San Diego Black Panther on Current Black Lives Matter Protests

by on July 1, 2020 · 0 comments

in Civil Rights, San Diego

Henry Lee Wallace

By Beth Accomando / KPBS / June 30, 2020

San Diego Black Panther Party chairman Henry Lee Wallace V looks to the 1960s to provide context for today’s protests.

If you grew up in the 1960s like I did, then the image of young Black men in black leather jackets and berets, and carrying guns and chanting “Power to the People” was a powerful image that you don’t forget. It was also an image that scared a lot of mainstream white America and immediately got the attention of those in power who wanted to maintain the status quo.

But what was even scarier to someone like the FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover was the way the Black Panther Party focused on providing free meals to kids and education that could help people in the Black community become self-reliant.

David F. Walker has been researching the Black Panthers for a graphic novel coming out next year.

“If you go through any of the FBI documents that have been released through the Freedom of Information Act, J. Edgar Hoover, the director of the FBI, is very clear that the breakfast program is the thing that he hated the most. He says in some of these documents and some of these memos [that] if the Panthers succeed in winning the hearts and minds of the people, we’ve lost. And that was the thing. It was always this fear of indoctrinating a younger generation into this ideology of self-defense and self-reliance,” Walker explained.

The Black Panthers remain iconic in American history and Walker said that until the recent protests, “I got the feeling that they’re more like a myth than anything else. They’ve become like this legendary group and people don’t really understand them.”

For the balance of this article, please go here.

See the OB Rag interview with Henry Wallace here.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Older Article:

Newer Article: