Former Black Panther Dies

by Ayvaunn Penn, Your Black World

Elmer “Geronimo” Pratt, former Black Panther who was unjustly incarcerated 27 years for murder, passed away yesterday in Tanzania.  Pratt, who was 63 years old, died in a small village where he stayed with his wife and child. Stuart Hanlon, Pratt’s former lawyer who helped loose Pratt of his murder conviction, says he does not know the cause of death. Hanlon did say, however, that Pratt was a “true American” who served two tours in Vietnam prior to his involvement with the Black Panther Party.

One thing we can learn from Pratt is to not be bitter when life is not fair. When Pratt was first released from prison, he told CNN that he was not bitter over the years he spent in jail although he was there on false grounds. Specifically, he said, “I don’t think bitterness has a place. I’m more understanding. Understanding doesn’t leave any room for bitterness or anger.”

Ayvaunn Penn is a spoken word artist and an award winning writer degreed in English and philosophy. For more of her witty-word works click here. To have your original poetry featured by Ms. Penn on Your Black Poets, email submissions to ayvaunnpennspokenword at gmail dot com.

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