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By Judson L. Jeffries

Huey P. Newton's strong legacy to the Black Panther stream and the civil rights fight has lengthy been obscured. Conservatives harp on Newton's drug use and at the situations of his demise in a crack-related taking pictures. Liberals romanticize his black innovative rhetoric and idealize his message. In Huey P. Newton: the novel Theorist, Judson L. Jeffries considers the full arc of Newton's political function and impact on civil rights historical past and African American idea. Jeffries argues that, opposite to well known trust, Newton was once some of the most vital political thinkers within the fight for civil rights. Huey P. Newton's political occupation spanned 20 years. Like many freedom combatants, he used to be a posh determine. His overseas acceptance was once solid as a lot from his passionate safeguard of black liberation as from his hugely publicized confrontations with police. His braveness to deal with police brutality gained him admirers in ghettos, on collage campuses, and in choose Hollywood circles. Newton gave Black strength a compelling urgency and performed a pivotal function within the politics of black the United States throughout the Nineteen Sixties and Nineteen Seventies. Few may deny that Newton's lifestyles (1942-1989) used to be strewn with incidences of violence and that his police checklist was once lengthy. yet Newton's struggles with police happened in a wealthy and bothered context that incorporated city unrest, police brutality, executive repression, and an excessive debate over civil rights strategies. Stripped of heritage and interpretation, the violence of Newton's existence introduced emphatic indictments of him. Newton's dying attracted common media consciousness. even though, pundits provided little on Newton as freedom fighter or as theoretician and activist. Huey P. Newton: the novel Theorist dispels myths approximately Newton's lifestyles, however the publication is basically an in-depth exam of Newton's rules. via exploring this charismatic chief, Jeffries's e-book makes a useful contribution to the scant literature on Newton, whereas additionally exposing the center tenets and evolving philosophies of the Black Panther celebration. Judson L. Jeffries is an assistant professor of political technology at Purdue collage. he's the writer of Virginia's local Son: The Election and management of Governor L. Douglas Wilder (2000), and his paintings has been released in such periodicals as Western magazine of Black stories, magazine of Political technological know-how, and Ethnic and Racial reviews.

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Extra info for Huey P. Newton: The Radical Theorist

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A year earlier, numerous cities across the United States expe­ rienced massive violent turmoil—the most publicized being the Watts rebellion in Los Angeles, where blacks took to the 7 Birth of the Black Panther Party streets to avenge the treatment of a black motorist by white police. The Los Angeles police department was notorious for police brutality. ”11 During a speech at a rally in October 1961, Wilkins noted that he was appalled at the recurring beatings and cold-blooded killings by Los An­ geles police officers.

48 The Black Panther Party also inspired the Patriot Party, a revolutionary organization that grew out of the poor white community of Chicago. 49 In sum, as Newton proclaimed many times, the Black Panther Party was anti-exploitation, antidegradation, and anti-oppression. ”50 Newton ar­ gued that no fundamental change could occur without the help of poor whites. He asserted that poor whites also experi­ enced oppression at the hands of the white ruling class. A second misunderstanding is that the Panthers were violent terrorists much like the Irish Republican Army; Al Fatah, which declared a holy war on Israel; and the Ku Klux Klan and White Citizens Council, which for decades has engaged in harassment, torture, and murder.

14 Newton urged the Party to oppose all forms of racism. ”15 Huey, says his brother Melvin, never had any pronounced antiwhite feelings, even though some antiwhite sentiment did run through the Afro-American Association of which Newton was a member. Even during high school Newton always had some white friends. ”16 At a 1967 forum where Newton spoke on “The Future of the Black Lib­ eration Movement,” he was heavily criticized for working with whites. He explained his position by saying: 22 limitations of our power.

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