Side of Glory
David Hilliard and Lewis Cole
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Format: Paperback, 480pp.
Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
Pub. Date: April 2001
Reviewed by Thumper, AALBC.com
This Side Of Glory: The Autobiography of David Hilliard and the Story of the Black Panther Party by David Hilliard and Lewis Cole
On my continuing quest in reading more non-fiction/biographies, I decided to read a fascinating autobiography of David Hilliard, the former Chief Of Staff of the Black Panther Party, along with Lewis Cole titled This Side Of Glory: The Autobiography of David Hilliard and the Story of the Black Panther Party. I was enthralled, fascinated, educated and saddened by this excellent account of what has become a footnote in American history.
I have to admit that I had no idea who David Hilliard was and I possessed a vague recollection of the Black Panther Party. It's not because of my age. My memories are of black men wearing black berets and black leather coats. I thought they were cool. Not they're actions, deeds, or their politics, just their dress, just their black leather coats. Later, I was then made aware of their existence only when viewing documentaries that cover subjects related to the sixties, and then the Black Panther Party is mentioned as a footnote, only good for that three or four seconds while the remaining 47 minutes focus on the anti-Viet Nam movement; thereby, minimizing the affect the Panthers had on the United States. Now instead of a footnote, I get a book, a big book. *smile*
This Side Of Glory was indeed an education, not only of a movement, but also of a mindset, and the people behind the scene. Hilliard exposes his life as if there's a gun to his head. I found myself flinching at some of the events. Although, Hilliard is candid on a major portion of his life, there are others in which he is less forthcoming, making the absences of these events and/or people all the more glaringly obvious. These reluctances do not hinder or slow the pace of the story Hilliard is determines to tell. Interwoven seamlessly with Hilliard's account, are the individuals that also played a role in the formation of the Panther Party as well as Hilliard's life; adding validity to Hilliard's version of the truth.
This Side Of Glory is an excellent biography and chapter of history of an organization that changed the face of this nation. Highly recommended.