A Word for Panther Parents

The Black Panther Black Community News Service, Vol. 4, No. 2. Published on Saturday, December 13, 1969.


A Word for Panther Parents


(Jrs. Jewell Barker delivered this speech at the memorial rally held December 6, 1969, 201 So. Ashland in honor of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark. She is the mother of Panther Ann Campbell.)

I have but one thing that I would like to ask of the Black mothers and fathers in this country and all over the world. You have given much to your sons and daughters. You have overcome insurmountable forces of evil against you. You have paid the supreme price. You have given to the world the best. Stand behind it. Do not be ashamed. I have but one child. I gave her to the cause. She works for you, because she knows where Vietnam really is. She said to me one day, she said “Mother, they are not oppressing us in Vietnam, they are not killing the soul brothers in Vietnam, they are not shooting through doors and skilling Black women in Vietnam, they’re doing it here!”

Yes, mothers and fathers, I would like to say to you that you have listened to the television, the radio, and you have read the newspapers, but you have not walked out of your doors to the Breakfast Centers to see what your children are trying to do. Don’t listen — walk and find out for yourselves. And when you see the tremendous forces that are working against the beautiful work your children are trying to do, I think you will be very glad to stand up and be counted. Remember this: prayer is good. If Fred could be murdered while he slept, remember what can happen to you while you’re on your knees.

I pledge allegiance to my parents and I hope that you will understand the necessity of standing behind your beautiful sons and daughters who are working so fervently, working for the salvation of all mankind. Don’t let anybody tell you that you have failed. Don’t sneak in corners and hide when your children cry “All Power to the People.” Don’t sneak in corners and hide when they ask you to help build a Medical Center that will accommodate all poor people. Support them in their struggle.

Father Clemens said yesterday that he was ashamed of his generation. You have no need to be ashamed. Be our judges. Be our jurors. You are our peers. Make it real for our children. And this is the only way. The only way is through the struggle of our children and generations to come. Not through the birth control pill; no, not through hungry children, not through fine minks and big Cadillacs, and not through money. And if you love Fred Hampton, he wouldn’t appreciate your being here saying all these beautiful words, but you will fight for Fred, you will hold up Fred’s banner.



Mama Jewell






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