A Taste of Power: A Black Woman's Story

Front Cover
Anchor Books, 1992 - Social Science - 452 pages
Elaine Brown assumed her role as the first and only female leader of the Black Panther Party with these words: "I have all the guns and all the money. I can withstand challenge from without and from within. Am I right, Comrade?" It was August 1974. From a small Oakland-based cell, the Panthers had grown to become a revolutionary national organization, mobilizing black communities and white supporters across the country--but relentlessly targeted by the police and the FBI, and increasingly riven by violence and strife within. How Brown came to a position of power over this paramilitary, male-dominated organization, and what she did with that power, is a riveting, unsparing account of self-discovery.
Brown's story begins with growing up in an impoverished neighborhood in Philadelphia and attending a predominantly white school, where she first sensed what it meant to be black, female, and poor in America. She describes her political awakening during the bohemian years of her adolescence, and her time as a foot soldier for the Panthers, who seemed to hold the promise of redemption. And she tells of her ascent into the upper echelons of Panther leadership: her tumultuous relationship with the charismatic Huey Newton, who would become her lover and her nemesis; her experience with the male power rituals that would sow the seeds of the party's demise; and the scars that she both suffered and inflicted in that era's paradigm-shifting clashes of sex and power. Stunning, lyrical, and acute, this is the indelible testimony of a black woman's battle to define herself.

"A glowing achievement." --Los Angeles Times

"Honest, funny, subjective, unsparing, and passionate. . . A Taste of Power weaves autobiography and political history into a story that fascinates and illuminates." --The Washington Post

"A stunning picture of a black woman's coming of age in America. Put it on the shelf beside The Autobiography of Malcolm X." --Kirkus Reviews

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

A TASTE OF POWER: A Black Woman's Story

User Review  - Kirkus

Engrossing, jolting, behind-the-scenes memoir by the woman who led the Black Panther Party to mainstream power-brokering without giving up the guns, and who ended up fleeing its violence: a stunning ... Read full review

A taste of power: a Black woman's story

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Brown, who became involved in and eventually led the Black Panther party until 1977, here offers her autobiography. She traces both the growth and evolving philosophies of the party and her own ... Read full review

Contents

ASSUMPTION
3
YORK STREET
17
WE ARE THE GIRLS WHO DONT TAKE NO STUFF
36
Copyright

19 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1992)

Elaine Brown is an activist, singer, and author of several works of nonfiction. From 1974 to 1977, she was Chairman of the Black Panther Party, and later wrote about her experiences in A Taste of Power, which has been optioned by HBO for its miniseries The Black Panthers. She lives in Oakland, California.

Bibliographic information