we should subscribe to their feeds.
I read Electronic Village because of the diverse range of commentary on various causes. I read Dallas South Blog because Shawn is right next door in Dallas, and he is a go-to source for local issues.Q8. Where are you taking your blog over the next 2-3 years?
Since the election of Barack Obama, I see the opportunity for a 4-8 years window in which I have a better chance to be heard, as a voice in the Black community. This, for me, is an intense problem-solving period, rather than a period of activist protesting. Having been subjected to the status quo successive regimes in U.S. government for 62 years, I now get a sense of being able to participate in government, rather than casting my vote and going back and sitting down, until the next.Q9. What is your 'killer post' over the past year ... the post you are most proud of?
I have score some direct hits on my blog: Shaquanda Cotton, Jena 6, and others. But the campaign that stands above all others was the campaign to save the life of Kenneth Foster, six hours from the execution chamber in Texas.Q10. What is your 'biggest noise post' over the past year ... the one that you took the most heat over from your readers?
The 2008 political campaign generated more traffic and more controversy than anything else. I went with two dark horses: Barack Obama for President and Wendy Davis for Texas State Senate. These were the only two campaigns where I had to pour out all my energies.
Villagers, I look forward to meeting Eddie Griffin in person. I am blessed to interact with him regularly via email. He is a remarkable man. I collect his Internet quotes. Some of my favorites:
- You can't cram an elephant down a gnat's throat.
- Some of us kill everything that moves. While others, like myself, are sharpshooters, knocking off one target at a time.
- The more you dig, the more you uncover. The more problems you solve, the more problems you discover.
- You build trust by living a transparent life, above reproach and condemnation, with integrity and justice for all.
- Straighten out history and people will get a clear view of how we got here.
- We are lenient with our white folks. We give 'em a little head start. When they get too far out of line, we reign them in.