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News was only a beginning, but it really started things off right and in a hurry. It read:
LION MEAT SOUL VEGETABLES BLUE CHIP DAIRY GOODS
Everymorning Delivered to your Commune.
FRESH FISH RIPE FRUIT SOLID GREENS
Everyevening Feed the Brothers and Sisters in your House.
IT'S FREE BECAUSE IT'S YOURS
Give Your Address and the Number of Peo-
ple in the Commune to the Behind the
Counter Cousin at the Psychedelic Shop.
. . . MUST BE DONE NOW . . .
At first Emmett found himself delivering only to communal houses filled with young people who came to town looking for what they couldn't see back home. But that was only for the first few days. After some of those matriarchal black women and welfare mothers who hung around the Trip Without a Ticket free store heard about it, as well as some of the young Chicano women who were into the activities of the Mexican-American Mission Rebels--the predecessor group to what is now known as La Raza--after those women heard about his Free Food Home Delivery Service, Emmett was given a whole bunch of names and addresses with the number of children and adults in each household marked clearly on a whole lotta slips of paper.
If he had any intention of sliding along, gradually and calmly developing his operation, these women didn't want to hear about it. They wanted it to happen all at once, now! And if he didn't come through, like he was making out he would, Emmett was going to be called to answer by these women who didn't want to hear nothing about how much time anything takes, but wanted what he himself had said was theirs, and they wanted it today!
"You say that 'it's free because it's yours,' don't you?! Well, I want mine! 'N we all wants ours! Just give us what belongs to us, 'n listen to your own poetry! We wants the food!"
Within ten days of his announcement, Emmett found himself all alone with a list of over a hundred names, addresses, and sizes of families living in slum tenements--from the black Fillmore ghetto all the way across town to the Chicano Mission district ghetto. He [end page 441]