History of Huey Newton

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In the late 1960's and early '70's posters of the Black Panther Party's co-founder, Huey P. Newton were taped and plastered on walls of college dorm rooms nation-wide. Wearing a black beret and a leather jacket, sitting on a wicker chair, a spear in one hand and a rifle in the other, the poster portrayed Huey Newton as a symbol of his generation's anger and courage. He was a symbol of anger and courage in the face of racism and the class in which blacks were placed. His intellect and leadership abilities were the key components that served in the establishment the Black Panthers. Newton played an instrumental role in refocusing civil rights activists to the problems of urban Black communities. He triggered the rage and frustration of urban Blacks in order to address social injustice. However, the FBI's and White America's fear of the Panthers aggressive actions would not only drive the Panthers apart, but be responsible for the false information regarding its programs and accomplishments. In spite of the advances Huey Newton contributed towards equality in the early sixties, historians have paid so much attention to Malcolm X and Martin Luther King that he is often overlooked. The Panthers and Huey Newton's leadership of the Party are as important to the Black freedom struggle as the more known leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. Any typical American history textbook not only neglects to mention Huey Newton but too disregards the existence of the Black Panthers altogether. Unlike King and many other civil rights leaders who were religious Southerners, from middle class and well-educated families, Huey P. Newton was a working class man from a poor urban black neighborhood. Born February 17, 1942, in Oak Grove Louisiana, Huey moved to Oakland, California when he was just two years old. During childhood, remarkable quick wit and strength earned him the respect of his peers and the reputation of being a tough guy (Seale 40). Upon his enrollment at Merrit College...
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