The Clique


Who do you think you are, her eyes said. There was also some kind of street jealousy there, some kind of you-must-think-you're-cute attitude.
I don't work in the kitchen, my eyes shot back.

The "Clique" as it came to be known, was Elaine's protest against the inferior status given to the 'Sisters' of the BPP. She was outraged after attending Bunchy Carter's Funeral to see a young girl put in front of her 'Brothers' declare, "A Sister has to give up the pussy when the Brother is on his job and hold it back when he's not. 'Cause Sister's got pussy power!" [the "power" to sleep with and for their Brother comrades]. On returning to L.A. from the funeral, Elaine and her friends collectively adopted a "don't mess with us" attitude. While they would not attack the men and the sexism within their ranks directly, Elaine and the others decided not to be hindered by them.

The reputation of the clique spread. Brothers throughout the many chapters had emerged all over the country were mumbling about the clique in L.A., we learned. "Smart bitches" like us, they were saying, needed to be silenced. But we would silence them in the end by our hard work and dedication;

The attitudes against Elaine and the 'Clique' however, would prove to be a foreshadowing of her last days prior to leaving the BPP. She placed several women in high positions during her reign as leader of the BPP, and though the party was led through a successful period the feeling of resentment among the majority of the party was never overcome. Elaine eventually left the party in 1977, in order to avoid violence from the other members in the party.