Terry Smalls (son)
On Christmas Day, 1971, Wayne Smalls, a quiet, unassuming Black Panther party-wannabe, whose most daring exploit to date involved checking city firearms ordinances, was elevated to the rank of Minister of Communications after he kicked in the door of a party meeting and saved several party leaders from an in-progress NYPD raid.
This brilliant work of fiction was engineered by a joint effort between the New York City Police Department and Panther party leaders.
The truth, however, involved the considerably less epic split from the Panthers’ drug profits. Wayne’s sudden ill-timed burst saved the party leaders from a routine accounting session.
But, see, firing a gun at a New York cop is like mooning the Pope. It’s just not done.
Bang, bang, bang and there were units rolling from the local precinct and now everybody had to get paid: the arriving officers, their shift commander, the greaseball major crimes grunts -- it was a mess. And the locals absolutely could not know their radical right wing liberationist heroes were turning down the sheets with Officer Flatfoot.
So Wayne became first a hero and then a legend. The story of his heroism grew as it was told and retold, joining those of Bobby Seale, Huey P. Newton, and Eldirdge Cleaver in the plangent strum of urban lore across the landscape of the concrete jungle.
While Terry Smalls, Wayne's son, delivered a speech during his inauguration as President of REACH, a non-profit political action group founded by Wayne, Wayne, the urban legend himself, was shot to death in Los Angeles, trying with the last of his strength to get a dirty needle into his arms.
Of course, Wayne Smalls wasn’t supposed to be in Los Angeles. He wasn’t even supposed to be in the United States.
According to the urban legend, Wayne Smalls had fled the country after an exhaustive police manhunt, and retired to Algiers. Only two people on the planet knew that to be a lie -- Terry Smalls and Mayor Bob.