Ahmad Cleaver, son of Black Panther Party leaders Eldridge and Kathleen Cleaver, has recently published Soul on Islam (riffing, obviously, on his dad's Soul on Ice). The book deals with his experiences growing up in exile, in Algeria and France, and his subsequent conversion to Islam. Ahmad is currently on a book tour. Here is the description of the book from its publisher, Seaburn Books:
I am a child of what America is and how she came to be. I come from a story that starts with the Africans who arrived on American shores some 400 years ago. So begins this heartwarming and non apologetic book by Mr. Cleaver.
My father was a soldier, a fighter and a writer. He used to run with the Black Panther Party troops across the battle lines of America’s ghettos in the turbulent 1960’s. Those were the days when some of the young Black men went from being hunted by the police to being hunters of bad policemen who liked to see African-American blood. My father and my mother were part of the leadership of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, Eldridge and Kathleen Cleaver. His voice was heard by many. His was “Soul on Ice” and mine is “Soul on Islam."
About the Author:
“Soul on Islam” is the first book by Ahmad Maceo Eldridge Cleaver, the son of Eldridge Cleaver, best-selling author of “Soul On Ice.”
The book is an informative memoir sketching Cleaver’s life with his parents, activists in America's civil rights movement. It includes details of their life in France, America and Algeria, where he was born. The book continues to unfold and gives the reader a very moving description of when the author discovered and embraced Islam twelve years ago.
For the past decade, Cleaver has traveled amongst Muslims in countries within Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. He shares stories and scenes of his experiences while living in Sudan and in Qatar.
Ahmad Maceo Eldridge Cleaver graduated with a B.A. from the Africana Studies and Research Department at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Since embracing Islam, he is a dedicated student of Islamic studies and the Arabic language and studied the teachings of Islam under Imams in America, Sudan, Kuwait, and Qatar.
He currently lives in Doha, Qatar.
Ahmad is not the only son of famous Pan-Africanist militants to have taken up residence in the Arab world. David Dubois, son of W.E.B. Dubois, resides in Cairo, at least part of the year. Gamal Nkrumah, son of Kwame Nkrumah, is a very fine journalist, living in Cairo, who writes for al-Ahram Weekly.