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tv   The Black Panther Party  CSPAN  November 27, 2016 10:35pm-12:02am EST

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the mother country. i think the revolutionaries played a great part in saving america. if not for the students, they would respond with racism. white students have been interested in the foreign policy of the united states. they are demanding the united states withdraw from vietnam and stop brutalizing the vietnamese people. we feel the white students should pay more attention to the colonized situation here of the blacks first, because after all, this is home. >> this year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the black panther party for self-defense, more commonly known as the black panthers. the party advocated for civil rights for black americans. next, the party cofounder bobby seale and photographer stephen shames discuss their book "power
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, to the people: the world of the black panthers." they sat down with a documentary filmmaker to discuss the legacy and impact of the organization after 50 years. first, we will see some of the photographs. the schomburg center for research in black culture and the stephen kasher gallery cohosted this event. it is about an hour and 20 minutes. >> as we turn to tonight, byron hurt will lead us on tonight's fantastic journey with bobby seale and stephen shames. byron hurt is an award-winning filmmaker, published writer, activist and lecturer. for more than 20 years, hurt has been using his craft, his voice and his writing to broaden and deepen how people think about gender violence, race, visual media and justice. his documentaries include "i am man, black masculinity, hip hop, beyond beats and rhymes and soul food junkies." in october, 1966, as you all know, bobby seale and huey p. newton established the original
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black panther party in oakland, california. [applause] seale was the founding chairman from 1966-1974. he is an author, educator and an advocate for the legacy of the black panther party. stephen shames, a student at the university of california berkeley, first encountered and photographed at the chairman bobby seale in april of 1967 at an anti-vietnam war rally. he became a mentor of shames. and shames became the most trusted photographer to the party. remaining by seale's side for his campaign for mayor of oakland in 1973. stephen shames is the author of nine monographs, the latest being "power to the people: the world of the black panthers," co-authored with bobby seal. he creates photo essays for foundations, advocacy organizations, the media, and museums.
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steve's images are in the permanent collections of the national portrait gallery, the international center for photography, the university of california at berkeley, the museum of fine arts in houston, the philadelphia museum of art, the ford foundation and many other notable institutions. steve has been profiled by "people" magazine and "cbs sunday morning." before i turn the conversation over to byron hurt, our moderator, stephen shames will take us through a few photographs from "power to the people: the world of the black panthers." as we invite stephen shames to come out, i am going to ask that we silence our cell phones. no flash photography. and following the conversation , there will be a q&a opportunity, and they will bring their mics around. we ask that you use these because we are archiving this for archive purposes and documenting this for archive
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purposes and we will not hear your questions. also, let me recognize any black panthers in the room this evening. >> yeah! [applause] >> please welcome stephen shames. [applause] mr. shames: thank you all for coming. as you all know, the black panther party was a political party that ran candidates for office and had more than 50 community programs. what i am going to do briefly before we start is show you some pictures from the book that bobby seale and i did to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the black panther party. the first picture is really why was there a necessity for a
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black panther party? obviously, in what we think of as the richest nation in the history of humankind, there was poverty there was racism, there , were a lot of issues. and the black panther party started to deal with those issues. one of the issues was police brutality. in the first issue of the black panther paper, which you are seeing here, denzil dowell was shot in richmond. and that was really one of the first issues that the black panthers addressed. obviously, that has all been solved, as we know. [laughter] that's -- exactly. the picture on the right is bobby seale selling redbooks. that is the first picture i ever took of any black panther. and that is when i met bobby seale. they were selling redbooks.
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bobby will tell you more about that. shortly after the panthers were founded, huey newton went on trial. "free huey" became the major organizing effort and campaign for the panthers. on the left, that was when bobby seale was speaking in chicago during the democratic convention. the right is in front of the alameda county courthouse. there are some panthers in the park, which we renamed bobby hutton park. and there is bobby seale , chairman, speaking in the park. that is kathleen cleaver with some panthers in the park. and kathleen spoke a while ago here. and she was a leader of the panthers. the panthers were on the forefront of a lot of issues. one of them was women's rights , another was gay rights. although women were not equal back then, in the panthers, women had more leadership roles than they did in any other organization that i know of,
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left or right wing organization, or even in the government. there were very few women in congress. very few women judges. very few -- people who were not white in positions of government or power at that time . angela davis is on the left. she was a panther briefly. and the picture on the right is important to me because it just shows how the panthers resonated with the youth in the community. this is the cover of the book. it is one of my favorite pictures of the panthers. the panthers were very disciplined, very organized. they looked sharp. they commanded respect. they were very charismatic. this is eldridge cleaver. and that's the crowd listening to eldridge cleaver. anyone who wants to tell you the panthers were a kind of a marginal organization needs to
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look at the crowds that came out for them. the other thing that is interesting is i just put a little, that isn't my picture, but the panthers as early as 1968 ran candidates for office. they weren't just out demonstrating, they were running people for office, and very shortly after this, they started the community programs. this is the panther office. after huey newton was not convicted of first-degree murder in his trial, two police officers who are believed for intoxicated shot up the office. and you can see the symbolism. they were shooting at huey. bobby hutton was the first panther, 17 years old, was the first panther who was shot by the police. and this is a poster. that is not my picture but we put that poster in the book.
