Lot 134

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Eldridge Cleaver
Berkeley, CA, ca. 1985-1987
Eldridge Cleaver 3 Handwritten Journals - Incredible Content - 161pp in His Hand!
"I am extremist by nature"—Eldridge Cleaver, Soul on Ice (1968)

This small collection of notebooks, all written by Eldridge Cleaver, illustrates his life and views in the 1980s, far removed from the Black Panther revolutionary of the 1960s. He tries his hand at developing ideas for a screenplay. He makes notes about books he wants to read and lists names and phone numbers of people he has called or plans to call. He takes up the cause of Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt, falsely imprisoned since 1972 for a murder he did not commit. He aids Clare Morrison in her attempts to regain her house, then later lives there when she returns to the nursing home. He briefly tries to keep a daily diary, starting with the date on which he receives divorce papers from his wife of twenty years. He writes brief, partial notes and includes at least one draft response to a speaking request. Like his thinking in these years, these notebooks are partial and tentative and occasionally sparkle.

ELDRIDGE CLEAVER, Archive of three notebooks of handwritten notes, 1985-1987. 161 pp. with text from total of 614 pp.

According to an included signed Statement of Ownership from 2002, Cleaver left these books in the house of Clare Morrison on Ashby Avenue in Berkeley, California. He had championed Morrison's attempt to retrieve her house from hostile tenants after a two-year stay in a nursing home, and she let him live there rent-free after she regained the property in 1989 but had to return to a nursing home. She died in May 1990, and her family evicted Cleaver because of evidence of drug abuse. These volumes were salvaged in the spring of 1991 from three dumpsters of Cleaver's belongings removed from the property after Cleaver repeatedly failed to retrieve them.

Highlights and Excerpts
- Hardcover journal with gray pages, each perforated on left side near margin, ca. 1985. 166 pp., of which 38 have writing, 7.5" x 10". A few pages removed; ownership stamp on inside front cover as well as phone number and name written on sticker; some damage to spine edge and wear to cover corners.

"The Crisis and Hypocracy Of The Black Bourgeoisie
"II / The Crisis
"1. The Crisis of The Black Bourgeoisie
"2. Holli[?], Babylon
"3. W. E. B. DuBois On The Black Bourgeoisie
"4. The Illegitimacy Of The Black Bourgeoisie
"III / The Hypocracy
"1. The Reagan Revolution The Upheaval of the Black Masses (I)
"2. Letter To Jesse Jackson The Counter-revolution of the Black Bourgeoisie
"3. Awakening The Peg of Ideology
"4. South Africa Malcolm & Elijah
"5. Legalize Drugs The Scope of Study
"III / Beyond The Black Bourgeoisie
"1. Land Question
"2. Revisited

"If I am writing to you it is not only for my pleasure—although it is certainly that, and particularly to the women this is a love letter, rather I am writing out of an inspiration that it is possible to make some meaningful contact in order to mount a mutual struggle to survive against a terrible [end of page]"

"Are we to suffer forever under the yokes of oppression? Must we be doomed to listen to news about bankers & politicians,"

"Supervisor Bill Maher / strongly encourage your stand. This is one of the most dangerous, insidious measures I've ever heard of. I think you should take this and run with it—state & nationwide. It will float and you will soar! Please send me a copy of the proposed ordinance. / 558-3184"
Bill Maher (b. 1947) graduated with a law degree from the University of San Francisco in 1977. After serving for six years on the San Francisco Board of Education, he was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 1982 and served from 1983 to 1995. He campaigned for California's 5th Congressional District in April 1987 to fill the seat of deceased Congresswoman Sala Burton. He lost in the primary to Democrat Nancy Pelosi, who went on to win the seat in Congress.

"Nov. 16, 1985 / George Lucas / Skywalker Ranch – near Nicasio / Lucasfilm / Foster—Bastard / Seldin—Bastard"

"How To Get Laid In Berkeley / Getting Laid in Berkeley....
"God gave you the ability to hypnotize women. It's up to you to learn how to use it.
"A Fool's Name Is Like His Face. Always Found In A Public Place."

"Black Reparations Bibliography
"Black Reparations Revisited by E. L.
"Facts on File—Research Resource"

"Saturday, Dec. 14, 1985 / Yesterday I made my first 'Legal Worker' visit to Sgt. Pratt. Took file and chart of military insignia for Pratt to indicate his citations. Quite an impressive array. Sgt. Pratt is a great, classic American Hero. We must leaflet every high school, college, in America, California First. Rescuer. Liberate Sgt. Pratt."
Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt (1947-2011) was a Vietnam War veteran, who had received two Bronze Stars, a Silver Star, and two Purple Hearts, and reached the rank of sergeant. He also served as Deputy Minister of Defense for the local Black Panther Party in Los Angeles in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He was convicted in 1972 for the 1968 murder of Carolina Olsen. He was freed in 1997 when his conviction was vacated because the prosecution had concealed evidence of his innocence.

