Eldridge Cleaver’s 1981 BYU Freedom Festival Speech

For several years I have heard people speak about Eldridge Cleaver’s awesome speech at a BYU Freedom Festival from years ago. I’ve searched for the text or audio of his speech or anything about it that could allow me to see it but always came up short. Recently, I was copied on an email from Fred Willoughby who mentioned having the speech on DVD. Fred is the president of the Proper Role of Government seminars. I contacted Fred and was excited to learn that he did indeed have Eldridge’s speech on DVD, but not only that, he was able to obtain permission from the distributor of the DVD to allow me to post it online and share with you.

Fred was with the LAPD in the 60’s and nobody was more surprised than Fred that Eldridge made the incredible change that he did. After converting to Christianity, Eldridge joined the LDS church and Fred used to shuttle him around California acting as his bodyguard while Eldridge spoke at firesides. Here is a short introduction by Fred.

Eldridge Cleaver’s Speech

In 1981, Eldridge Cleaver spoke at the BYU Freedom Festival about his conversion from being the Marxist, atheist, spokesman for the Black Panther’s party, to being a Christian, freedom loving, Founding Father appreciating, patriotic American. It’s an amazing journey Eldridge took and an important one for us to learn from. Eldridge was involved in criminal activity and through an odd opportunity to escape justice on one particular occasion, he traveled the world from one Communist country to another, being celebrated in those countries as one of America’s communist heroes. What he saw changed him. This video should be seen by everyone to understand what we’ve really got here in America.

One warning, the intro by Elwood Peterson lasts to about the 7:30 mark. It’s fairly interesting, but just don’t give up hope that you’re not going to hear from Eldridge. Total running time is 1 hour 24 minutes.

4 Responses to “Eldridge Cleaver’s 1981 BYU Freedom Festival Speech”

  • Doug McMullin:

    Got ten minutes into the video and it froze up and wouldn’t continue.  I would like to hear the rest.  Is there another link?

  • Click the YouTube button in the bottom right corner of the video after starting to play it.

  • Jennrc3:

    Just watched the whole thing, and it was so great to see the changes he made in his life.  If he can change, most people can.  Education is the key.  I loved how he compared the prison system to Communism; it was a great analogy.  The only part of the speech that bothered me was how he emphasized that we need to spread Democracy all over the world, and he referred to our form of government as a Democracy.  I kept hoping he would clarify what he meant, but it never happened.  Overall, it was a great speech.

  • That stuck out to me as well but I’m sure Cleon straightened him out later. :)