Do I Have an FBI File

Huey P. Newton: Interview from Jail

Raging Grannies – Grannies for Peace


Do I have an FBI file? Hmmm!!! Interesting question and I am thinking that I do.  I am almost positive that I have an extensive FBI file and not because I am a bad person or even because I have done anything wrong. I have never been to jail or prison, I have never been arrested. Yes I have gotten a few (ok maybe more than a few) traffic tickets but that is really the extent of my bad behavior.  Or maybe those were the only things that I have been caught at (I’ll never tell).  Hey we all have our little bad streaks. Don’t get me wrong I am not perfect not by any stretch of the imagination. But not bad enough to warrant having an FBI file.  However there is that guilt by association thing and if that is true then I certainly have a whopper of a file.  Its not that I even hung around with questionable people either.  There are actually two people that I can point the finger at directly in this situation; my grandmother and my father. Both of these people have had questionable “affiliations” and interactions.  But neither of them was/is a bad person; in fact my grandmother developed a huge FBI file only because she was trying to do good or what she felt was right. So what were these two up to and why do they have files?


I remember shortly after my grandmother (my mother’s mother) passed away at the age of 93 I was in her house helping my mother and my aunts go through my grandmother’s things.  The one thing that I found of interest was her FBI file it was thick almost a full ream of paper so about 500 pages of information.  However most of that information was blacked out.  If we were to take out all the blackened information I am almost certain the word count could probably fit on 150 pages. Why was so much information blackened out, some of it seemed truly unimportant.  I still tried to go through the pages looking for any information I could with my name or a reference about me.  I thought it would be easy enough to find since I was her only granddaughter (she had five grandsons but I was her one and only granddaughter).  Of course I only went through a few pages before I could not take anymore. I wanted to know what was under those blackened words and it bugged me that I could not read what was truly written.

So why did my grandmother have such a huge FBI file? Well my grandmother was always a trailblazer doing things her own way and being a very vocal woman who was a peace activist until her death.  In fact, a few days before her death she was still doing what she could for peace.  When she was 71 she was arrested and jailed for protesting, she actually climbed a fence (I cannot even imagine myself now in my 30’s climbing a fence let alone being over 70). There was not one occasion that I can remember her being at where she did not have some type of petition with her; wedding, funeral, birthday party or just visiting with friends.  She was constantly telling me who “we” were boycotting and why.  She was a trendsetter wearing pants when women wore dresses, running her husband’s business after his death when women did not run businesses.  My grandmother battled the “old boy” network running the business for almost 25 years after his death and not caring that she was a woman in a man’s world. But are these really reasons to develop an extensive FBI file?   Well yes it is because my grandmother was a strong woman who believed in equal rights for everyone and who also believed in world peace.  She fought for what she believed in and protested against the things that she felt were unjust. She went so far as co-creating a group to help in the fight. She had enough of a voice to cause quite a stir and to bring attention to herself.


My father was less in the spotlight than my grandmother but his affiliations were a bit suspect.  About 10 years before I was born my father befriended a man he met after a heated crap game.  That man had big ideas about what he wanted to do in his life.  He wanted to make a change and my father helped him to develop some of those ideas.  That friend was Huey Newton who later became the leader and cofounder of the Black Panther Party.  Even though my father was not a member of the Party his friendship was enough for him to be noticed by the FBI.  They were so interested that they came to our house when I was about 2 years old.  The story goes that one of the FBI men actually picked me up and set me in his lap (because I was so cute of course) where I proceeded to poop (now I call that giving it to the man!!!). 

So with all the action going on with my grandmother getting arrested and going to jail at 71 and my father being affiliated with a questionable group do I have an FBI file? I am almost certain that I do and it started when I was 2 years old giving it to the man and I am sure it is continuing now.  I would love to see my file too but of course I would want to see it without all those black marks. 

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Comments 25 comments

goldentoad profile image

goldentoad 7 years ago from Free and running....

uh, I hope I don't get in trouble by associating with you.

Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast Author

Uh GT - Somehow I think you broke the mold. lol

Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

isn't it ironic that the folk who want to do the most good in the world are treated as social misfits and suspicious persons?

Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast Author

Teresa - To be honest I was shocked by my Grandmothers file. All she ever wanted to do was to make sure that there was Peace in the world and that EVERYONE was treated fairly. So I would have to say it is very ironic. Especially for people who had never harmed others.

Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

I know there is a large Army Intelligence (or whatever they call it now, in the UK) file on my mother, as she was one of the many folk who joined the Peace Movement in Belfast immediately it started, and was very active in it. One day they actually came to question her about it -- to our house, with security out on the street, etc. Yep: there's nothing as dangerous as women who want peace, is there? Irony indeed.

Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast Author

Wow Teresa that is so crazy! We must get those peace people in control! lol.

