Feb. 16, 2007 -- Bobby Seale will talk about “History and Impacts of the Black Panther Party” at the University Library’s Harrison-Small Auditorium at 7 p.m. on Feb. 22, as one of the events celebrating Black History Month at the University of Virginia.
When Bobby Seale and Huey Newton founded the radical, revolutionary Black Panther Party for Self Defense in 1966 as an alternative to the nonviolent civil rights movement, they believed African-Americans had to defend themselves against social conditions, such as police brutality. Seale later gave up his militancy and has devoted his adult life to writing and to community service.
Born in Dallas, Texas, the son of a carpenter, Seale grew up mostly in Oakland, Calif., and attended Merritt College, where he met Newton.
Seale was among those arrested for demonstrating at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968 and was brought to trial with the seven white radicals who became known as the “Chicago Seven,” until the judge sentenced him for contempt of court. Seale served almost three years in jail before being acquitted in 1971.
He left the Black Panther Party in 1974 and since then, has developed and worked on several community-related projects to help African-Americans. He ran for mayor of Oakland, unsuccessfully, in 1973. He still lectures about his experiences and civil rights for African-Americans.
In 1970 Seale published, “Seize the Time,” a book on the Black Panthers and the political views of Huey Newton. Seale’s autobiography, “A Lonely Rage,” was published in 1978. Taking a different turn, he published “Barbeque'n with Bobby” in 1987, the proceeds from which go to various nonprofit social organizations.