Elbert “Big Man” Howard was an unfamiliar name, at least to me, until I learned of him in his obituary in the New York Times. Howard, who just died at age 80, was a founder of the Black Panther Party, a driving force behind its community programs, like free health clinics and prisoner re-entry efforts.
Illustrating the New York Times obit was an intriguing photo. It captured Howard in 1970, with his perfectly shaped ‘fro, holding a microphone as he speaks to a crowd in some unidentified location. Meanwhile, standing a small distance from Howard, was a young white man wearing, of all things, a necklace featuring a large swastika pendant.