While Black Panther Party co-founder Huey P. Newton sat in jail on his birthday in 1968, H. Rap Brown and Stokely Carmichael addressed a giant crowd at the Oakland Civic Auditorium in an event known today as the Huey P. Newton Birthday Rally. The day's events received widespread attention, and catalyzed the “Free Huey” movement.
With 5,000 people in attendance, Brown and Carmichael spoke passionately on Newton's work, the need for black empowerment, the Vietnam war, and the responsibility of the black community to see through a veil of false comfort from white leaders at the height of the civil rights era.
As Carmichael says in the clip: “We have to recognize who our major enemy is! The major enemy is not your brother, flesh of your flesh, blood of your blood. The major enemy is the honkey and his institutions of racism! That is the major enemy! That is the major enemy!”
Even more pointed were H. Rap Brown's comments: “A lot of you runnin’ around talkin’ ‘bout you Democrats, and the Democrats got you in the biggest trick goin’—they tell you ‘It ain’t our fault, its the Dixiecrats!’ No such thing as a Dixiecrat! The only difference between George Wallace and Lyndon Johnson is one of ‘em’s wife’s got cancer!”
KQED recently unearthed this special footage from the KQED archives. Watch select moments from their speeches above.