History of the Black Panther Party: Huey Newton and the Price of Black Power in America (1994)
HomeUncategorizedHistory of the Black Panther Party: Huey Newton and the Price of Black Power in America (1994)
Huey Percy Newton (February 17, 1942 — August 22, 1989) was an African-American political and urban activist who, along with Bobby Seale, co-founded the Black Panther Party in 1966. Newton had a long series of confrontations with law enforcement, including several convictions, while he participated in political activism. He continued to pursue an education, eventually earning a Ph.D. in Social Science. Newton spent time in prison for manslaughter and was involved in a shooting that killed a police officer. In 1989 he was shot and killed in Oakland, California by a member of the Black Guerilla Family.
There are many references to Huey Newton in popular music, including in the songs “Changes” by Tupac Shakur, “Welcome to the Terrordome” by Public Enemy, “Queens Get the Money” by Nas, “Sunny Kim” by Andre Nickatina, “Just A Celebrity” by The Jacka, “Same Thing” by Flobots, “Dreams”, “Gangbangin’ 101”, “Murder” and “911 Is A Joke (Cop Killa)” by The Game, “You Can’t Murder Me” by Papoose, “Police State” by Dead Prez, “Propaganda” by Dead Prez “We Want Freedom” by Dead Prez, “Malcolm, Garvey, Huey” by Dead Prez, “SLR” by Lupe Fiasco, “Bill Gates Freestyle” by Fabolous, “Wake Up” by Black the Ripper, “The Martyr” by Immortal Technique, “Lick Shots” by Immortal Technique, “Huey Newton” by Wiz Khalifa & Currensy, “HiiiPoWeR” by Kendrick Lamar, “My Favorite Mutiny” by The Coup, “National Anthem” by Sir Mix-a-Lot, “Bobby Seale” by Lil Tweezii, “Dream Team” by Spearhead, From Here To Utopia [Ramshackle Glory], “Free Huey” by The Boo Radleys, “Free Lance” by HD of Bearfaced, “When Will They Shoot?” by Ice Cube, “Pacific Heights” by Pep Love, “No Time for Love” (aka “If They Come in the Morning”) by Jack Warshaw, “Million Man March” by Lowkey, “Huey Newton” by St. Vincent, Married With Children episode Rites of Passage in which “Marcy” tells what was happening when she turned 18.
In the comic strip and cartoon show The Boondocks, the main character Huey Freeman, a ten-year-old African-American revolutionary, is named after Newton; another reference comes when Freeman starts an independent newspaper, dubbing it the Free Huey World Report. In 1996, A Huey P. Newton Story was performed on stage by veteran actor Roger Guenveur Smith. The one-man play later was made into an award-winning 2001 film directed by Spike Lee.
The Black Panther Party or BPP (originally the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense) was a black revolutionary socialist organization active in the United States from 1966 until 1982. The Black Panther Party achieved national and international notoriety through its involvement in the Black Power movement and U.S. politics of the 1960s and 1970s.
Founded in Oakland, California by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale on October 15, 1966, the organization initially set forth a doctrine calling primarily for the protection of black neighborhoods from police brutality. The leaders of the organization espoused socialist and Marxist doctrines; however, the Party’s early black nationalist reputation attracted a diverse membership. The Black Panther Party’s objectives and philosophy expanded and evolved rapidly during the party’s existence, making ideological consensus within the party difficult to achieve, and causing some prominent members to openly disagree with the views of the leaders.
The organization’s official newspaper, The Black Panther, was first circulated in 1967. Also that year, the Black Panther Party marched on the California State Capitol in Sacramento in protest of a selective ban on weapons. By 1968, the party had expanded into many cities throughout the United States, among them, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Newark, New Orleans, New York City, Omaha, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.. Peak membership was near 10,000 by 1969, and their newspaper, under the editorial leadership of Eldridge Cleaver, had a circulation of 250,000. The group created a Ten-Point Program, a document that called for “Land, Bread, Housing, Education, Clothing, Justice and Peace”, as well as exemption from conscription for black men, among other demands. With the Ten-Point program, “What We Want, What We Believe”, the Black Panther Party expressed its economic and political grievances.
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