Pryor's Priors

Primary sources exposed and explained.
May 25 2006 6:47 PM

Pryor's Priors

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Below and on the following four pages are footnoted excerpts from Richard Pryor's file at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, apparently created when the comedian gave some money to the Black Panther party. The file has not previously been made public. Thanks to Washington-area researcher Michael Ravnitzky for ferreting it out. To read the footnotes, roll your mouse over the portions highlighted in yellow. To download Pryor's complete FBI file in .pdf format, click here, here, here, and here. (Note: These files are large and work best when saved and then opened from your desktop, rather than opened in the browser.)

If you have a document you'd like to suggest for this column, please e-mail me at documents@slate.com . Please indicate whether you'd like to be mentioned by name.

In September 1969, the FBI director was J. Edgar Hoover.
Pryor apparently wasn't the Panthers' first choice to perform at the Chicago benefit. The memo seems to suggest that the first choice (name witheld) was rejected for not toeing the Panther line.
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