Ex-Black Panther Warren Kimbro


He is forever linked to the radical Black Panther Party of the 1960s and '70s. But Warren Kimbro would rather be known as "a guy who made some mistakes, turned his life around, and learned to help other people."

The Black Panthers began as an effort to monitor police behavior. It grew into a political organization advocating such things as black exemption from the draft and arming the black community.

Alex Rackley, a New York Panther, fell under suspicion as an informant in 1969. He was tortured and killed.

Mr. Kimbro and 13 other Panthers were tried for the crime. Kimbro served 4-1/2 years of a murder sentence.

From prison, he was accepted to a graduate program at Harvard. He later became an assistant dean at what is now Eastern Connecticut State University.

Today, Kimbro directs Project More, a halfway house and prison-alternative program in New Haven, Conn. "There is no hole too deep," Kimbro said in a phone interview. "If you really want to make things right, people will support you and help you."

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