This October marks 55 years since Dr. Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale co-founded the revolutionary organization known as the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense.
In honor of the organization’s contributions to societal change through community activism, multiple events are scheduled throughout the month. The itinerary includes visual arts, social gatherings, live performances and the unveiling of a Dr. Huey P. Newtown bust.
The first event, on Friday, Oct. 1, at Oakland’s Joyce Gordon Art Gallery, is the opening of a visual art exhibition featuring the works of Emory Douglas, M. Gayle “Asali” Dickson, Malik Edwards and REFA 1. The four artists are also scheduled for a panel discussion on Oct. 9.
Billy X Jennings, Black Panther Party archivist, will also display photos and artwork from his collection. Jennings says attendees can expect to see “historical artwork, as well as artwork from artists who did work in the ’70s, and what they’ve done since that time.” Jennings adds: “Keep in mind a lot of them were artists when they were 18 to 20 years old. This exhibition will show how they’ve grown since then.”
The growth of the members of the Party, as well as the evolution of the Party’s principles showing up in popular culture and politics, is a theme in many of the events scheduled throughout Panther History Month.