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on the right, you're seeing on the top, george murray, minister of education at san francisco state. and on the bottom is the university of california at berkeley, where i was a student. the panthers were instrumental in two of the first student strikes to establish black studies departments. bobby tells me at merritt college which was actually the first black studies course that he started, that these were the first student strikes to establish departments and really the idea, again, back then, everything was about white people, mostly white males. the contributions that women and minorities and other people in america made to this great country were pretty much ignored in the universities. so, the panthers were part of that struggle to establish black studies, which are now at many universities and high school courses. people do not often remember that.
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panthers survival programs. again, the panthers had 50 or 60 different community programs, some of which, such as the breakfast program, were later run by lyndon johnson incorporated them into his war on poverty. but they were not doing it until the panthers did it. one of the reasons they did it is because the panthers became incredibly popular. a gallup poll that came out gave them a 90% positive rating in the black community, mostly because of the programs. the government figured we had better get in there and do that, which actually, you know, in my opinion, they should have been doing all along. but they weren't. the other thing that, to me, very important about this picture. i want you to reflect on this , how often do you see a positive image of a black man in the media, even today? when you turn on the news, or you look in the media.
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one of the things i learned when i was hanging with the panthers is this was common. the panthers were interacting with the community, with youth in a very positive way. one of the things i wanted to show in the book is to show that, to counteract the image people had about the panthers is that they were a bunch of thugs just running around demonstrating, which is what the government wanted us to believe. i dare anyone to try and take away those food banks from those two women. [laughter] there are some very militant, revolutionary women sitting there. that is what i loved about working with the panthers is they really energized the community. i do not know if you can read it clearly but this is a list of the panther programs that they were running. on the top right is a senior
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program, the panthers in dangerous neighborhoods would escort seniors when they went shopping, so they did not get robbed. back then, social security checks were actually mailed. they did not go directly into your bank account like they do now. so, seniors would often get robbed on the way to the bank. and the panthers would escort them, and obviously, with the panthers there, nobody around -- robbed them. the clothing program, the free shoe program, free medical clinics. sickle cell testing. the panthers were among the pioneers to draw attention to sickle cell. that was really not on the agenda of the government. the panthers went out in the community. they did not make people come to them, to their clinics. they would go door to door. they would go out in the community. they started a really excellent school that received an award from the california state legislature. those are some of the panther kids. i just love this picture.
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the newspaper, the panthers started a newspaper that was a communique but was also a way for them to engage in the community. panthers would get up at 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning. they would make breakfast for kids, and then they would go to the office. they would sell the newspaper. they would do things all day. then in the evening, they would have political education classes, and they had to read and really learn about things. the panther offices were often like a community center. people would come. on the left, that is emory douglas, the panther artist who created -- [applause] exactly. emory is an incredible artist who is now just starting to get his due in museums. that is gloria abernathy. they were picketing mayfair.
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and here are some, in the forefront are three members of the lumpins, the panthers musical group. here they were picketing a black business, bill's liquors. helped bill' liquors. black liquor stores were not often given favorable discounts. so when they were trying to, when they were trying to be in business, they were discriminated against, and the panthers helped them. and in return they asked that , they donate to the program . when bill's liquor refused to, they picketed him peacefully. and brought that to the attention of the community. jamal joseph is on the right. is jamal here? [applause] jamal is a noted filmmaker, and a professor at columbia university. that is bobby speaking at a survival conference.
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these are some philadelphia panthers. and just, you know, out in the community. this is toledo. this is the office in new haven. when the f.b.i., under president richard nixon, started attacking panther offices and assassinating people in the middle of the night, the panthers fortified their offices. and this was during bobby's trial, may day, 1970, in new haven. and there was a rumor that the office was going to be raided. the crazy photographer stayed in the office all night with the panthers, but the police never came, luckily, or maybe i would not be here right now. new york, there's fred hampton on the left. [applause] >> fred! mr. shames: i got to wrap up.
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i'm going to go through real fast. this is new york 21. some of the new york 21. again, new york 21. this is the new york panther office in brooklyn. again, why was the black panther party needed? you can see they were right there in the community. i put some pictures from the new york panthers to honor the new york panthers who are here tonight. you can clap for them. [applause] on the left is david hilliard who was the chief of staff, and that is huey newton on the right with the lane brown. george jackson. [applause] george jackson funeral. and look at the turnout at george jackson's funeral. that's a safeway supermarket in the back. that was kind of shut down for the funeral.
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the manager called the police and said, could you clear the crowd out? the police said, you are closed down today. the black panther office in oakland. again, i love this picture because it just shows these are not dangerous people. they were integrated in the community. people are coming by and talking to them. huey p. newton. the picture, huey and bobby. again, the type of access i had to be able to take pictures that you did not normally see in the media. these guys would crack each other up. that is bobby when he was in jail, erica huggins on trial with him. that is big man. one of the six original panthers. i love that picture of that kid. that kind of symbolizes the whole 1960's, doesn't it? bobby campaigning for mayor. i was with him every day during the campaign. got 40% of the vote.
