Just Another Nigger: My Life in the Black Panther Party


Hardcover, 5.5 x 9,
256 pages, with 16
full-color photographs.
ISBN: 9781597144599.

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By Field Marshal Don Cox; Foreword by Kimberly Marshall; Introduction by Steve Wasserman


Just Another Nigger is Don Cox’s revelatory, even incendiary account of his years in the Black Panther Party. He participated in many peaceful Bay Area civil rights protests but hungered for more militant action. His book tells the story of his work as the party’s field marshal in charge of gunrunning to planning armed attacks—tales which are told for the first time in this remarkable memoir—to his star turn raising money at the Manhattan home of Leonard Bernstein (for which he was famously mocked by Tom Wolfe in Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers), to his subsequent flight to Algeria to join Eldridge Cleaver in exile, to his decision to leave the party following his disillusionment with Huey P. Newton’s leadership. Cox would live out the rest of his life in self-imposed exile, where he began writing these unrepentant recollections in the early 1980s, enjoining his daughter to promise him that she would do everything she could to have them published—with the title he insisted upon, a nod to W. E. B. Du Bois’s remark that “In my own country, for nearly a century I have been nothing but a nigger.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Born in Missouri in 1936, Don Cox joined the Black Panther Party one year after its founding in 1966. Appointed as the party’s field marshal, known as “D.C.,” he was inducted into the party’s high command as a member of its central committee and founded the party’s San Francisco office. In 1970, he helped open the party’s international section in Algiers. Two years later, he resigned from the party. Except for a brief trip when he entered and exited the United States incognito, using a false passport, he lived in France in the village of Camps-sur-l’Agly, where he died at age seventy-four in February 2011.

 

Continue to follow Cox’s legacy on Instagram: @field_marshall_dc.


Steve Wasserman, raised in Berkeley and a graduate of Cal, is Heyday’s publisher and executive director. He is a former editor-at-large for Yale University Press and editorial director of Times Books/Random House and publisher of Hill & Wang and The Noonday Press at Farrar, Straus & Giroux. He has worked with many authors and published numerous books, including, most recently, Greil Marcus’s The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs, Martha Hodes’s Mourning Lincoln, David Thomson’s Why Acting Matters, and two posthumous volumes of the late critic Ralph J. Gleason’s musical and political writings. A founder of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities at the University of Southern California, Wasserman was a principal architect of the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books during the nine years he served as editor of the Los Angeles Times Book Review (1996–2005). He began his career as an assistant editor to Warren Hinckle at Francis Ford Coppola’s City Magazine of San Franciscoand went on to become deputy editor of the Sunday Opinion section and Op-Ed Page of the Los Angeles Times(1978–1983) before becoming editor in chief of New Republic Books, based in Washington, D.C., and New York. He was also a partner in Kneerim & Williams, a Boston-based literary agency, and represented, among others, Robert Scheer, Christopher Hitchens, David Thomson, Linda Ronstadt, and Placido Domingo. He has written for many publications, including The Village Voice, Threepenny Review, The Nation, The New Republic, The American Conservative, The Progressive, Columbia Journalism Review, Los Angeles Times, and the (London) Times Literary Supplement.