Ronald Freeman AKA Elder Freeman was one of the original members of the Black Panther Party of Southern California along with Alprentice Bunchy Carter, Long John Washington, Roland Freeman, John Huggins, and Tommy Lewis.
We call him Elder Freeman because he had been at it for decades…almost 5 to be exact. I met him in the winter of his life…
Stories about him loom larger than life but I could envision the young revolutionary that he was. Energized with possibility and electric with courage. When I met him his gait was slow, and steady, cautious as if each step had been counted and measured. He was physically ill…but what his eyes told me is that he was alive, and that he had lived far better than perhaps I ever will. True to himself and fierce within his beliefs of no liberation without black liberation. He had that sparkle in his eyes that remains when the soul is in tact…I noticed because I can see its absence in the eyes of those who have relinquished their beliefs at the expense of their purpose…for things that we will leave behind. Well the Elder Freeman had that sparkle, that hope, that belief that if we continue to struggle we will kill the idealogical and insatiable beast. Even after spending about 50 years fighting for the right to exist in FREEDOM, he maintained that light and shared it with people like me.
He took chances, made sacrifices, and lifted this struggle far above his head, to make it rest on the shoulders of all of us. He took my hand, held it, and welcomed me to the field. The simple nod of his natty locked head, at the first All of US or NONE retreat that I attended, I could see that I had come to the right place.
A founding member of All of US or NONE, a Black Panther to the end, Elder Freeman showed us how to live, how to love, how to fight, and also how to transition to the next whatever……Elder Freeman didn’t die, he succeeded, and we can pick up the succession tools and continue the work before us just as he did all of his life…
Ronald Elder Freeman leaves a legacy that we shall carry with us. This legacy will ensure that future generations will know and understand that the best we can do with our life is to share it with the communities we are part of. Ind
I wont forget you Elder Freeman. You left here a Freeman (Free Man) From cradle to grave, a warrior and a king. Take your crown and rest in power. We shall meet again.