Former Black Panther Party Chairman Bobby Seale
Former Black Panther Party Chairman Bobby Seale visited Gainesville Feb. 4 for Black History Month. He gave a speech at UF and also gave a press conference/talk at the Civic Media Center before the main event. Here, he makes a point at the Civic Media Center. Seale discussed the organizing of the Black Panther Party, which he founded with Huey Newton in 1966. He recalled that the Party had chapters all over the country engaged in political education, providing essential services (such as food, clothing, and medical testing), and training people in self defense. Asked about splits in the Party, Seale explained the FBI's elaborate schemes to disrupt the party, part of the FBIs COINTELPRO operation. He said the Panthers discovered later that the FBI developed psychological profiles of their leaders and then created hoax letters to goad the main organizers into opposing each other. He noted that former Panther H. Rap Brown (now Jamil Al-Amin) is currently on trial in Atlanta for shooting a police officer, in what may be the set-up of an effective black community leader. He faces the death penalty. (For more information on the Al-Amin case, visit www.imamjamil.com.) Seale is now head of Reach! an organization 'dedicated to informing and teaching the youth of America and the world.' A portion of Seale's talk will be printed in the next Iguana.
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