Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Eldridge Cleaver, fashion visionary

Back in March, when I posted part of my 1982 interview with former Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver, my friend Susie commented that she was dying to see the pants Cleaver had designed. You know... the pants with the external penis pouch.

I had never laid eyes on them myself. Until today.

I tip my hat to nom de grr, who presented this vintage magazine page (click it for a larger view):

22 comments:

jena6 said...

Wow. I vaguely remember that Cleaver had a unique sense of fashion design.

Hypothetical. Would a man receive a summons for indecent exposure--even though he's not fully exposed--for wearing these? (Lexington Steele would be arrested!)

susie said...

OH.
MY.
GAWD!

ThankyouThankyouThankyou.

When he mentioned that there was a "third leg" in his design this was not what I envisioned.

Now I'm wondering if they came with optional inseam measurements for that third leg? Or was it one size fits all?

Anonymous said...

ISTR that this photo was from National Lampoon. It was satire. I'm not sure if the pants were ever real.

Undercover Black Man said...

Thanks, anon. Where this magazine page came from, I do not know. Could very well be a joke (judging by the text). But the pants themselves were NOT a joke... I asked Cleaver about them in my 1982 interview with him, which I published on this blog.

I also remember Jet magazine writing about the pants in the late '70s.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

I remember the Jet photos, too.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

Not a bad interview, but Eldridge was never the intellectual he posed himself to be. His contradictory stances over the years bore this out. His famous book Soul On Ice was celebrated but should have been panned.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Glad you said that, DeAnge. As I remember it, the Jet photo showed more of a pouch-like thing... not a "sleeve" like this.

How do you remember it? Maybe this page I posted isn't the real pants.

Anonymous said...

deangelo sterns-

Interesting take. I always think of Eldridge Cleaver as this sort of epic tragic figure. Soul on Ice is so well written, and the couple clips I've seen him in person, he just seemed so sharp to me. But what happened to him? He was clearly a violent, out-of-control guy for his entire adult life, and his ideas were non-traditional - sometimes in the visionary sense, and sometimes in the just crazy sense, but at some point he seemed to really go off the deep end.

There's a funny/sad clip of him in the documentary about Dr. Bronner's soap, seemingly making perfect sense and then suddenly talking about cosmic rays or something along those lines.

I've often wondered about how his kids have fared. I know his daughter is married to Geronimo Pratt and his son wrote a book that I've never checked out.

Bay Radical said...

Oops, I was logged out there, that was my comment on Cleaver.

ItAintEazy said...

Sorry, I don't think a book that talks approvingly about raping woman deserves praise. That is all

And, ho-lee cow, he was serious, wasn't he?

justjudith said...

wow. i am really glad those didn't take off. wow...

Dougfp said...

One question...how the hell do you pee?

Invisible Woman said...

I knew he was crazy, but damn!

RC said...

I think this is the goofy version, I remember a somewhat more pouch like photo appearing in some mags. But as UBM says, Eldridge really did have a codpiece design that I believe he sold quite a few of, but in what country, I'm not sure. Papua-New Guinea night clubs would be the obvious market.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

Dave, you're right about the Jet photos. The crotch featured a pocket for your di-- er uh, member. I don't remember this more (porno)graphic version.

Acanthus said...

I remember that exact page. It wasn't an actual ad, but a blurb/short article about the pants. I'm pretty sure it was in Rolling Stone sometime in the mid 70's...'75, maybe?

daryl said...

I also remember those pants from an Esquire article sometime in the late Seventies. It was definitely a tube, not a pouch in the picture I saw. I doubt that "Jet" would print a picture of the tube.

Black Bacchus... said...

haha. cleaver is a fool. didn't know so many people knew about the 'cleavers'. i did a write up about him on mu blog. your site is consistently entertaining.

peace,
chad b.

blackbacchus.com

Peter said...

a little further digging on the wonderful internets brings this gem (http://whitehotmagazine.com/whitehot_articles.cfm?id=1198).

From the site:
"A work McCarthy comically "got wrong" was Eldridge Cleaver's penis pouch pants that were featured in an early 1970's ad in Rolling Stone Magazine."

Anonymous said...

WOW I wonder if anyone bought them. LOL I guess you cant be a little man to wear those pants.. Its like indescent exposure. I heard about this on Bob and Tom show but I didnt believe it. I do now.. WOW ha ha

Booga said...

FYI: I did a report on Elderidge Cleaver a few years ago, and included this in my report. He was totally serious (wtf, right?!) and this is from an October issue of Rolling Stones magazine, I think 1976 or so.

Anonymous said...

For the record, "Soul on Ice" does not talk "approvingly" about raping women - though this is usually the first comment to come from people who are familiar with the book second-hand.

As the infamous Soviet phrase goes, "I have not read, but I will say..."

Gets you into trouble sometimes.