Podcast: Revolution on Trial

Co-Produced by:
The Narrative Project and Artspace New Haven


50 years ago the Black Panther Party organized a rally on the New Haven Green to protest the trial of nine party members who were being tried for accounts relating to the murder of Panther member and suspected FBI informant, Alex Rackley. This 8-part series features firsthand accounts by living Panthers, their lawyers and descendants, who reflect on what the government was really after—an end to their Revolution.

New podcasts are released each Friday.

Episode 1: The Makings of a Movement

In the first episode of The Revolution on Trial, Mercy Quaye begins her investigation into the history of the New Haven Black Panther Party. Listen in as she begins to unravel the vivid story of the Panther’s and the May Day Trials in New Haven, both through first-hand accounts and local experts. Featuring interviews with Elise Brown, Paul Bass, and Ericka Huggins.

Episode 2: Freedom is a Constant Struggle

In the second episode of Revolution on Trial, Mercy Quaye reframes the picture of the Black Panther Party and their ten-point program as it relates to New Haven and the nation’s legacy of police brutality on the black community. Featuring interviews from Kerry Ellington, Addys Castillo, and Ala Ochumare.

Episode 3: The Labor and Toll of Organizing

Risking everything for justice isn’t an easy job, but someone’s got to do it. In episode three of Revolution on Trail, Kerry Ellington, Addys Castillo, Ericka Huggins, Germano Kimbro, and Ala Ochumare share how the thankless job of organizing in liberation movements often results in loss of jobs, hunger, poverty, and torn families. Featuring the “Ella’s Song” performed by Sweet Honey in the Rock.

Episode 4: Women Who Build Movements

In episode 4 of Revolution on Trial, Mercy discusses the woes of women in the movement both in 1969 and today. Featuring Elise Brown, Ericka Huggins, Paul Bass and Kerry Ellington.

Episode 5: A Movement Under Surveillance

In episode 5 of Revolution on Trial, Mercy secures an interview with George Edwards, a New Haven notable whose life has been haunted by constant surveillance and FBI oversight through COINTELPRO since the night he was to be executed with Alex Rackley. Featuring sound from the Rackley interrogation, details on the case from Paul Bass and David Rosen, and a description of life under Surveillance  from Ericka Huggins.

Episode 6: Inside the May Day Trials

In this episode of Revolution of Trial, we get a full, raw and uncomfortable retelling of the trial from the Panther attorney, David Rosen, Ericka Huggins, and Paul Bass. Also includes insight from Germano Kimbro, son of Warren Kimbro who pleaded guilty to the murder of Alex Rackley.

Episode 7: What’s Yale Got to Do With It?

During the May Day Trial, the Black Student Alliance at Yale was committed to making change on and off campus. In episode 7, we hear from BSAY leaders Ralph Dawson and Kurt Schmolke about the student work that thrust the University into the center stage.