Former Black Panther leader to speak at annual Mary Frances Early Lecture

Former Black Panther leader to speak at annual Mary Frances Early Lecture

Athens, Ga. – Former Black Panther party leader Elaine Brown will deliver the keynote address at the seventh annual Mary Frances Early lecture on Wednesday, April 18, on the campus of the University of Georgia.

An activist and author, Brown will give a lecture entitled “Rethinking Social Justice: A Contemporary Look at Activism” at 7 p.m. in the Chapel. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The lecture honors Mary Frances Early, the first African-American graduate of UGA who earned a masters degree in music education in 1962. The lecture is sponsored by Graduate and Professional Scholars, a minority graduate and professional student organization at UGA.

The first and only women to lead the Black Panther Party in 1974 as chair, Brown is author of The Condemnation of Little B. (2003) and A Taste of Power: A Black Woman’s Story (1993), her memoir which was optioned in January by HBO in connection with its planned six-part series The Black Panthers. After living in France for seven years, Brown moved to Atlanta in 1996 where she established the nonprofit education corporation Fields of Flowers.

Brown is executive director of the Michael Lewis Legal Defense Committee, supporting the legal appeal of Lewis “Little B,” who was arrested at the age of 13, convicted and sentenced to life in prison. In 1997, Brown co-founded Mothers Advocating Juvenile Justice. She also co-founded and became a board member of the National Alliance for Radical Prison Reform in 2001. Presently, she is a member of the Geechee Council of Georgia, a partner in Seize the Time, Inc. and a founder of the Brunswick Women’s Association for Community Improvement.

Brown, who grew up in north Philadelphia, attended Temple University, UCLA, Mills College and Southwestern University School of Law. Her papers have been acquired by Emory University.

GAPS was founded in 1984 to support underrepresented minority graduate and professional students at the University of Georgia.

For more information about GAPS and the Mary Frances Early Lecture visit or gaps@uga.edu or visit see www.uga.edu/gaps.