LIVING HISTORY: June 3, 2011-Elmer “Geronimo” Pratt has died at the age of 63. Pratt was a prominent leader of the original Black Panther Party who spent 27 years in prison on a murder conviction that was not only later overturned but was awarded over $4 million for government misconduct. Essentially he was framed for a crime he didn’t commit.
The actual cause of Pratt’s death was not known at the time of report. However, high blood pressure was a medical problem that Pratt suffered.
Pratt was a revolutionary who determined along with other young people (at the time) to change the social and civil injustice that continued to plague the African American community. The original Black Panther Party created meal and education programs for hard hit communities. Their militant tactics which often included but were not limited to “bearing arms” in public caused the established political system significant concern. These men and women were a threat and had to be eliminated before all black people believed in their movement.
Pratt continued to work on behalf of men and women believed to be wrongfully incarcerated until his death, including participation in rallies in support of Mumia Abu-Jamal, whom he had met when both were active as Black Panthers. Geronimo was living in Tanzania at the time of his death.
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