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Aaron / Shooting of Carl Hampton

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Interviewer: Did they flood the neighborhood? Aaron: No. They didn’t flood the neighborhood. They didn’t flood the neighborhood. What they did was they had this helicopter flying around shining big old lights on everybody. They had cordoned off the neighborhood for blocks away. They did not just move in. They had the neighborhood cordoned off. It took a while before they moved in with police force. Thirty minutes to an hour before they actually moved in there. Interviewer: Were you there at the time? Aaron: Yeah, I was there. Interviewer: Did the police shoot at you? Aaron: Yeah, they shot at me. They were shooting what you call tracer bullets. Bullets that’ll light up. They shot Carl with a dumdum. These boys on the roof of the church, they were the only ones doing the shooting. They had a tactical advantage on us because you could barely see them on top of that church, but they could see us. We down on the ground, you know, with lights and streetlights and all that shit. They got the helicopter flying around putting that light on you. So, they had us at a tactical—they had a tactical advantage on us. Interviewer: So Carl passes (inaudible) transition, why did you become—or, what happens after that? Aaron: After that, we all in disarray. We’re all heartbroken. Our leader—which he was the leader. Heartbroken. Discombobulated. Figured we need to keep the struggle going, the party going. I was one of the oldest members in the party. I was one of the earlier recruits. I had the title of field marshal at that time. I was one of the earlier recruits, so the brothers in the party elected me to that position. Interviewer: What did you do as a leader? Aaron: What I did was try to keep it together. I did the same work that everybody else did. Some of the decision-making fell on my shoulders. I basically did the same thing that the rest of them did outside of making a few decisions about this or that. Interviewer: Did the People’s Party Two stay as the People’s Party Two or did it change names? Aaron: We stayed as the People’s Party Two for a year, maybe two. We always considered ourselves to be the Black Panthers even when we were People’s Party Two. We considered ourselves to be Black Panthers. That’s who we emulated. That’s who—that’s the program we had, the Black Panther program. That’s the leadership we adhered too. (inaudible) So, we considered ourselves to be Black Panthers even when we was People’s Party Two. We had the name People’s Party because at the time, they wasn’t organizing no more chapters of the Black Panther Party. Carl decides to call it People’s Party Two. People’s Party Two because he recognized the Black Panther Party as People’s Party One. We stayed People’s Party Two for a couple years, a year or two, until Hughie Newton got out of jail. We communicated with the party and asked to become an official chapter and we was given permission to do that. Became an official chapter of the Black Panther Party. Interviewer: What year was the— Aaron: I believe it was about—Carl got killed in 1970. Might have been about 1972. Something like that. Nineteen seventy-one, 1972. It wasn’t a long time after Carl got killed and one of the things I really regret is Carl, he did not live to see Hughie Newton. Hughie was an idol to him. Shortly after Carl got killed, Hughie Newton got out of prison. I regretted that happened like that. Carl would have just loved to be on the streets when Hughie got out, but he wasn’t.

Interview Interview with James Aaron
Subjects Race Relations
Race Relations › Black-White Race Relations
Geography
Geography › Geographical Descriptions
Geography › Places (Cities, Towns, Neighborhoods, and Intersections)
White Resistance to Civil Rights
Police and Law Enforcement
Police and Law Enforcement › Police Brutality
Police and Law Enforcement › Community Relations and Law Enforcement
Police and Law Enforcement › Prisons
Historic Periods › 1970s [Exact Date Unknown]
Black Power
Black Power › Black Panthers
Black Power › Local Black Power Organizations
Black Power › Black Power and Community Organizing
People › Newton, Huey P.
Tags Hampton, Carl
The People's Party II
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Interview date 2016-06-08
Interview source CRBB Summer 2016
Interviewees Aaron, James
Interviewers Enriquez, Sandra
Rodriguez, Samantha
Locations Houston, TX
Duration 00:05:57
Citation "Shooting of Carl Hampton," from James Aaron oral history interview with Sandra Enriquez and Samantha Rodriguez,  June 08, 2016, Houston,TX, Civil Rights in Black and Brown Interview Database, https://crbb.tcu.edu/clips/2575/carl-hampton-shot-and-james-aaron-takes-over, accessed June 17, 2019