Huey P. Newton
Huey Percy Newton was an African-American political and civil rights activist. He co-founded the Black Panther Party with fellow Merritt College student Bobby Seale. Newton was known for being an advocate of self-defense, Palestinian statehood, and for his support of communist-led governments in China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, and Vietnam. He died in a car crash in Oakland, California in 1989.
About Huey P. Newton in brief
Huey Percy Newton was an African-American political and civil rights activist. He co-founded the Black Panther Party with fellow Merritt College student Bobby Seale. Newton was known for being an advocate of self-defense, Palestinian statehood, and for his support of communist-led governments in China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, and Vietnam. In 1989, he was murdered in Oakland, California by Tyrone Robinson, a member of the Black Guerrilla Family. Newton graduated from Oakland Technical High School in 1959, without being able to read, although he later taught himself; The Republic by Plato was the first book he read. He later earned a Ph. D. in social philosophy from the University of California at Santa Cruz’s History of Consciousness program in 1980. He became a prominent member of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity’s chapter and played a role in getting the first black history course adopted as part of the college’s curriculum. He joined the Afro-American Association and became involved in the politics of the Bay Area. He died in a car crash in Oakland in 1989. He is survived by his wife, three children, and two grandchildren. He was buried in Oakland’s Mount Diablo Memorial Cemetery, near where he grew up in Monroe, Louisiana, in a plot of land that was later turned over to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. In his autobiography, Revolutionary Suicide, he wrote that he was made to feel ashamed of being black. He also stated that he never went without food and shelter as a child, despite moving often within the San Francisco Bay Area during his childhood.
In the 1960s, under Newton’s leadership, the Black. Panther Party founded over 60 community support programs including food banks, medical clinics, sickle cell anemia tests, prison busing for families of inmates, clothing banks, housing cooperates, and their own ambulance service. The most famous of these programs was the Free Breakfast for Children program which fed thousands of impoverished children daily during the early 1970s. In May 1970, the conviction was reversed and after two subsequent trials ended in hung juries, the charges were dropped. In 1974 he was accused of murdering 17 year-old Kathleen Smith, but the prosecution decided not to retry Newton. He was also accused of involvement in the 1974 murder of Betty Van Patter. Despite graduating from high school not knowing how to reading, he taught himself literacy by reading Plato’s Republic and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1966. His parents named him after Huey Long, former Governor of Louisiana, and Armelia Johnson and Walter Newton, a sharecropper and Baptist lay preacher. According to a 2015 report by the Equal Justice Institute, from 1877 to 1950, a total of 37 black people were documented as lynched in that parish. Most murders had taken place around the turn of the 20th century. This was the fifth-highest total of lynchings of any county in the South. As a response to the violence, the Newton family migrated to Oakland,. California, participating in the second wave of the Great Migration of African-Americans out of the South in the 1950s.