Steve McCutchen

Steve, whose pen name is Lil' Masai, was an early member of the Baltimore Chapter of the BPP where he joined in 1968. During those early years he was also assigned to Philadelphia, New York and New Haven. In 1972, Steve arrived in Oakland along with other Party members from chapters around the country. In 1973, he was assigned to the Intercommunal Youth Institute, later renamed the Oakland Community School,where he taught math and physical education. In 1974, Steve launched the martial arts program for youth and adults housed at the Oakland Community Learning Center. The program was featured as a centerfold article in Black Belt magazine in 1975, and led to the further growth of that program and its students, several of whom were eventually rated regionally and nationally in the black belt division.

After the BPP, Steve taught math and then Ethnic Studies with the Oakland Unified School District. He is an accomplished spoken word performer, having been a member of the Oakland Writers Guild and International Black Writers and Artists,Bay Area collective. in 2008 his book, We Were Free For A While: Back to Back in the Black Panther Party was published. He currently is a member of the Black Organizing Project based in Oakland and Contra Costa county, and now stands side by side with former BPP members and community activists as part of the BPP Legacy Keepers Network.

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