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January 23, 2008

CANCELED: Howard University Choir performances previously scheduled for 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3, at Smith College.

NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—Activist and writer Elaine Brown, the first and only woman to lead the 1960s-era political organization the Black Panther Party, will speak at Smith College as part of Black History Month.

Brown will speak at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 4, in Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall, an event that is free and open to the public.

Other public events slated to mark the month include a performance by the Harlem Quartet, presented by Music of Deerfield, at 8 p.m. on Feb. 16 in Sweeney Concert Hall, Sage Hall; and a performance by spoken word artist Shanelle Gabriel at 8 p.m. on Feb. 21 in the Carroll Room, Campus Center. Except for the Harlem Quartet performance, all events are free of charge.


In 1974, Brown became the first and only woman to lead the Black Panther Party, an African-American organization founded to promote civil rights and self-defense. Today, she promotes the vision of an inclusive and egalitarian society, focusing on resolving problems of race and gender oppression and class disparity in the United States.

In her memoir, “A Taste of Power: A Black Woman’s Story,” Brown recounted her life from the ghettos of North Philadelphia to her prominent leadership role. Brown also recorded two albums of original songs, one for Motown records and her 1969 album, “Seize the Time,” which includes the Black Panther Party National Anthem, titled “The Meeting.”

Beyond her work in relation to the Black Panther Party, Brown wrote the book “New  Age Racism and the Condemnation of ‘Little B,’” about Michael “Little B” Lewis, a 14-year-old sentenced to life in prison for a Georgia murder that Brown contends the teen did not commit. Brown is executive director of his legal defense committee, which is advocating for a new trial.

Currently, Brown is writing two additional books and serving as president of the nonprofit educational corporation Fields of Flowers, which aims to build a model education center for poor children. She is a board member of the National Alliance for Radical Prison Reform, a board member of Mothers Advocating Juvenile Justice and vice president of The Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation.

Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Kristen Cole
Media Relations Director
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174

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