A ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ Screening, Mural Unveiling and More to Celebrate the Black Panthers

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Pirkle Jones, 'Black Panthers from Sacramento, Free Huey Rally, Bobby Hutton Memorial Park, Oakland;' August 25, 1968. (Courtesy of BAMPFA)

You can’t talk about Black history without mentioning the Black Panther Party. Their advocacy and activism laid the foundation for the contemporary Black Lives Matter movement, and shaped the current free school meal programs and community clinics serving Oakland throughout the COVID crisis.

Today kicked off a series of events in Oakland to celebrate the Black Panthers. Beginning with a virtual fundraiser to restore the late party chairman Fred Hampton Sr.’s childhood home, the programming will honor the party’s contributions through art, film, discussion and more.

On Feb. 14, a new mural honoring Ericka Huggins, Rev. Cheryl Dawson and the women of the Black Panther Party will become available for viewing on Jilchristina Vest’s private home in West Oakland, and there will be a virtual celebration and unveiling.

Next Tuesday, Feb. 16, images of Dr. Huey P. Newton and the Black Panther Party will be displayed through light projections at the Alameda County Courthouse, where the Free Huey Movement began in 1968, starting at 5:30pm.

On the 17th, community members and elected officials will join Newton’s widow, Fredrika Newton—who is also president of the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation—for the unveiling of the newly designated Dr. Huey P. Newton Way at 9am. Dr. Huey P. Newton Way is the new name of a three-block section of 9th Street near Mandela Parkway.


On Friday, Feb. 19, the festivities continue with a free drive-in movie screening of Judas and the Black Messiah at Oakland’s Liberation Park at 5pm. The new film was produced by Oakland’s own Ryan Coogler as well as Charles D. King and Shaka King. Those who are interested can sign up on the Huey P. Newton Foundation’s Instagram.

The events conclude with a virtual program on Feb. 24 featuring Black Panther Party alumni and Bay Area artists, activists and professional athletes in a conversation about the impacts of the Black Panther Party’s 10 Point Program, history and leadership. The conversation will be available to view online at 12pm via Instagram, YouTube and Facebook Live.

The Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation will also unveil a bronze bust of Newton later this year, created by Bay Area sculptor Dana King. The bust will be placed on Dr. Huey P. Newton Way near Mandela Parkway.

“This Black History Month, I will reflect back on the beginnings of the Black Panther Party nearly 55 years ago, as well as on the countless tragedies against Black men and women just last year alone,” said Fredrika Newton in a statement. “With that in mind, I will move through 2021 with a renewed sense of empowerment and ask that we all find a way to stand on the shoulders of those who fought for Black Power in the past and successfully deliver it now.”

For more details, follow the Huey P. Newton Foundation on Instagram.