On April 13th, Esutosin Omowale Osunkoya, co-founder of the Sacramento Black Panther Party chapter, died at age 76 due to complications from COVID-19.
Osunkoya passed away at the UC Davis Medical Center while his wife, who was also fighting the virus, but recovered, was separated by seven floors.
According to the Sacramento Observer, on April 1st, Osunkoya had checked into the hospital and was administered a COVID-19 test which came back negative.
Osunkoya was administered another test which returned positive.
After twelve long days of fighting and dealing with ‘hundreds of wires’ running through his body, Osunkoya passed away–leaving behind his revolutionary legacy for us to remember.
The Sacramento chapter of the Black Panther Party was co-founded in 1968 by Osunkoya, whose colonial name is Charles Brunson.
The Party organized with–and for–the community to install programs such as the Breakfast for School Children, Tutoring for the Illiterate, and Prisoners Legal Aid programs.
On top of this, they were provided political and military education—all Panthers had to go through a six-week training before joining.
The Panthers also established the Sacramento Branch of the Black Panther Party’s 50th Anniversary at the Roberts Family Development Center.
After the Party dissolved due to infiltration and COINTELPRO, which endangered the lives of the members, Osunkoya still engaged in revolutionary work with the community.
Osunkoya and his wife actively volunteered in the Sacramento Black Book Fair and provided African drumming at community events.
Although he is no longer on this Earth, we remember Osunkoya for his contributions to the movement to liberate his people.
Long Live Esutosin Omowale Osunkoya!