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    Black Panther - B. Kwaku Duren - Black Activist, Black Man, Black Panther - Black History and Literature Library

    Black Panther - B. Kwaku Duren

    B. Kwaku Duren (born April 14, 1943; a.k.a., Robert Donaldson Duren and Bob D. Duren) is a controversial African American former lawyer, educator, writer, editor, Black Panther, long-time social, political and community activist; and a former convict who now lives and practices law in South Central Los Angeles. He has run for United States Congress three times and once for Vice President of the United States. As a young man, he spent nearly five years in California prisons for armed robbery. He began reading extensively and taking college classes while incarcerated and after his parole in the fall of 1970, he founded and chaired the National Poor People's Congress. A couple of years later, he and his younger sister, Betty Scott, along with Mary Blackburn and other community activists, founded an alternate school – the Intercommunal Youth Institute (1972–1975) – in Long Beach, California.

    In the wake of the shooting death of his sister by a California Highway Patrol officer during a routine traffic stop, Duren helped found and was a co-chair of the Coalition Against Police Abuse (CAPA) from 1975–77. From 1976 to 1981 he was the Coordinator of the Southern California Chapter of the Black Panther Party (SCC/BPP). From 1979 until 1991 he worked for the Los Angeles Legal Aid Foundation, beginning as a Community Outreach Worker; later, as a paralegal and attorney; he was one of the founding members and first president of the Union of Legal Services Workers of Los Angeles (AFL-CIO/UAW).

    Duren attended law school at the Peoples College of Law in Los Angeles. He graduated in fall of 1989 and was admitted to the California State Bar on August 8, 1990. He has worked as a “people’s” lawyer and community activist in South Central Los Angeles ever since.

    A founding member of Community Services Unlimited, Inc., he was its Executive Director from 1977–2008. As Chairman of the New Panther Vanguard Movement – since 1994 – Duren was co-editor-in-chief, with his ex-wife, Neelam Sharma, of The Black Panther International News Service, a quarterly newspaper published in Los Angeles from 1995 to 2001.

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