We lost Bruce A. Dixon, a special elder, organizer, and revolutionary last Friday. Bruce became a Black Panther in Chicago’s Chapter as a teenager, and had been organizing people on ground level to build a different world ever since, as a factory worker, Black Agenda Report Editor, Green Party Co-Chair, and much more. It’s surreal to know from far away that a mentor with so much life has transitioned on, and it’s hard to know what to say.
One of the things I appreciated, being blessed to know him these last few years, was that even with his decades of valuable political knowledge, he never wore his experience as a badge of immovable ideology and authoritative strategy for movements, unlike many elders. Instead, he used his knowledge as a key to always ask even more poignant questions with young and old alike, and to find the contradictions in political movements and struggle in order to address them, no matter how difficult or inconvenient. He never settled, and it always seemed like time was of the essence for him, not because of his illness, but because his love for The People was so strong that he had no time to waste not working to better the world.
Still, his generosity preceded him. I remember giving him a call once when I needed advice and was in a difficult place with my political organizing. When he picked up, it turned out he was staying in the hospital that night, and I rushed to get off the phone, embarrassed that I was bothering him while he was sick. Instead, he insisted we continue talking and that I ask him questions while he rested. He discussed politics, strategies, organizations, alliances, what he had learned, and what’s the deal in Chicago with me all night long until it was time to give his wife a goodnight call for bed.
Bruce gave everything he had to struggle and to change the world, standing strong and tall through his final moment here in this life. We each need to follow his example if we’re going to get anywhere near the people power to end this wretched system. I’m infinitely grateful that I knew him, and I look forward to carrying on his work and legacy among the many he called comrades.
Rest in Power, Brother Bruce!