Roger on J. Edgar Hoover
J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI
John Edgar Hoover [commonly known as J. Edgar Hoover] was the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI] for 48 years from May 10, 1924 until his death on May 2, 1972.

He gained prominence within the Justice Department from 1917 to 1924 with his work on indexing "subversives" within the US, eventually cataloguing over 450,000 people. On November 7, 1919 he rounded up over 10,000 American citizens suspected of being communists and anarchists, most of who were eventually released. Eventually his case against Emma Goldman and her deportation [for her views on women's suffrage and birth control] led to his promotion to Assistant Director of the Bureau of Investigation.
John Edgar Hoover

January 1, 1895, Washington, DC

May 2, 1972, Washington, DC

Law, George Washington University

Director of the FBI, COINTELPRO
Hoover's involvement with the Black Panther Party came as the party began to gain prominence during 1967 & 68. As COINTELPRO had been established in 1956 to police "political radicals" within the United States, focus and pressure now came onto the Black Panther Party. On June 15, 1969, J. Edgar Hoover declared, "the Black Panther Party, without question, represents the greatest threat to internal security of the country"; he pledged that 1969 would be the last year of the Party's existence.

As Roger states in the film, "if you read the FBI files you will see that even Mr. J. Edgar Hoover himself had to say that it was not the guns that were the greatest threat to the internal security of the United States of America; it was not the guns, it was the Free Children's Breakfast Program that was the greatest threat to the internal security of the United States of America. Grits. Now why was it the Free Children's Breakfast Program? It was the Free Children's Breakfast Program because the Free Children's Breakfast Program engendered a certain following on the Black community's part, a certain respect on the Black community's part. I mean, nobody can argue with free grits. So Hoover saw it as a kind of, he saw the Free Children's Breakfast Program as a kind of, what's the word he used? He said it was a kind of, look in the file, you'll see, he said it was a kind of infiltration. That's ridiculous isn't it? Infiltration? How are Black people, who are born and raised in the Black community, who live and work in the Black community, going to infiltrate their own Black community? If anybody's infiltrating I think its J. Edgar Hoover.
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