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.