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A LONELY RAGE by Bobby Seale



Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1977
Publisher: Times Books

Seale's first book Seize the Time (1970), written at the peak of Black Panther militancy, was an impassioned ideological exhortation. Now, seven years later, the one-time chairman of the panthers upholds that struggle (""we all contributed--Huey, me, Che Guevara, and a whole lot of dead and living revolutionary people"") but seeks to deal with the private fury that ravaged him from adolescence to his strong showing in the 1973 Oakland mayoralty race. As a teenager he had earned the name ""Nigger Tarzan,"" acting out fantasies of becoming a Sioux warrior, to the point of carrying a Bowie knife and tomahawk. Stormy confrontations with an erratic and brutalizing father fed a fearsome, unfocused rage which left him scared, lonely, and ""totally disassociated from right and wrong."" When Seale finds himself gagged and chained in Judge Hoffman's courtroom during the notorious Chicago 7 trial, his situation seems a fitting culmination to a violence--prone life. Rather surprisingly, Seale has the ability to pause, reflect on his personal demons, and eventually harness them. Through it all there is a wistful yearning for a clean, secure home, a longing to build a house and rear a family. The book ends with Seale leaving Oakland for a new start and abandoning his gun in an airport locker--a symbolic gesture that carries the same urgency as the rest of this distraught but not unconvincing autobiography.