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i'm ending just by showing some pictures from a rally in washington for some of the people today. who have been shot to kind of bring things up-to-date. 50, years later, as we know, people are still having trouble breathing. black lives matter. and, you know, here we are today. so, thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, stephen. please welcome byron hurt and chairman bobby seale. [applause] >> thank you very much. [applause] mr. seale. [cheers and applause]
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>> thank you all very, very much. this is great. we have not even gotten started yet. this is wonderful. the images on the screen that you talked about were great. and so, welcome. my name is byron hurt, and thank you very much for joining us this evening which is going to be a great evening. we know it is going to be a great exchange between two luminaries of the black panther party. and so, we are really happy that you came out. i want to give another shout out to all of the black panthers in the building. one more shout out to all of the black panthers. [applause] and of course, to bobby seale. let's get this started because we do not have a whole lot of time. i want to get right into it. mr. seale, i want to ask you
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about your relationship with mr. shames. can you tell us the first time you remember meeting mr. shames, and talk about the encounter you had with him and the story about the red book. mr. seale: how did it happen? qe called up and asked how much money do i have. i have $300, why? [laughter] huey was always broke. he did not have any money in those early days until i got him a job. i worked for the student government of oakland, california, at the time. huey says, i know how we can raise some money. what? have you been hearing about the little red book? 1 million people holding a red book in china. nelson mao zedong's book. the book, 20 cents a book, and got 200 books. went up to the university of
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california. we left our guns at home. because we were there to sell books. most of the time, we do not carry guns all the time. my point is, we were up around university of california selling these red book, $1.00. $.20, $1. i thought that was a pretty good profit, which we needed bad, because we were a ragtag organization. you have to imagine. i ain't got but 13 or 14 members at this period. this was the early days of the black panther party running around oakland. we sold those 200 red books. went back to the bookstore, got 200 more. came back and sold those in an hour also. went out and bought huey a pump shotgun that he wanted. paid the rent on the office. found out there was going to be an antiwar, anti-vietnam rally at the football stadium in san
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francisco in two weeks. so, i took my next paycheck from the city government and ran over and bought 2,500 books, red books. and we took, i guess i had about 16 of us selling red books. it was more than 25,000 people there. we sold all of those red books that day. a couple days later, for the first time we opened up the book and read it. we had not even read this thing. [laughter] had not read this book. now the black panther party did , not start out on the basis of marxist leninism. it just did not. people think it did. but it did not. the reason was a 10 point system that had said nothing about marxist leninism. -- theist it gets
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closest it gets to a socialist program was what we call the community cooperative. 40 acres and two mules, etc. i knew no marxist leninism. i had digested books like -- "wretched of the earth." the works of dr. herbert -- he documented 250 slave revolts from the year 1800-1857. what he constituted as a slave revolt involved 10 or more slaves. he also went on to say in that work, that there was lots of resistance involving less than 10 slaves of one kind or another on the part of black folks during slavery. that blew my mind when i understood that. because the old notion that blacks were docile and sitting around. that is the propagation of removing history, resistance history away in saying blacks
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liked slavery. i will never forget an english class in high school. one of the teacher said, well, you know, i guess the slaves could've enjoyed themselves somewhat. because they would sit up sometimes on the stoop and play the banjo. that kind of stuff. what i'm digesting in the early 1960's is different. i digested w.e.b. duboise 's black reconstruction to find out there were 160,000 black men enlisted in the northern unit 'rmy to take the confederates butt. 38,000 people died. because it showed me something. we are not docile, we are not backwards, etc. black folks on every level took avenues or whatever, whether it was the underground railroad, etc. a lot of them were murdered for trying to escape from slavery, etc. but they take every avenue that they could to try to get out of slavery.
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this is very important to understand that, because what abraham lincoln did is he said, "in these five states, the rest of them are confederate. i cannot get any more people from the north to come down here to be soldiers. so, i'm going to make all the blacks in these five states" -- the emancipation proclamation. emancipation proclamation. it read that our in the emancipation proclamation says what? that is the key. but people said well, we have a chance. they are the ones that abraham lincoln said that if it had not been for the black man, we would not have won this war. what i am saying is, wait a minute. the confederates got their butts kicked. they were kicked by the brothers.
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[applause] >> they haven't got over it yet. still. >> i want to talk about these images up on the screen. these images are very powerful. these are very carpal images. -- powerful images. it is a beautiful book that combines both text and images to tell a story. the history of the black panthers. what i am very curious about is you and how you got such deep access to the panthers and what i want to know is how you did you allow this man to have such deep access when we all know at this point that the black panthers were being deeply infiltrated and surveilled by the u.s. government? what enables you all to have trust in this man to have a photographic history of your organization?
