Charles Pinderhughes grew up in the Boston area in the 60s and 70s. His parents were connected to the civil rights movement of the time, and the young Charles absorbed the ethos of the day, often attending the SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee) meetings that his parents held in their home. Charles moved in this direction himself, and he was right at the centre of many revolutionary movements as the 60s transitioned into the 70s. He also changed his own thoughts at the time, as his personal transformation reflected the growing frustrations with the movement. As an SNCC activist Charles took part in voter registration drives in Arkansas, but the violent reprisals and slow pace of change gradually pushed down a more radical path, leading him to join the Black Panthers. Charles became a Lieutenant of Information within the Party, and he was a central figure at the Yale May Day Protests in New Haven in 1970. His political values started to shift though, and Charles made the decision to leave the party as he came to prefer a more democratic path. He was also attracted to the Marxist cadre approach that he felt the Panthers had not fully realized. Charles challenged Mr. Hawkins’ Grade 11 American History class when he visited us via zoom in May 2022; he was provocative and his characterization of racial disputes in America in 1970 and 2022 demonstrated the connectedness and deeper themes in history.
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