Black Empowerment 5 : Huey Newton the Black Panther king

Huey P. Newton was a political activist who co-founded the Black Panther Party along with Bobby Seale. He was a prominent figure who contributed a lot towards the empowerment of Black community of the country.


Huey P. Newton was born in Louisiana. He was born as the youngest child of the family, where he had six siblings. The parents of Newton named him after the former Louisiana governor Huey Long. He moved to California back in 1945 with his family member. In fact, the family moved as a result of the second phase of Great Migration of the African Americans. He was not born to a rich family and had to move to several houses across the San Francisco Bay Area as a result of it. However, he was lucky enough to never spend a day without shelter and food as a child.

Huey P. Newton graduated from the Oakland Technical High School back in 1959. However, he did not have the ability to read by this time and he determined to learn how to read on his own. He was able to end that determination with success after a short period of time. The first book that Newton red was The Republic, which was written by Plato.

Later, Huey P. Newton attended the Merritt College, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Arts. After that, he attended the San Francisco Law School as well as the University of California. When Huey P. Newton taught himself to read, he had the habit of questioning about everything. This helped him to earn a Ph.D in social physiology. Once he stated that he started studying law in order to become a criminal. However, the lessons he went through at the law school changed his ambitions, which eventually transformed him to an influential figure.


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Finding the Black Panther Party

Huey P. Newton is well known for working as the co-founder of the Black Panther Party. He was engaged with politics while he was studying at the Merritt College. As a result, he joined the Afro-American Association as well. The passion he had towards politics helped him to become a prominent figure of the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity. He went through the works of Che Guevara, Durkehim, Mao Zendong, Malcom X, Frantz Fanon, Vladimir Lenin and Karl Marx. At the Merritt College, he met Bobby Seale as well. They made plans to start a new political party and their efforts became successful during October 1966.

After forming the Black Panther Party, Huey P. Newton became the Minister of Defense and Seale became the Chairman after some casual discussions. He then started learning about the black American history from Donald Warden, who was the leader of the party.

Black Panther Party can be considered as an African American left wing organization, which worked with the objective of protecting the right of self-defense of the African Americans who lived in the country. In addition, the political party fought hard to deliver better education, jobs and housing for the African Americans. In other words, the key objective of the party was to bring about the much needed social change.


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Shooting of John Frey

Huey P. Newton was convicted of assault for stabbing a person named Odell Lee.  As a result, he was sentenced to jail for a period of 6 months. However, it was later figured out that Huey P. Newton was not guilty because Frey shot him first, which made him unconscious. He was written down the entire incident in his book Shadow of the Panther.

Visit to China

When Huey P. Newton was released from prison, he went on a tour to China after an invitation. He was warmly greeted in China by people in every single airport that he visited. The people he met were willing to provide an excellent support to the Black Panther Party as well. After the tour, Huey P. Newton described china as a liberated territory, which is equipped with a socialist government.


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Later years

Huey P. Newton committed most of his life towards providing better life conditions for the Black Americans who lived within the country. The political party that he formed helped him to achieve his goals in an effective manner. However, he suffered from severe alcohol and drug problems at the latter part of his life. In addition, he was sentenced to prison for gun possessions. He was a revolutionary figure while he was spending time inside the prison as well. He died on 22nd of August 1989 in Oakland, where he was shot down in the street.

Huey P. Newton spent his time as well as effort in order to create better living conditions for African Americans. The results of those efforts can be found in today’s world as well. We are grateful to Huey P. Newton as a result of it.

Get your Huey Newton T-shirt here to carry his legacy!


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