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>> he said that he wanted to take pictures of it. talking to him, wrapping to him, the guy was a progressive guy. he related to the practice. he was against the war in vietnam. we were against the war in vietnam and being drafted in the war in vietnam. i organized rallies. even before the black panther party, you have to understand, my organizing started in the protest movement in 1964. really before that but in 1964, i quit my engineering job on the gemini missile program. most people don't know that i am high-tech. [laughter] >> i worked a gemini missile project.
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i quit that to work in the grassroots community. i quit because dr. martin luther king, who i went to hear speak, he was the first one. i said i'm going to go to this printer because i got tired of going to the regular preachers, too much hell and damnation. i went to hear dr. king speak about all of these companies that would not hire. i like to imitate dr. martin luther king. i was just one person going to hear this brother. he said here in the san francisco company, they would not hire people of color. he said all across america, one company would not hire people of color. we want to make wonder bread wonder where the money went.
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[applause] >> that was dr. martin luther king. he hit the floor applauding etc.. i was very inspired by martin luther king. i quit my engineering job just to work in the community for him. [laughter] >> you sound just like dr. king, i will say that. >> i may send a comedian, i am a jazz drummer, i'm efficient and a hunter. my father, when i was 12, he bought me my first high-powered rifle, we hunted bear, deer, everything. i was an expert shot when i was 12 years old.
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so when he tried to teach me about a gun, i am 12, i am seven years older than hewitt. he had to be poor or five years old. i did not even know he existed. when you read that stuff and lies that people propagate, especially the lies that the counterintelligence program propagated. i don't know who these people were who wrote this crap. i have a lot of skills. i was raised a competent builder from 87. my father built our first home. i mean, just handing him lumber and watching this man drive nails, build our house, on saturday. he did it for years. he built our home. when i was 15, i'm an architect. my father was working with other contractors.
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i did a three-dimensional structuring. i did all the specs for the materials and so on. i was raised, i had skills. by the time i was through the air force, i aced every skill level they had. i was still a corporal. most guys would be staff sergeant or master sergeant by the time they had those skills. that was me and i was not trying to brag. the reason i talk like this is because ronald reagan, when i led that, he called me a hoodlum and a thug. this was my first time getting
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stereotyped by a politician. i was pissed. i don't know he was calling a thug. how pissed off i >> this is the 50th year of the black panther party. you have every right to brag. [applause] >> can we give him every right to brag? i want to come back to the stereotyping of the black panthers but i do want to ask you. bobby: did you know at the time that these images you are capturing would become these iconic signature images of the black panther party? stephen: i started photographing
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when i was 20 years old. i thought i knew everything but i actually did not know much of anything. i knew that the panthers were important. i was just learning photography. when i took that picture of bobby, that was maybe my 14th or 15th roll of film. i had not shot that much. i was still learning. yes, i knew they were important but i wasn't even thinking about iconic, art, this or that. i was really trying to make the revolution. that is what i was focusing on. bobby: i said hey, you're taking pictures, that is good, we need pictures for our newspaper. i said that i wanted you to train a couple of people. he trained lauren williams along with himself. it is like reading resources.
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i worked youth jobs programs before the party started. i created a tutorial program, in 1964. that is two years before the party started. what i am trying to say -- stephen: the panthers made coalitions with also some groups. we were on the radio and one of the people asked if we were black nationalists. i said if they were a black nationalist organization, what am i doing here? they made friends with many latino groups, white groups, the young patriots. bobby: many groups.
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{, right groups, groups that were progressives. stephen: that is the propaganda it was spread, that the black panthers were against white people. they had a positive program. they were not against anyone other than people who are trying to oppress them. it had nothing to do with color, it had to do with the fact that they were trying to mess with us. bobby: have you seen this? it is a beautiful book. it goes on sale tonight. stephen: everybody won't be allowed to leave unless they buy it. [laughter] bobby: it is a very beautiful book. it speaks to how framing our history is very rarely reported. there has been a lot of activity around the black panthers. there has been a documentary, there have been a lot of articles, beyonce paid tribute to the black panthers. i am curious, were you watching
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the super bowl when beyonce gave the tribute? over the 50 years, how do you feel like the black panthers are framed now? historically? do you think they are framed accurately? what do you think there is still a lot of misinformation about who the black panthers were? bobby: this particular book represents some accuracy. there are black panthers in this book. kathleen, several other black panthers. i do a lot of commentary for this book. stephen: it is an oral history in addition to being a
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photography book. bobby: i have been trying to do a film. the keep interrupting. all i am telling you, they don't want me to tell the real story. they don't want the real story to be told. i went to a big problem with abc studios in 2015. read around that time, i came to find that they were trying to the bug my screenplay and have somebody else write the screenplay. i said that does not work. they said why? i said that those people were not in the black panther party. i know the black panther party backwards, forwards, sideways. i was the one who did the work, related to them, etc.. i said that i can do an accurate, correct story. my film would have, it was about, i would indict richard
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nixon, jonathan, others who led the major attack against my organization in 1969. when i researched and found the watergate tapes. next then used to record all of his telephone calls and all of that. i found it in the voice of richard richard nixon. j edgar, you have to move on the black panthers. that was in the voice of the president of the united states. he was giving directions to j edgar hoover to get rid of and move on these black panthers.
