The organizer and former Black Panther member was born to a white mother and black father in the South. When he was six years old, he was adopted by a black family in California. His mother sent him away for his own safety, but he never understood why, and grew up feeling abandoned. At 17 he was sent to prison after killing a man during an aborted mugging. In prison he met George Jackson who changed his life by exposing him to the teachings of the Black Panther movement. Spain became a leader in the Black Panther Movement in prison.
Freshman Congressman Bobby Rush (D-Illinois), who in the late 60's and early 70's was a leader of the Black Panther Party. At one time he served as Minister of Defense for the Panthers. From 1983 till his election to Congress last year, he served as an Alderman in Chicago.