Elaine Brown is an American activist, writer, singer and former leader of the Black Panther Party. Born in 1943, Brown was raised in Philadelphia. She moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the music, and there became politicized as she further experienced the daily injustices of racism. She joined the Black Panther Party in 1968, and, in 1974, was appointed leader of the group - a role she held until 1977. She has since been intimately involved in campaigns for prison and education reform.