From a member of the Revolution Club, San Francisco Bay Area:

On the Inspiring Life and Tragic Loss of Kaleb

March 2, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Kaleb, in red shirt with dreads.Kaleb, in the red shirt with dreads, “We will NOT be silent.”
Photo: Special to

Very sad to announce the death of Kaleb, who was only 17 years old when he died unexpectedly and tragically from a brain aneurysm. Kaleb was one of a group of high school students who stepped forward and hooked up with the Revolution Club this past summer following the murder of Michael Brown and the uprising in Ferguson, Missouri. He helped to organize a walkout at his high school for the October 22 protest against police brutality and mass incarceration. On O22, when the police blocked our march and everyone else had turned around, we looked back and Kaleb was still there, refusing to back down, the last one still yelling! And he was at the front lines of the protests following the non-indictment of the cops who killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner. I'll never forget the look of joyous rebellion and determination on Kaleb's face, in the streets of downtown Oakland in front of lines of riot police. Here's what Kaleb said, in a recent interview we did with him, about how he felt when he heard they weren't going to charge those cops:

And I was so insulted that they just laughed at us, that you guys really think there can be justice for you guys, even if you stop the nation, you know? It was really insulting, not surprising, shocking, and I just didn’t actually know how to react, it was so mind-boggling they actually proceeded with their decisions. It wasn’t just the case that no one heard, that it was just a small room and it was just them, it was the whole nation watching, and for them to make that decision was so upsetting, so upsetting, shocking. But it also reveals the truth of this nation, this country, it really does, it just outlines it. That Black lives don’t matter. There is not justice for colored people, minorities, not just African-Americans. It was really a big wakening moment. Before it you just kind of heard “there is no justice.” But when they actually show to your face and to the whole world…  It was a slap in the face to me. It was an insult and slap in the face.

Kaleb was a beautiful human being, a thoughtful and sweet young man with an infectious smile, who always looked out for others. His friends and family remember him as a good-hearted prankster. But when it came to standing up against injustice, Kaleb was completely serious and sincere. Kaleb was a real fighter. He was fearless. Here's what his dad said about him at the memorial:

Kaleb has always had compassion for the disadvantaged and was a brave champion of underdogs. One night he called around 11 pm to assure me he would be home by his midnight curfew. When he didn't show up until 2:30 in the morning, I was blowing a fuse. He explained that on his walk home he ran into a homeless guy who was lonely and needed someone to talk to. So Kaleb stopped and talked with him. I knew immediately he was telling the truth.

Kaleb was not big, but he was fearless in standing up for social justice. This included violence about which I expressed strong misgivings. I noticed him nursing an injured hand for a couple of days. Turns out he'd injured it beating up an unruly passenger on the bus who had called him the n-word.

He was, of course, at the front of the Ferguson protests, eyeball-to-eyeball with the cops. Ironically, but true to form, a vindictive officer singled him out and smashed his face into the pavement for daring to speak out against police racism and brutality. If you aren't feeling the rage, you aren't understanding Kaleb.

At school one day, he came across a gang member beating up a female student who was a close friend of Kaleb's. Kaleb promptly jumped in and fought the guy off, knowing that he would spend the next several weeks—the last three weeks of his life, as it turned out—on the run from gang retaliation. Kaleb was becoming a warrior, in the good sense.

And he was beginning to become a revolutionary. Although he was new to the Revolution Club, and was just beginning to learn what revolution is all about and how to make one, he said with great enthusiasm during the interview we did with him, “I am for the revolution, I dream of revolution every day. I am all for it and whatever it takes. I support the revolution in America 100%.” Kaleb is gone, but his fighting spirit will live on as we work to uproot and abolish the injustices that Kaleb felt so passionately about, and struggle for a world where the underdogs and all of humanity can truly flourish. We in the Revolution Club will miss him greatly. Our hearts go out to his sister, his whole family, and his many friends.

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