You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Black Panthers’ tag.

Today Bobby Seale turns 73 years old. A week before his 30th birthday, he co-founded the Black Panther Party with Huey Newton steps away from their North Oakland community college. Seale spoke to a small crowd some ten years ago at the now closed New College of California; he had the same furrowed brow and mustache pictured in archival photos, but sported a pair of suspenders and silvered hair. He engaged the audience with his boisterous energy as he talked about past political rallies. His memoir, “Seize the Time,” remains the most popular book about the Black Panthers, a revolutionary group that changed the consciousness of a nation.

You can check out a host of BPP literature today and tomorrow at Laney College, from 11–3 p.m. Former Panthers turned authors will present a book fair at the Student Center. It’s just one of several events dedicated to October, aka Black Panther Party History Month:

Pictured: Bobby Seale, Co-Founder of the Black Panther Party

Pictured: Bobby Seale, Co-Founder of the Black Panther Party

Billy “X” Jennings has called Seale’s autobiography the “Bible of the Black Panthers.” A former Panther and party archivist, Jennings is co-hosting the event with The Commemoration Committee of the Black Panther Party, run by Melvin Dickson. Dickson was one of the Panthers to start the Community School—a place where kids could get a free meal, school supplies, access to medical care and bus fare.

With 43 years between now and the moment Seale and Newton laid down the party’s constitution, time has mitigated much of the Panthers’ history. Memories and mainstream media accounts of the Panthers conflict and conflate with one another. It’s a story defined by its diversity and best understood in volume.

Certainly, the books written by and about the Black Panther Party could fill a library. A couple of them can be found here. Stay tuned for a more complete list.