Despite all of Elaine Brown's unbelievable achievements, she does not often receive the acknowledgement her accomplishments deserve. Documents, books and sites about the Black Panther Party tend to exclude the details of Elaine's leadership years. Some resources mention only fleetingly that she had taken power after Huey Newton was exiled to Cuba. The most detailed account of her role in the BPP comes from her own book, A Taste of Power. Without this book, her history in the BPP would be virtually erased.
Elaine's role in the BPP gave her many enemies, who were very vocal in their protests. Some accounts go so far as to claim that Elaine used her sexual relationships to gain the political power she had. However she came to power, it is clear that she did grow to a position of significant influence within the BPP. Perhaps it was her sheer determination to defeat segregation and racism through lectures and her sheer will power that ultimately got her labeled a radical. Some critics to this day still say that she is only ranting about Little B and seeking unnecessary attention for the case. Others accused even more strongly that Elaine had always been on the side of evil and corruption. One such critic cites Elaine's own words, "Faith was all there was. If I did not believe in the ultimate rightness of our goals and our party, then what we did, what Huey was doing, what he was, what I was, was horrible." This critic claims that Elaine is giving herself a higher goal to excuse herself from what is really the pleasure of holding power. Another critic actually claims that Elaine isa psychopath who needs to be behind bars. Others criticize that Elaine's road to success was filled with deceit.
Despite such criticisms, Elaine's determination has not been extinguished. Her internal fire and anger about the injustices that blacks continue to experience in this society give her the will to persist. She draws upon a remarkable well of courage in her ongoing battle against critics and against society hatefulness. Year after year she has turned this determination, anger and courage into real strength in her lifelong war against racism and sexism.