Bobby Seale, co-founder of the Black Panther Party, recalls the day 45 years ago this week when he and several armed Panthers walked onto the floor of the California state legislature to protest an unequal gun bill.
Learn more about Black Panther history from the PBS documentary A Huey P. Newton Story
Read the Atlantic Monthly article about the Black Panthers' role in the history of guns in America
Watch footage from the California State Capitol protest on May 2, 1967
Listen to Smiley & West's conversation with Jeffrey Haas, an attorney who successfully sued the F.B.I. on behalf of Fred Hampton's family
ANOTHER ILLUMINATING CONVERSATION!
I worked with a community organization in my 20s and came into contact with the Black Panther Party. Your interview with Bobby Seale brought back it all.
First, his ego can still fill a room.
Second, he speaks the truth. I remember the Serve the People programs of the Black Panther Party. We modeled our programs after theirs. We had a Rape Crisis Center and a Food Coop focused on the poverty areas of our town. We also worked on the nearby US Navy base tackling both the anti-war issue and racism issues.
So many of us risked so much, but it was the Black Panter Party that took the most severe hits. I truly owe them what good I have in my soul for sure.