“Yusef embodies the unrelenting spirit of Ancestral Freedom Fighters who laid foundation bricks on the road to Black liberation. His work is a combination of lived experience, revolutionary love for Black people and visionary action to build Black power. Yusef serves with strength, humility and masterful understanding of the Black experience.”
Victoria Burton-Harris, Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney of Washtenaw County, 2021
My name is Arthur, my comrades call me “Tha,” and I was/am a member of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Black Panther Party. When I joined in 1968, the leader of our chapter was Bunchy Carter. The was/am relates to the fact that we still have members from that period who are still locked down. I can’t get out until they get out. I got to know Bunchy (Yusef) when I came to Detroit for the US Social Forum in 2010. At the conference, I asked around about who in Detroit worked with former prisoners; Yusef’s name always came up – Yusef Bunchy. I must say the “Bunchy” stood out. I found Yusef and my first question was where did the name Bunchy come from? He told me the story about my former leader, Apprentice “Bunchy” Carter — Yusef knew about his life and death. To understand how important this is in history, go online and look Bunchy Carter up and read his poem, “Black Mother.” If you ever had any questions about the Panthers, I think you will find your answer.
Over the years, I have watched and kept up with the work Yusef has been doing in Detroit for the youth and the community. When he was given an abandoned property, he worked his ass off to turn it into a community center. Yearly, he helped to organize and collect donations to pass out backpacks to the youth for back-to-school and hosted a neighborhood festival. Not only is he an excellent organizer but he is also an excellent writer who has written books about his life, which shows how we are the change we have to look for. I ask anyone who reads this to get copies of his books and give the books to young people. They might see what the LA Panthers see in Yusef. Yusef came to L.A. and was able to meet members of our Chapter. We are proud of his work and are proud that he chose to carry the name Bunchy; it’s in good hands. All power to the people.