In honor of Black History
Month, Indiana University Northwest had scheduled Afeni Shakur to headline
this evening's program, however due to unforeseen circumstances; Shakur
will be unable to make the trip to northwest Indiana this evening. In a written
statement received from Shakur, she states “I
am very sorry that I cannot be here with you tonight, but mechanical problems
with the plane have prevented me from being there on time for the event.”
celebration will go on as scheduled and IU Northwest is extremely pleased
to be able to bring Bobby Seale, chairman and co-founder of the Black
Panther Party, to be the keynote speaker tonight, Thurs., Feb. 23 from 7-10
pm at Tamarack Hall Theatre. Now a self-described "revolutionary
humanist” Seale and his wife Leslie, bring the 60's protest movement era
full circle showing how times have changed. How we must reach for
the future: Protest, organize peoples programs, and evolve a profoundly
progressive society with greater direct [participatory] community
control democracy: Void of racist, bigoted or chauvinistic practices.
Inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. and moved to action by the killing
of Malcolm X, Seale, along with Huey Newton, organized the Black Panther
Party in 1966 to guard against police brutality in black neighborhoods
and provide social services. Eventually the party developed into a
militant Marxist revolutionary group with thousands of members in several
major cities. According to J. Edgar Hoover, the head of the Federal Bureau
of Investigation (FBI), the Black Panther Party had become "the No. 1 threat to the internal security
of the nation." Fearful of the growing popularity of the Black Panthers and
their insistence that Black Power grows out of the barrel of a gun, Hoover
ordered the FBI to employ "hard-hitting counterintelligence measures to cripple
the Black Panthers" in November 1968.
In 1969, Seale, as one of the "Chicago Eight," was
charged with conspiracy to incite riots during the 1968 Democratic National
Convention. Charges against him were eventually dropped, but not before
he had been bound and gagged to silence his courtroom outbursts, for which
he was found guilty and sentenced to four years in prison for 16 counts
of contempt of court. While in prison Seale was charged with murdering
Alex Rackley, a former Black Panther suspected of being a police informant.
In May 1971, the trial ended in a hung jury and the judge ordered all charges
against Seale to be dropped.
After being released from prison in 1972,
Seale renounced political violence and concentrated on conventional
politics. In 1973 Seale ran for mayor of Oakland and came second out of nine.
Over the last twenty-five years Seale has worked on a variety of community
projects and continues to develop and support organizations dedicated to
combating social and political injustices. He still lectures about his
past and current experiences struggling for civil rights for African Americans
and has published several books including Seize the Time (1970),
an autobiography, A Lonely Rage (1978) and Barbeque'n with
As part of the IU Northwest Diversity Programming
Series, this event is co-sponsored by the Department of Minority
Studies, Student Activities Board, and Black Student Union.
For questions or more information regarding this event please contact
Dr. Earl Jones, Department of Minority Studies, at 219-980-6704
or email firstname.lastname@example.org.