Roland Freeman (98521)

Roland Freeman, an original member of the Southern California Chapter of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, died Wednesday, Oct. 15 in New York at the LaGuardia Airport. Freeman was bringing back the ashes of his brother Ronald Freeman, 69, (also an original member of the Black Panther Party who had passed away a week before from cancer) when he had a heart attack and immediately died. Services are pending for both brothers. For those interested in more information, call Mohammed Mubarack at (323) 697-6783 or email

With the deaths of Ronald and Roland Freeman, three original Black Panther members from Los Angeles have passed away within the last two months including Wayne Pharr who died from cancer on Sep. 16.

Ronald and Roland Freeman joined the Southern California Chapter of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense in 1967. They were both a part of the original membership of fewer than 20 people and were active participants in a South L.A. the shoot out on Dec. 8, 1969 involving more than 300 LAPD officers and the SWAT team.

Roland was also one of the few original L.A. Black Panthers who stayed involved with the movement until its end and lived to tell about it. He was a co-executive producer and subject of the award- winning documentary film “41st and Central: The Untold Story of the L.A. Black Panthers.”

For the past 20 years, Roland was the director at the Community Youth Sports and Arts Foundation, a halfway house for troubled youth in Leimert Park.

Ronald stayed active with the movement as well after moving to Oakland. He leaves behind to celebrate his life three daughters, two sons, and his life partner Carmelita Taylor.

Roland, a longtime resident of Leimert Park, leaves behind t his daughter Mai Freeman, son Roland Toure Freeman, and his wife Beverly.