African American Heritage

Barbara Easley

Barbara Easley began working with the Black Panther Party as a student at San Francisco State University. She met and married Donald L. Cox who was the Panther Field Marshal of the Black Panther Party and immediately became more closely affiliated with the Party. In addition to leading of the Oakland chapter, they also worked in the New York and Philadelphia chapters as well. After her husband, Donald, was accused of conspiracy to murder a Panther who was found to be an informant, the couple fled to Algeria and then to Korea.

Easley is credited with helping to spread the international reach of the Party. Donald died while in exile in France. Upon her return to the United States, Barbara Easley moved to Philadelphia where she focused on community development work. After her retirement from social work, Easley continued to consult and volunteer in a variety of community-based capacities which she continues today.

Record Group 65: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

 Classification 157 (Civil Unrest) Case Files, 1957-1978 [New York, New York Field Division] , 1957-1978 National Archives Identifier 1518843

157-4181 Barbara Easley (NAID 5388564)

Classification 157 (Civil Unrest) Case Files, 1957-1978 [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Field Division] , 1957-1978 National Archives Identifier 1524565

157-3233 Barbara Olivia Easley Cox -- Black Panther Party