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that year, my black panther officers were attacked all over this country. in the beginning of that year, nixon was up on national television saying that by the end of the year, we will be rid of these black panthers. when nixon was elected, he had to meet with j edgar hoover. in the first week or so of december was the first time that j edgar hoover was on national television, the black panthers are the threat to the security of america. the black panthers, the only reason they have guns is to come into what communities and shoot
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and kill white people. we were running up and down the streets and protesting with thousands of our radical friends. this was a great counterterrorist program. when he did that in december, i called a retreat because my organization from the time what luther king was killed to the day that nixon was elected, before martin luther king was killed there were no chapters across the country. none, i am telling you. young black brothers and sisters all over this country flooded my organization. it jumped from 400 members to 5000 members and 49 chapters throughout america. i went to every last one of those chapters.
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i told them to grassroots organizing it. that we have to do this. i told them how to network with other politicians and other friends as much as possible because these people will attack us. the only position we can take is a defensive position. we don't have any resources for guerrilla warfare. just take a defensive position. i did my architecture and quick sketches and stuff. i talked to party members and said you have to fortify these officers. that is what has to happen. this is how we fortified across the country. it was the fortification of officers. from the beginning of 1969 to the end of 1969, john mchugh said he would be getting rid of the black panther party.
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that last shootout when the fbi came to our office, corner of the blocks. swat teams, 360 degrees, two-story buildings, on 41st and central in east los angeles. shooting up and started shooting. they didn't come out saying that you are under arrest. they came in shooting. party members woke up with bullets flying. we had to get down behind the fortifications and sandbags, etc. they had to stop for five minutes, 20 minutes, etc., so on. i'm in jail when all of this happened. the men came to the jail and his pajamas and his top coat.
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he said to call everybody, he said to get some kind of surrender flag out. it did put a surrender flag out. that morning, 11:30 a.m. they shot at the officers for five or six minutes per. one reporter was down the block with a zoom lens on his camera. he said that the black panthers were trying to surrender since early this morning and the police are ignoring the surrender sign. that caused all the people we network with from sammy davis junior to whoever, the naacp, roy wilkins, most people did not know i had a coalition with roy
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wilkins. he was the key person that helped us to develop a network of lawyers all across the united states of america with the national lawyer skills. people don't know that i had a coalition with martin luther king. yes we did have it and i got a month before he died. everybody they visited came out to support the panthers and up and surrender. including the african-american police who had been arguing with the chicago police for obstruction racism in the department. this was a dynamic of what happened, contradiction raising. they killed dr. king, they thought they would cut off the head of this man and everything would die down. it didn't happen. young brothers and sisters
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flooded in. i had been scattered all across the country. i did not want them to knock us out. they put me on trial, they killed a bunch of others. we still got political prison. i have not been able to raise the three or four or $5 million in the last 10 or 12 years so i can put all of our political prisoners on the innocence proxy. they keep blocking me. when i had a real contract in 1992 with warner bros. pictures, i had a $550,000 contract with them at this time. what happened that day, we got johnson to be the director. we told him that he could not read the script because we had
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to write and develop the script. he agreed to that. my point was that i was on my way and there was this craft that happened. aol took over. they decided not to do it after they put out all of the option money. i picked up $100,000 in option money. i'm just saying that trying to get the story out and get the real story out, i am still working. the best thing i have now in terms of still working, i don't want people coming to me and telling me that we can do this and this, i have been through that already. then they turn around and let some black behind people write some script leaning on -- i can go on and on but you can get the idea of what it was like for me because i stuck to my
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principles. >> we appreciate you still working. [applause] >> we appreciate your powerful storytelling. one of the things i noticed about many of the images in the book, you see a lot of pictures of you speaking. we see a lot of pictures of you engaging with the community, we see a lot of pictures of you running for office. i am curious to know how you would define your leadership style and if you see your own leadership style and body in any particular leader or group of leaders. is there a bobby seale in our community? bobby: they are everywhere out there. you have young people coming up.
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they need more good information. young black lives matter is a great movement. it is a necessary kind of movement. [applause] >> do you see parallels between the black panther party and the black lives matter movement? bobby: it's not about parallels, it is about a younger generation waking up and realizing that vicious police brutality and occupation of our people and our communities in these complex forms perpetuates a broad level of oppression. let me say something, congresswoman barbara lee, have you heard of her? black panther party. bobby rush, black panther party. those are my two shining
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examples. when we started the black panther party, in 1990 five, before i started the black panther party, the book came out. wait a minute, listen to me. it was a very important book. some of the young people i was around and would run into were talking about how we would get black power. i said that you would not get any black power until you take some of these community seats. whatever the white man seats were. i said i don't want to hear excuses. the last two paragraphs, you
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have to see what it says. i said that is the white man's math, but it wasn't. one plus one equals two. the quadratic formula, i know how to do it. it is my knowledge. so when you read that, the last paragraph says what a long train of abuses and patience pursues and invariably makes a design to reduce a people under absolute the spot is in. it is the right of the people to alter the change and provide new guards with a future. what do we provide the new
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guards with? it is not just a gun that you have to defend yourself. that is not the only form of guard. the key form is can we get in and control? i played on community control a lot. so what are we talking about here? community control. that means we need those political seats. they want to make the laws. when rosa parks would not move, those are so racist mines and attitudes. they made that dumb law. all across america, 1000 and
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10,000 had to because of laws that the races made. in terms of exportation. it has to be changed. we are not going to change it until we get the majority of the seats. so, when we went out to patrol the police, i was trying to capture the imagination of the people and by capturing the imagination of the people we went to patrol the police. when we capture the imagination? the cops said that you have no right to observe me. i pushed him to put that together. to research the laws and make sure that you can expand this up and etc.. we to make sure we do it right. he said that no california state has the right. reasonable distance away.
