Friday, March 1, 2019

Huey P. Newton

Huey P. Newton was a founding member of the Black Panther Party in 1966. 
The organization was central to the Black Power movement, making headlines with its inflammatory rhetoric, militaristic style, and free breakfast program for children. Huey Newton was the Black Panther's first Minister of Defense. The group believed that violence—or the threat of violence—might be needed to bring about social change. 
They set forth their political goals in a document called the Ten-Point Program, which included better housing, jobs, and education for African Americans. It also called for an end to economic exploitation of black communities. Still the organization itself was not afraid to punctuate its message with a show of force. 
The Black Panthers wanted to improve life in black communities and establish social programs to help those in need. They also fought against police brutality in black neighborhoods by mostly white cops. Newton himself was arrested in 1967 for allegedly killing an Oakland police officer during a traffic stop. He was later convicted of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to two to 15 years in prison. But public pressure—"Free Huey" became a popular slogan of the day—helped Newton's cause. Huey was later acquitted.
In 1970 after his release from prison, Newton received an invitation to visit the People's Republic of China. Newton described China as "a free and liberated territory with a socialist government".
In 1989 he was murdered in Oakland, California by Tyrone Robinson, a member of the Black Guerrilla Family, in a dispute over drug dealing.
Courtesy of Kenneth P. Green Photography Archive

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