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

LOL TM, "giving it to the man"!  Precious.  You probably do have an FBI file by association, just as you say.  If so, I hope they don't black out the poop incident.

I know I have one of those files, for reasons similar to both your grandmother's and father's.  I found out about it many years ago when I was the victim of a crime.  The local lead detective did a background check on me (the victim), and thought he'd do me a favor by telling me about the file.  Then he suggested I stay away from peace protests and abandon some of my associates, for my own good.  Yes, we women who work for peace are pretty threatening, huh?

I imagine there's new information in that file, perhaps tapes of my phone conversations with my mother where I rant about the indignity of airport searches, or the gross injustice of holding prisoners without charging them. This new information would be courtesy of the Justice Department or Homeland Security, I suspect.  I wonder how your grandmother came into possession of her file?

ftclick profile image

ftclick 7 years ago

probably so in the last 8 years if you are interested in traveling abroad.

Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast Author

Sally - Wow so you have a file? I hope you have been being a good girl since then. Those peaceniks are total trouble makers and extremely threatening. lol. My mother told me that she "ordered" her file this was years ago and took many letters and years to retrieve.

ftclick - That is probably true.

G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 7 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

OMG and here my grandfather was a bootlegger and got away with it for many years...I heard stories of how he was close to being in BIG trouble but someone got the word to him...He even became the it seems to run in all families...but now unfortuntionally most of my family are we pay one way or the other...G-Ma :O) HUGS

jjrubio 7 years ago

I Plead the 5th....=)

Tom Cornett profile image

Tom Cornett 7 years ago from Ohio

Anyone who stands up to the government and has a file. Usually close family members do also. Kudos to your grandma and dad! Great read! Thanks! :)

Elena. profile image

Elena. 7 years ago from Madrid

Hey Triplet Mom! I just wanted to comment what Teresa did, up above. Seems standing up for one's beliefs may be is a good reason to grant a file. And then the "by association" factors seems a good reason, too. BAH!

What Sally explained, well, what can one say to that? I'd like to think that only happens in the movies, but of course we all know reality is quite grander than fiction, and that I won't be able to get away with that big dose of wistful thinking! Laugh!

Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast Author

G-Ma - Thats pretty cool, the bootlegger part not the end result. Being able to avoid getting busted takes some skill!! Very interesting.

JJ - I usually do too! lol

Tom - I agree with you completely. I think it is important to stand for your beliefs. Thank you.

Elena - Sometimes it seems like a waste of FBI personel following people like my grandmother but oh well. Sometimes truth is grander than fiction so true!!

gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 7 years ago from Oklahoma

LMAO. I laughed pretty hard through this whole thing. I can't imagine climbing a fence at my age either, and especially not at over 70. Now you've got me wondering if I have an FBI file? I wonder whats in it? Dang it. Now I'm gonna be thinking about it alot.

Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast Author

Thank you Gwendymom. Sorry to put that in your head but these are the things that go through mine all the time. lol.

laringo profile image

laringo 7 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

I better be careful what I say in my comment here or I might have a file started on me's if I don't already.. after all I was born In Berkeley and grew up there in the height of the peace and freedom movements and everything else. I did enjoy that time in my life though.

Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast Author

laringo - lol I am an Oakland/Berkeley baby too maybe thats the problem lol. Maybe its not the association maybe its the location!

laringo profile image

laringo 7 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

Triplet Mom...Wow! you could be right. I'll have to contact you....soon...have a great day!

Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast Author

Oh that would be fun!! Its always good to talk with people from the hood lol.

tony0724 profile image

tony0724 7 years ago from san diego calif

I would bet you that just for questioning authority these days  we all get a file . But Triplet Mom with all those traffic tickets I am not sure I should be associating with you ! You are a menace to society  ! But I would have liked to have met your Grandma ,she sounds totallly Interesting !

AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

Good for your grandmother!!!! She stood up for what she believed and probably knew just like mine did, that granddaughter's are nosey and she wanted you to remember her a little differently. If you do find out however pleasse tell as it is an interesting story..:)

Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast Author

Tony - I don't get traffic tickets like I used to. I did all my comedy traffic schools and have become a better driver or at least a funnier one. My grandmother was a hoot, a true character.

AEvans - Yes I am still proud of her she was a great woman if I could only be half the woman she was I will be doing great. I will update when I do find out more.

gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 4 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

To Triplet Mom, Excellent and insightful hub. The FBI has a file on almost anyone who advocates human rights and freedoms and is beyond the conversative, conventional status quo in American society. However, there are some FBI people who have something undercover so to speak. Remember, J. Edgar Hoover, who kept tabs on people. Well, it was discovered that Mr. Hoover was involved in quite some "out of the way" activities himself.

Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 4 years ago from West Coast Author

gm - Its always the ones that point the finger that are doing the most "dirt". I am almost certain that I have a file...I would love to get my hands on mine. Thanks for stopping by!

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