"In 1971, Eddie Conway, Lieutenant of Security for the Baltimore chapter of the Black Panther Party, was convicted of murdering a police officer and sentenced to life plus thirty years behind bars. Paul Coates was a community worker at the time and didn't know Eddie well ' the little he knew, he didn't much like. But Paul was dead certain that Eddie's charges were bogus. He vowed never to leave Eddie ' and in so doing, changed the course of both their lives. For over forty-three years, as he raised a family and started a business, Paul visited Eddie in prison, often taking his kids with him. He and Eddie shared their lives and worked together on dozens of legal campaigns in hopes of gaining Eddie's release. Paul's founding of the Black Classic Press in 1978 was originally a way to get books to Eddie in prison. When, in 2014, Eddie finally walked out onto the streets of Baltimore, Paul Coates was there to greet him. Today, these two men remain rock-solid comrades and friends ' each, the other's chosen brother.When Eddie and Paul met in the Baltimore Panther Party, they were in their early twenties. They are now into their seventies. This book is a record of their lives and their relationship, told in their own voices. Paul and Eddie talk about their individual stories, their work, their politics, and their immeasurable bond."--Provided by publisher.
"The Brother You Choose encompasses all that is embodied in the soul of Gwendolyn Brooks' words when she writes: "we are each others harvest; we are each others business; we are each others magnitude and bond." This unique friendship (i.e., brotherhood) born under the early idealism of the Black Panther Party within its stated goals and objectives bring smiles to one who has also struggled on the same streets as Paul Coates and Eddie Conway. Susie Day has provided us with an insight into two lives that have survived and developed within the deadly American history that challenges us daily. The relationship that develops between the pages of these brothers' lives is reflective of true heart and soul. The inimitable brotherhood chronicled here can only be measured by the depth of one's own sense of grace and humanity. Over a span of fifty years, Paul Coates and Marshall "Eddie" Conway have remained "rock-solid comrades" and extended family in the Black Empowerment struggle. Their friendship exemplified the early promise of the BPP and its core meaning as articulated in the Ten-Point Program illustrated through Day's poignant account of racial injustice, resistance and unyielding solidarity." --Haki R. Madhubuti, Poet, Founder of Third World Press/Third World Press Foundation, author of Taught By Women