Bobby Seale: The story of a Black Panther then and now

Bobby Seale: The story of a Black Panther then and now

By Santa Clara Magazine

Civil rights activist Bobby Seale. Photo by Charles Barry
Stories and a Q&A session with the 1960s civil rights activist and founding member of the Black Panther Party


What’s wrong with free breakfasts for kids? Plenty, would be the answer if you asked that question in 1969 of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover—at least if the free breakfast was coming from the Black Panthers. On Nov. 1, a man whose name is synonymous with the Panthers, Bobby Seale, spoke at the Saint Clare Room on the SCU campus.

The event was standing-room only, and the stories covered a lot of territory and 50-plus years, from Seale's work in aerospace and youth jobs programs in Oakland—to the Panthers' free breakfast programs and health clinics. There were tales of carrying guns (legally) into the California statehouse and of trials where he was charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Framing much of the stories was Seale’s discussion of a feature film project he hopes to see through. Certainly the roads and stories looped and swerved. But among the simple points that Seale wanted listeners to take away was this: “Hitch your wagon to the human liberation star.”

One of the questions Seale fielded after his talk was about what message he has today for young African American men. “Make sure your beliefs and understanding correspond correctly to reality,” he said.

Watch the video: Watch Bobby Seale’s talk in its entirety, along with the Q&A, below.

Want to see one take? SCU Professor of Economics Bill Sundstrom writes about Bobby Seale’s talk in his blog.

Read more details about the evening with Bobby Seale in the announcement and flyer for the program.

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