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i'm standing approximately 20 feet from you. i said go on ahead and tell it brother. the cop, that police officer, he said is that gun loaded? he would say that you have no right. he said to step off -- you cannot touch my weapon. he would say, man, what kind of negroes are these? he would say only one person talk. don't ever say anything to the police first. does the law says that it would scare the heck out of the students.
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if you say something to the police first, they cannot charge you. so he we talked. he told the officer went to get off. he asked if the gun was loaded. he said he jack rouse off in the chamber. when people play us, we would be bad. you had to be disciplined in my army. you have to do it right. we knew the law. every law. there was one law that said he pointed a loaded weapon at a person, even with no intention of shooting them, it was assault with a deadly weapon. you could go to prison for pointing a weapon with a live round in the chamber. we knew all this but we went there.
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i hate to interrupt you but was so much police files that is taking place today, there are so many young black men and women. with so many black men and women who are being gunned down and arrested. they are not even armed. did you think a strategy or tactics would work? bobby: the laws have changed. don't use the strategy. they have changed. i'm not telling you that. that is the way that these people could shoot you down. they can get away with it. that is what that is about. you have open carry in texas but leave that alone.
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we do not need guns like we did in the beginning. remember, there were only 50 black people elected to office in 1965 all across america. from the lowly city government and part-time government, and many political seats are there that you can be elected to in america? my demographic research told me this, there are 50,000 political seats, in 1965, there were only 50 black people in power. and that included adam clayton powell. tell me about it. the history, what was i doing? i was going to capture the imagination of the people. i was going to organize a political elect oral machine. that is what i was going to do.
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i want to sue take over some of his political seats. i wanted to set an example. i was telling other people, down south, they have the board of rights act. yet to get all of those people elected. i found 22 counties at the time in 1965 that had a majority of 50% or more black folks in them. that is what i would tell the young brothers. i said that the sheriff's duly elected. that means we can get a progressive brother. that way, when the ku klux klan acts up, they can speak up. you have to do it this way. we live in an overdeveloped technological, social order.
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we have to understand that. with to understand the value of politicians like barbara lee, there are only 90 and the house of representatives who are real progressive voting politicians who we can get our stuff too. stephen: we have an election in two weeks. bobby: we have to go for what we can out of that. hillary clinton. bernie sanders was right and he got 90% of all the point that he wanted in her program. now wait a minute, the main thing we want along with all of the other programs, that if a structure that obama had been trying to build the last six years, it would have created 1.5 million jobs. but the climate change factor,
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led in the pipes and all this other stuff, we could have an infrastructure ecology climate change. it would be more than just one point 5 million jobs. it would be 5 million jobs in the country that we could create. if we could take that majority of the people in the house of representatives, they will get the senate. they are going to get the senate. don't let us take over the house. you are talking about progressive programs. that is was going to happen. it can't happen, we need that. you see what they are doing is they are trying to break you. they are trying to kill the middle class. now the middle class looked at that and then we have to get an
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edge on the political side of this. we need more of these young brothers and sisters. even the black lives matter wants etc. we to look from a progressive standpoint for seats. we want to maximize political seats. that is where i want to do that. look what happened, on the time we got to the end of 1969, they attacked us. i was in the position and i was going to tell party members that you're going to learn to identify your districts. you're going to find out who these politicians are, you are going to find their paper trail. you are also going to run for political office. you're going to try to find real progressive black and people of color politicians. that is what we need. those are the only ways we can do it. that is the way it has to go.
