Chapter

Woman over the Edge of Crime

Daniel Burton-Rose

in Guerrilla USA

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780520264281
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520946033 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520264281.003.0010
Woman over the Edge of Crime

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As a child, Rita Brown found sanctuary from the violence of her home in the bookmobile that visited her school. One of the first books that made an impression on her was a biography of Captain Jack, or Kintapuasch, the Modoc leader who catalyzed his people in a heroic defense against white immigrants and the Union Army. Captain Jack defined Brown's conception of dignity and became her first role model. In 1964, when Brown was seventeen and in her last year at Klamath Union High School in Oregon, she and a sixteen-year-old named Janice became lovers. In 1971, Brown was arrested for mail theft at the Post Office, where she was working as a clerk. She was sentenced to imprisonment at the nearest federal correctional institute for women: Terminal Island in San Pedro, California. This chapter relates how Rita Brown got involved with crime and how she was introduced to the political thought of George Jackson in time to understand the significance of his death.

Keywords: Rita Brown; Captain Jack; Oregon; mail theft; Terminal Island; crime; George Jackson

Chapter.  5174 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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