[1] Huey Newton, Minister of Defense and co-founder of the Black Panther Party, was not present at the Sacramento demonstration. Newton, a convicted felon, feared the group would be arrested, and wished to avoid an additional weapons conviction. His prediction proved true, with Seale and several others serving six months for disturbing the peace. Back.

[2] Seale, Bobby. Seize the Time: The Story of the Black Panther Party and Huey P. Newton. (1991). Baltimore, MD: Black Classic Press. 161-162. Back.

[3] Seale, Bobby. 164. Back.

[4] The Mulford gun-control bill was passed and signed into law on July 28, 1967, legally making armed patrols by the Black Panthers a thing of the past. If the Panthers displayed their weapons in the future, it would be at their own risk. Back.

[5] The Mulford Bill had in fact been drafted as a specific response to the Panthers’ patrols. Back.

[6] Seale, Bobby. 148-149. Back.

[7] Pearson, Hugh. The Shadow of the Panther. (1994). Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. 129-130. Back.

[8] Pearson, Hugh. 131. Back.

[9] Newton, Michael. Bitter Grain: Huey Newton and the Black Panther Party. (1991). Los Angeles, CA: Holloway House. 14. Back.

[10] Newton, Huey P. Revolutionary Suicide. (1973). New York, NY: Harcourt Brace Jovanovitch. 110 . Back.

[11] Newton, Huey P. Revolutionary Suicide. 109. Back.

[12] Newton, Michael. 14-18. Back.

[13] Seale, Bobby. 64. Back.

[14] Newton, Michael. 16. Back.

[15] The Panthers’ Ten Point Program was a list of demands on behalf of the black community—notably freedom, full employment, decent housing, education, and an end to white capitalist exploitation of the ghettoes. Back.

[16] Newton, Huey P. Revolutionary Suicide. 329. Back.

[17] Newton, Michael. 19. Back.

[18] Newton, Huey P. To Die for the People: the Writings of Huey P. Newton. (1972). New York, NY: Random House. 15. Back.

[19] Seale, Bobby. 96. Back.

[20] Michael Newton stresses the impact of the pig image: “Whatever its origin and purpose, the pig caricature, quickly expanding to embrace lawmen and authority figures everywhere, would become a symbol of the Black Panther Party as omnipresent as the leather jacket and black beret. In time, it would enter the underground vocabulary of white radicals as standard terminology, its source forgotten in the heat of the movement. The single word pig would do more to embolden the black community and alienate the white than all other Panther rhetorical devices combined.” 34. Back.

[21] Pearson, Hugh. 141. Back.

[22] Seale, Bobby. 182. Back.

[23] Newton, Michael. 38. Back.

[24] Newton, Huey P. Revolutionary Suicide. 207. Back.

[25] Pearson, Hugh. 147. Back.

[26] Newton, Huey P. Revolutionary Suicide. 189. Back.

[27] Newton, Huey P. Revolutionary Suicide. 194. Back.

[28] Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. Back.

[29] The Peace and Freedom Party. As a result of the alliance, several Panthers ran on the PFP ticket in the 1968 elections. They included Huey Newton for Congress, Bobby Seale and Kathleen Cleaver for State Assembly, and Eldridge “The Rage” Cleaver for President. None of the PFP candidates were ever elected. Back.

[30] Pearson, Hugh. 153. Back.

[31] February 17, 1968, was Newton’s 26th birthday. Back.

[32] Black Panther Party. Huey. (1968). Chicago: International Historic Films. Back.

[33] Huey Newton explained the meaning of this phrase as “intentionally ambiguous,” suggesting significant media sophistication on the part of the Panthers: “The brothers had repeatedly said that the sky was the limit if the oppressors did not free me. At the time that was said, we meant that an unfavorable decision would be taken to the highest judicial level. But the statement was intentionally ambiguous and open to interpretation in order to put the whole Oakland power structure up tight. That plan certainly worked. An open interpretation not only attracted considerable publicity but also left us free to make specific decisions about action after the verdict was in, rather than before.” Revolutionary Suicide. 240. Back.

[34] Black Panther Party. Huey. Back.

[35] Didion, Joan. The White Album. (1979). New York, NY: Pocket Books. 28. Back.

[36] Moore, Gilbert S. A Special Rage. (1971). New York, NY: Harper and Row. 113. Back.

[37] Pearson, Hugh. 153. Back.

[38] 152. Back.

[39] Pearson, Hugh. 153. Back.

[40] 30. Back.

[41] Newton, Huey P. To Die for the People. 218. Back.

[42] Newton’s ideologies were based on the works of several major revolutionaries, including Che Guevara, Frantz Fanon, Fidel Castro, and Mao Tse-Tung. Back.

[43] Newton, Huey P. Revolutionary Suicide. 5. Back.

[44] Newton, Huey P. Revolutionary Suicide. 179. Back.

[45] Newton, Huey P. Revolutionary Suicide. 184. Back.

[46] Newton, Huey P. Revolutionary Suicide. 242. Back.

[47] Newton, Huey P. Revolutionary Suicide. 244. Back.

[48] Pearson, Hugh. 166. Back.

[49] By April 1968 J. Edgar Hoover identified the Panthers as the “greatest threat to the internal security of the country” and the FBI began systematic efforts to destroy the party through COINTELPRO, the Bureau’s counter-intelligence program. They succeeded in creating an atmosphere of distrust and suspicion among party members, fearful that anyone could be an informant. In 1969 the party began a series of purges to rid their ranks of informants, but the seeds of dissension had been planted already. Back.

[50] Newton, Michael. 200. Back.

[51] Bobby Seale was indicted as a member of the Chicago 8 conspiracy following the Democratic National Convention in the summer of 1968. Back.

[52] Estimates of membership at the height of the party’s influence range from 2,000 to 6,000. Back.

[53] The April 6, 1968 episode resulted in the shooting death of seventeen-year-old “little” Bobby Hutton by police, despite his having surrendered. Over the next months, the Black Panthers would often refer to his “murder by the Oakland pigs.” Back.

[54] Kathleen Neal, an integral member of SNCC, was introduced to Eldridge Cleaver in 1967, during discussion of SNCC’s merger with the Panthers. They were married in 1968, and she accompanied him on his flight to Algiers later that year. Back.

[55] According to Hugh Pearson, popular sentiment in 1969 indicated that the Black Panthers were slightly behind the times. “I like the Panthers, I really do,” commented one social activist. “They’re nuts of course, but they haven’t got the numbers and they know nothing about revolutionary tactics. They’re mouth power.” 210. Back.

[56] Pearson, Hugh. 214. Back.

[57] Newton, Michael. 87. Back.

[58] Pearson, Hugh. 215. Back.

[59] Pearson, Hugh. 222. Back.

[60] Pearson, Hugh. 222. Back.

[61] Pearson, Hugh. 223. Back.

[62] Newton, Huey P. Revolutionary Suicide. 292. Back.