"Tactics / Task
"Leaflet High Schools & Colleges
"Black Studies Dept.
"Elected Black Officials
"Veteran Organizations
"California Politicians
"Duekmejian & Bradley
"Sylvester Stallone / Jim Brown
"Mr. T Richard Pryor,
"Earth Wind & Fire"

- Leather-bound journal. 148 pp., of which 59 have writing, 6.375" x 9"; leather strap tied through three holes on left as binding; colorful front end paper. Some damage to front cover; general toning to interior.
Includes notes for a film script and various other subjects, to-do lists, possible speaking engagements, author names and book titles, and contact information for various people.

"Ancient Founders Who fought with Rich Land Owners. Cops. Old now. But they have a magic touch. Everybody venerates them. Only a few left.
"AS IS X One Piece missing.
"Fortune Tellers. Punks. Androgynous Person. Tax Cops with scams.
"People Buy him out. Even buying the shopping cart. Danny is deeply inspired. He has close to a thousand dollars. He's thinking of buying a gun and going back home."

"I go down to the café wherein many lesbians are arrayed, scruffy lame ducks deficient in sperm and lacking that lustre derived therefrom."

"FARGO has big money behind him. They are able to squash investigations. Bankers and Security Agency are insidious. COPS set him up. Bust him, then shoot him the prop. Gestapo Demeanor, Martinet attitude."

"When Fargo confronts Danny Woods, he says I've been doing some research on you. I think I've found the solution to your problem. He sends for this crew of Charlie Driscoll and a White Woman. Local Duty Neill, survivor of the the last crew."

"Group of New Wave Shoppers
"Hey you guys, the 60s!
"They crush Danny's stall.
"A woman Jewelry Vendor intervenes. Backs the Punks up and makes money for Danny.
"Shes not interested in sex. Brags that she prefers to masterbate than fuck any man she knows. When she hears that Danny hasn't had any pussy for ten years, she invites him to dinner. He fucks her for a week without coming up for air."

"Betrayal / Time passes while they're underground. His associates make a deal with the power structure and then drop a dime on them.
"Cortney / We've got to have something to show the People.
"Power Structure / And we got to have some one to put on trial."

"POISON / His two companions attempt to poison him in Restaurant. He switches the sweet potato Pie, and one of the hitmen gets poisoned. Driscal considers arresting Danny for poisoning #1."

"A couple months ago she was injured by the Alameda County Sheriffs Dept forcibly removing her from her house at Alston street. As a result she was hospitalized at Herrick Hospital. From Herrick Hospital she was placed in the Kyakameena Nursing facility supposedly for 10 days recuperation. When it was time for her to be released, the Administration of the Kyakameena Nursing Facility refused to allow her to leave and are now holding her there against her will. Saturday night, Mrs Morrison Woke up to find herself lying on the floor in a pool of blood. She was taken to Alta Bates Hospital where she received 11 stitches in her head. She was then taken back to Kyakameena where she is now being held against her will. I come here tonight out of a sense of alarm. I visited Mrs. Morrison this afternoon and she is sinking fast. Please intervene to assure that no further physical damage is done and that she no longer be drugged as she is at this very moment. I'm not asking you to get back her house from those who now occupy it. I am asking you to set her free and save her life. / Elmwood Convalescence Home"
In 1982, Clare Morrison (1907-1990) was unable to get two university students to leave her former home so she could move back in after a period of recovery at a nursing home. She could not evict them because she was not registered with the rent board as a landlady. Morrison began a seven-year legal struggle against Berkeley's rent-control law to recover her Alston Street home. Eldridge Cleaver joined her effort in 1984. In September 1989, an Alameda County Superior Court jury awarded her $47,000 for the loss of her home since 1982 and an additional $50,000 in punitive damages against the tenant.

- Hardcover journal. 300 pp., of which 64 have writing, 8" x 9.75". Ownership signature, address, and phone number on front page. Many entries start with a date, from March 13–July 3, 1987. Partial separation of rear cover from spine; interior very clean.

"March 13, 1987 / I received divorce papers from Kathleen today. / Huey Newton was locked up on his gun conviction case. / I have the flu."
Cleaver married activist Kathleen Neal (b. 1945) in 1967. She left Cleaver in 1981 and went back to Yale University, where she graduated in 1984 with a degree in history. She divorced Cleaver in 1987 and received a law degree from Yale Law School in 1989.

