When I was a much younger man I was a political activist, early to mid 70’s, during my travels I got to Oakland, California….I had heard about the work of the Black Panthers and wanted to see how they were pulling off their mini revolution…..about here some will be rolling their eyes but those are the people that have NO ideas what the Panthers were doing other than the propaganda crap that the government and the media was feeding the country.
When we got permission we were introduced to Bobby Seale and a quick hand shake with Huey Newton……we were told that we could walk around and talk to people freely…..I witnessed an amazing co-operative going on with food banks, clinics, pre-school, legal help…I witnessed many programs designed to help the community….I was impressed but the tour was far too short.
I think the people like Bobby Seale do not get the historic coverage they deserve simply because someone did not like their politics. I will attempt to change that with every opportunity……that is why I am highlighting Bobby Seale here on IST…..
Bobby Seale and Huey Newton founded the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense at a community center in North Oakland, California, in October 1966, and acknowledged it was a living testament to the Work of Malcolm X. The Black Panthers practiced militant self-defense of minority communities against the U.S. government, and fought to establish revolutionary socialism through mass organizing and community based programs. The party was one of the first organizations in U.S. history to militantly struggle for ethnic minority and working class emancipation. The Black Panther agenda was the revolutionary establishment of real economic, social, and political equality across gender and color lines. The FBI labeled Seale and his colleagues in the Black Panthers as “Public Enemy Number One”.
Robert George Seale was born on October 22, 1936, to a poor African American carpenter and his wife in Dallas, Texas. The Seale family moved to Port Arthur, Texas, and then to San Antonio, Texas, before finally settling in Oakland, California, during World War II. Attributing his failure to make the basketball and football teams to racial prejudice, Seale quit Oakland High School and joined the U.S. Air Force. After three years in the Air Force, Seale was court-martialed and given a bad conduct discharge for disobeying a colonel at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota.
Read more on this unique civil rights activist……
History does not teach many Americans about “Black Nationalism”……there is more to it than the negative headlines…….whether one agrees with the ideology is of no concern…it still should be taught and understood.
It is a political and social movement prominent in the 1960s and early ’70s in the United States among some African Americans. The movement, which can be traced back to Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association of the 1920s, sought to acquire economic power and to infuse among blacks a sense of community and group feeling. Many adherents to black nationalism assumed the eventual creation of a separate black nation by African Americans. As an alternative to being assimilated by the American nation, which is predominantly white, black nationalists sought to maintain and promote their separate identity as a people of black ancestry. With such slogans as “black power” and “black is beautiful,” they also sought to inculcate a sense of pride among blacks.
Time to learn more about the real work people were doing in their communities and Bobby Seale is a fine example.
Do not dismiss what you do not understand.