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>> that is all very important. stephen: i want to add one little thing. you have to look at the system. we voted for bernie. the united states system with the electoral college, there are only two choices. we can play around with third parties but it is not going to make it. i remember the damage that richard nixon did and it is that other guy, i don't even want to say his name. if that other guy gets to be president and hillary isn't president, don't think that black lives matter and the other progressive movements will not be decimated in the same way that nixon decimated the panthers and that is the important reason that we have to unite behind hillary this time
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because that is the choice. if she doesn't do what we do, we will protest. bobby: we will protest. stephen: i can't even say his name. you know why am talking about. we have to stop them from being in the white house because you know, -- >> we only have a few minutes left in this conversation. we want to open it up for questions to be answered. we have the microphone here. we're going to ask people to raise their hands and the microphone will come to you. >> thank you bobby and stephen for being here. i think one of the problems we have to address in this country is that the whole system is designed to fail. big money is involved in politics. as long as big money continues to be involved in politics, we
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are going to have a choice between red and blue, democrats and republicans. after we come up with a strategy that allows us to get big business, big money out of politics. that way we can have actual leaders that can get us into this community and help us out. as long as we continue to have the money in politics, we will not get anywhere. stephen: we need to overturn citizens united. that requires that a president appoints progressive people to the supreme court. the choice that we have this time, one candidate is going to put kkk type people in the supreme court. the start is to get rid of citizens united and get rid of some public funding. there are a lot of other things that need to be done. that is the start of it. if that doesn't happen, we can't even start. bobby: the dark money that the
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koch brothers and the billionaire club. you have a few over here who are billionaires who will donate and give money to all kinds of progressive programs. you can get some out of the gates people and so on. that is money over here on the left side. we need those resources here on the left side. we relate to the progressive programs that we want included in this infrastructure bell. including a supreme court nominee, and making a tuition free. including overhauling the health program, etc., so on. moving toward universal health care. we can go on and on. these are the things that have got to happen. big money is there. we have to block them. hillary did say one thing.
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these guys with the big money, they had their billions of dollars in offshore banking accounts whether you don't have to pay taxes. but these guys are doing, it is a you can go over and take jobs out of the town, you're going to have to come back here and for some jobs here or we're going to jack you up in terms of whatever trade deals that have to go down. i am saying that it is a complex thing. we have to have that general direction and understand that it has to happen. we the masses, black lives matter, black panthers, etc. maxine waters and barbara lee, they left with us. we just don't have enough of them. >> next question. i would like to have a sister as a question if possible. >> hi, thank you so much.
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it is a pleasure. i wanted to know how were you all able to overcome and mobilize unsuccessfully for such a long time despite the initial resistance amongst our people and black people. how did you do it? i see no today with the whole colin kaepernick situation, he is taking a knee. there were a lot of black people supporting him. we had at least that were black in the nfl who were highly against him that were retired and still playing. how do you all successfully make that happen with so much going on at that time? stephen: one of the things that the panthers did is that they had community programs. that is one of the things that i
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hope black lives matter will start doing. because protest is great but it is not enough to know they movement. the panthers did that. bobby: the prerequisite that i created and started and told everybody at the party was that immediately after that, we need to set up a medical health care clinic with the free health care clinics. you need to have a sickle cell anemia testing program. understand something, when they attacked us, in 1969, all across the country, it was not about a few things that we have to defend ourselves. they had a triple, quadruple, overkill weapon.
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it was the free breakfast for children program. listen to me brothers. when we started that program, in september of 1968 it spread like wildfire across the country. we need to go beyond the black panther party's to communicate and etc.. suddenly when j edgar hoover was announced and all of this kind of stuff, what we looking at? if you read a book black against empire, you will find the real memo that j edgar hoover sent out to all 43 district officers of the fbi threat the united states of america. it was that all fbi agents etc. must move in the ways to discredit and disown and stop the breakfast for children program.
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this is the document i'm talking about. he wants them to make sure that no moderate black people support his breakfast program and he wanted to make sure that no white liberals supported this program. you get it -- the polls in 1959 said what? 90% of the black community now supports the black panther party because they understand the health clinic programs. stephen: the brilliance of the program was that it highlighted the contradiction. children were going to school hungry. in this country where we we waste so much and we throw food away and we have so much money and children.
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read -- they were going to school hungry. that was the solution, to phoebe cates. bobby: let me show you the success of the program. in 1966, a few more black people were elected. what happened by 1969 was that in california particularly, willie ground moved with miller and some others to get a hold of two, guys and nine or 10 of those liberal guys and they wrote a bill. it was for free breakfast and free lunch programs for all schools in the state of california. listen to this, just to build to ronald reagan.
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they sent it back to the state and told him to send it through the senate. they turned around and overrode his $4 million deduction and put the whole $5 million in and they did something similar. that is just one program. it gives you the example. that if you go for other types of programs and unite around the community, we always had voter registration going on. my party members, all of you, i commend you and i have always. i commend you and all of my speaking engagements. you begin some of the best grassroots community organizes and the world and you did this. you all do that.