"March 15, 1987 / Everything starts from a little point, from a tiny seed. The seed, in fact, is a very highly organized mechanism containing a life-force and a potential we can't begin to comprehend. One thing that strikes me: These things—seeds—are themselves composed of even tinier units that themselves are a recapitulation of a previous stage of development and complexity—intricate complexity. It is God's technology. Since we seem to have to go deeper and deeper to get to the source, is it not logical to infer that at the lowest level of breakdown of matter we should discover the source of it all? Would it then not make more sense for us to look inward for God, instead of looking out into the sky. Jesus said, The Kingdom of God lies within."

"April Fools Day April 1, 1987 / Went to L. A. to Madelyn's pad. She drove me to see Frank. He was as thin as a rail and looked very wiped out. It could have been that he was all tuckered out, because it was about 7:00-7:30 P.M. when I saw him. Or it could be that he was zapped from prescription drugs and his post-Radiation therapy and his apparently successful fight with cancer. Whatever the cause, Frank was just a shadow of himself."

"April 14, 1987 Tuesday / Berkeley 1987 is to Berkeley 1984 as the remains of a balloon are to a full blown one."

"May 19, 1987 / See how the mighty are brought low, / From their pulpits, from their / High political perches. / We sing forth in the name of / Crispus Attucks / Who's blood was shed for Our Freedom."

"You have to wait untill he states his decision, then rise and ask to be heard."

"Dear Mrs. Bennett: I agree with the conditions as I understand them from your letters, those conditions being: I agree to make two 15 minute talks on the subject of the U.S. Constitution—not on my personal story—on the occasion of the Bicentennial. These talks are on Sept. 5 and Sept. 17. You will provide me a $500 honorarium for each occasion, plane fare back and forth on each occasion, hotel and food service while I'm there."

"We did not achieve authentic Political Power. We achieved puppet power delegated to the Black Bourgeoisie by the White Power Structure."

Historical Background
After an early career as a radical activist for African American rights and a leading member of the Black Panther Party, Eldridge Cleaver fled the United States for Cuba and then Algeria in the late 1960s to escape criminal charges. His collection of essays written while he served prison time in the early 1960s was published as Soul on Ice in 1968 and became a key work fusing African-American rights and Marxism. While in France in the early 1970s, on the verge of suicide, Cleaver saw the face of Jesus Christ in the moon, and he returned to the United States as a Christian and a conservative to face his criminal charges. Imprisoned briefly, he renounced the Marxism and atheism of his Black Panther days.

He began a religious revival organization called the Eldridge Cleaver Crusades, in 1977, but his religious views became as amorphous as his political ones. After a few years of identification with mainline evangelicalism, Cleaver created a new church based on a synthesis of Islam and Christianity in 1980. He then joined the Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Unification Movement. By 1982, he was a member of the Mormon Church.

In the late 1980s, Cleaver lived in Berkeley, California, and became interested in various local causes. He campaigned unsuccessfully as a Republican in 1984 for the Berkeley City Council and in 1986 for the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate. In 1988, Cleaver was placed on probation in 1988, and his use of crack cocaine led to a stint at a drug rehabilitation center in 1990. Police arrested him in 1992 and again in 1994 for possession of crack cocaine. Shortly after his second arrest, Cleaver moved to southern California.

Leroy Eldridge Cleaver (1935-1998) was born in Arkansas and moved with his family to Phoenix and then Los Angeles. After being involved in petty crime as a juvenile, he was convicted of rape and assault with intent to murder in 1958. Released on parole in 1966, he joined the Black Panther Party as Minister of Information. In 1968, he published several philosophical and political essays, some of which he had written in prison, as Soul on Ice. In the wake of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination in April 1968, Cleaver and others ambushed and wounded Oakland police officers. He fled to Cuba to avoid prosecution, where Fidel Castro initially welcomed him. Cleaver then moved to Algeria, where he established an international office for the Black Panthers. He visited North Korea in 1969 and 1970 and hailed the society there under Kim Il Sung. After breaking with the Black Panther Party in 1971, Cleaver moved to Paris in 1972, where he had a religious conversion experience, briefly tried fashion design, and returned to the United States in 1975 to face pending charges. Arrested on his arrival, he spent time in prison in California before white Christians raised money for his bail, and he was released in August 1976. In 1978, he published Soul on Fire about his new beliefs, but it fared poorly. In 1980, he became affiliated with Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church, and by 1982, had joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He twice ran unsuccessfully for Congress as a conservative in California in the 1980s. In the mid-1980s, he became addicted to crack cocaine and faced additional arrests for drug possession and burglary. He died of prostate cancer in Pomona, California.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


  • various
  • Artist Name:
  • Eldridge Cleaver
  • Medium:
  • Archive

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