1970, Cleaver Splits Party, Huey Released
"But I represent the left wing of the party," he proclaimed, "the
International Section, headquartered in Algiers. We're saying it's time to clip
the right wing operating out of national headquarters, dominated by the reformist
David Hilliard and his nepotistic hierarchy, which includes his reactionary
brother, June, and his silly wife, Pat."
brings about the birth of little
Ericka Brown, named after Ericka Huggins.
In June, Elaine is called away from "the never-madness" to join
Eldridge Cleaver in North Korea for three weeks. After leaving little Ericka
in the care of her friends and being prepped for her journey by David Hilliard,
Elaine joins along with nine other American journalists overseas to find the
Black Panther Party's minister of information, nicknamed "Papa." Leaving
from what may have been one madness to another, Elaine finds that Eldridge called
them together to announce a split in the party, between 'his' International
section and the weaker, coddling American chapters led by David Hilliard, which
had 'put down the gun' and lost its revolutionist ideals. Elaine was to be his
emissary and help him oust the 'stagnant' wing.
"All you have to do is sound the alarm. Do it because you love me. Take a .45 or something, walk into national headquarters," he went on seriously, "and put it to David's head. Tell [him] you've come with a message from me: I'm taking back the Black Panther Party in the name of the true revolutionaries."
Elaine is dead set against Eldridge's wishes, believing 1) that Eldridge's
proposal would destroy the BPP from within, and 2) he was wrong. The for-the-people
programs he saw as a path to a failed revolution were the only things keeping
the party alive, and David Hilliard truly admired Eldridge besides. Eldridge
Cleaver was furious at Elaine's refusal to aid him and grew threateningly hostile.
He extended the three weeks in Korea to six weeks, as well as one week visits
to Vietnam and Beijing, dragging Elaine and all the reporters with him. Managing
what she believed was a submissive façade, Elaine thankfully returns
to the States, unsure of how to take Eldridge's orders to Huey Newton and David
Hilliard, but certain this marked the end of the BPP.
She meets Huey Newton when she first steps into the U.S. terminal.