There’s an old, grainy black-and-white video floating around YouTube that shows Black Panther Bobby Lee addressing a group of poor white migrants from the South and Appalachia. “I wanna introduce a man that come over here tonight from another part of town but he’s fighting for some of the same causes we’re fighting for… so I’m gonna introduce you to Bobby Lee here”, says a member of the Young Patriots Organization (YPO), a political group that organized poor white migrants in 1960s Chicago. Lee takes the stage. “I’m a Black Panther, I’m a section leader of the Black Panthers… The Panthers are here”, he tells the audience. “You have to tell us what we can do together. We come here with our hearts open, you cats supervise us. Where we can be of help to you.” He starts walking around the skeptical-seeming crowd, making his case for their common ground. “There’s police brutality up here, there’s rats and roaches. There’s poverty up here… that’s the first thing we can unite on, that’s the common thing we have, man.” He approaches a young white woman and encourages her to speak. At first she’s shy, but Lee and the YPO speaker say they don’t want to be doing all the talking, that they already talk too much and that their movement needs more leaders. She finally gets up and airs her worry over the police, how a cop pulled a knife on her brother and when she asked him what he was doing he told her it was none of her business and to “get the hell out of there.” The video cuts to an older Southern white guy. “I want you people to stick together and I’ll stick by the Black Panthers if they’ll stick with me, and I know they will”, he says.
Tana Ganeva in Resurrecting the alliance of black revolutionaries and Southern whites, decades after a government crackdown (Washingtonpost)