Black Panther founder calls for revival of activism, progressivism

Tuesday, October 5, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 6:33 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Bobby Seale, a founding member of the Black Panther Party and the keynote speaker of MU’s Cultural Discovery Week, spoke at Jesse Auditorium on Monday night to a crowd of about 250 people.

In his lecture, Seale outlined the history behind the founding of the Black Panther Party and its princi-ples. Seale used the formation of the party as a parallel for how commu-nities should organize themselves today.

“Life, politics and communities are systems,” he said. “We need to increase the three-dimensional democracy outside of what politi-cians are doing.”

Seale said he was inspired to form the Black Panthers because of the ignorance of both whites and blacks. Along with Huey Newton, he formed community organizations to tell the truth about slavery and institutional racism.

Those issues remain important to Seale today.

“We need to decrease racism and increase progressive politicians to see a qualitative change,” he said.

“Politicians are pushing people out, and we, the people, need to push back,” Seale added. “We need more progressive young folks.”

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