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For week ended January 3, 1999 Posted 1 Feb 1999
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Cleaver's Legacy

Summarized by Eileen Bell

A soul's jagged arc
New York Times Magazine 3Jan99; Page 16
By Charles Johnson

When former Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver passed away last May, he left behind a life filled with contrasts. In the 1980s, Cleaver was baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A contrast indeed with what had preceded that decision.

This analysis into the life of the late Eldridge Cleaver looks at the revolutionary extremes Cleaver lived. From a rapist in the ghetto to being a fore-runner for current gangs, Cleaver's early life was one of violence.

After becoming the Black Panther's 'Minister of Information,' Cleaver fled to Cuba, and later toured various communist countries. After a while, he embraced Christianity and returned to the U-S to face up to past crimes.

[Cleaver's legacy in the LDS Church, remains simply that, for a while, he joined. That didn't last long. It is outside the LDS Church that his legacy is enduring. This article helps us understand what that was. - Ed.]

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