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
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.]