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sister jones came up with the pre-pharmacy program. so on and so on and so on, that developed in 25 or 30 programs of one kind or another in the communities people relate to tangible, real stuff. overcome instead of sitting stoop student -- on the and saying that i will see to it that we do that. we put the real program up and demonstrated the problem. thank you very much. >> our time is quickly running out. we want to hit as many questions as possible. bobby: we have a lot of young
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people out here, i look at the black lives movement and climate change organizing. with these left organizational efforts as the successors of us and the black panther party, we are still here and we give good advice. we support various movements and programs and efforts. what you say, what is left, a lot of us died of natural causes. i'm 80 years old. but that is the thing with me. i do not want to be like this
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all the time. by the time i got my mind together, but started falling apart. you know that a long time ago, i quit drinking alcohol, i stop smoking, i did a lot of things. i was trying to raise money to live. i got one of my sons to do college in medical school. he is a doctor. we are here and i'm going to do my films and hopefully people will help me and support this. i'm not going to have people running over the project. i will do the real program. people can understand that history. this was human involvement
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history. young brothers and sisters and people and a lot of radical friends. all of our chicano latino brothers, we had coalition. we had coalition's, we crossed all racial and ethnic lines. we judge the content of the character, not the color of skin. that is very important. that is very important. i'm going to say again. we are not even living in the 60's. we live in an overdeveloped, fast-paced, technological, social order. it is controlled largely. as we know, it has been advocated and pointed out. 99% of the wealth is controlled by a few billionaires. we have to change that dynamic. it has to go the other way
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around. we have to understand where we are, what level we are, what we can do and we have to be involved politically on a consistent basis. >> the legacy of the panthers is number one. you can stand up and you can organize but intelligently and will in a disciplined way. president obama, that is a specific legacy of the panthers. the fact that sickle cell anemia is recognized and people are treating it. women's rights, gay rights, black studies courses and ethnic studies courses all over the country. even obamacare. the ideas of free medical clinic.
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these things get set in school now. that is legacy. we need to be taking it further. >> you talked about how the attacks won't work anymore. what lessons can we take from your work so that all the people here can work to fulfill the goals that you will try to achieve? bobby: one of the things that i always try to do was make sure that my ideas, beliefs, understandings all correlated with reality. my mother and her off work twin sisters. they look the same but they were two different personalities. i ought was a diehard christian. i run around 10, 12, 11, i was
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telling other people's stuff about science. i was telling them all about our trip all around the sun. in 365 days. then the earth and all the planets are moving in the galaxy. they are moving at 20 miles per second. my aunt heard that and she said boy, she said you are going straight to hell with that science messing with your head. this woman thought that the
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earth was flat. she didn't know any better that six months later we were all over there on the beach. she came all the way. she was there with her boyfriend. she came in and got me and said come here bobby. she grabbed me by the on. she started pointing at the ocean. she said look at their the ocean. i said i see the ocean. she said flat flat flat flat flat as far as the eye can see. i was like galileo to her. she says go ahead and believe what you want to believe. it helps you to organize better,
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and how to set analyze, it helps you to look for the real facts. you have these politicians telling all of this stuff. trump saying all of this stuff. this know the facts and know the understanding of it. get your jobs. if you can make $10 million per year, you are fine. hitch your wagon to the human relation struggle in one way or another. >> this will be our last question. >> i would like to welcome you bobby seale, my name is david white. i'm a family member of the black panther local party organized in new york city. there was in july of 1966.
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i was an original black panther. i just want to say i am very happy to meet you after all these years. unbeknownst to you, there was a another black panther party. i congratulate you and all of the other brothers who came behind us and to keep on keeping on. [applause] >> i think we have all been blessed and touched by this conversation today. have we not been blessed and touched? it was an honor for me.
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it was an honor for me to have a front row seat to this. the one you to go out and we want you to buy a copy of the book. stephen: if you want to get out of here, i told you. >> i want to confirm stephen and mr. seale, will you be signing people up for us? >> yes. >> excellent, so if you purchase it today, they will be signing the book. thank you for joining us. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> on the morning of december, 7, 1941. japanese planes attacked the u.s. fleet at pearl harbor.
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almost 2400 americans were killed. american history tv mark the 75th anniversary of the surprise attack. on saturday, december 10, 8:00 a.m. eastern, we will show first person accounts from veterans at pearl harbor. also at the world war ii memorial in washington and we will take your calls. that is saturday, december 10, beginning at 8:00 a.m., eastern. only on c-span3. >> monday night on the communicators, >> i hope that any copyright that will come, will come at a central repository where people have access to it. we will be searched on not only an item by item basis but on a scale basis. we run 2.5 million songs through and we will get more and more as we move toward an on-demand service.
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>> the pandora general counsel on the issues facing congress and the music industry. including copyright laws, ticket price relation and the competition between humans and bots. he is interviewed by alex meyers, technology reporter for politico. >> they do buy tickets but what they do is they keep other fans out of the market. what we're finding is that some fans really want to go see a concert and they can match the buttons on the computer all day long but they can't beat a box. they are not able to do it in their first run at their lifted -- listed price. so they are left to get them from promoters to beat the
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price. announcer: watch the communicators. >> watch and follow as donald trump becomes the president and republican party remains in control of the house and senate. watch live on c-span. watch live on or listen on our free c-span app. announcer: we have a special webpage at to help you follow the supreme court. go to and select supreme court at the top of the page. you see for the most recent oral arguments heard this term. all" to see all of the most recent.
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their ownustices in words, including one-on-one interviews with justices kagan, ginsburg, and others. there is also a list of all current judges -- justices to see all of their most recent appearances on c-span and more. follow them on coming up next on the presidency, chief historian william digiacomantonio talks about how artists have depicted george washington, including the famous portraits by john and others. this program is a little over one hour. >> i went to welcome you all to the last


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