Huey P Newton was one of the cofounders of the Black Panther Party in 1966. He was a leading figure in the Black power movement. Often referred to as “the genius of Huey P Newton”. He was considered barely literate when he graduated high school yet managed to teach himself how to read; went on to earned a law degree, followed by a masters in social work. How is that such an important figure in history is able to go unrecognized by so many people? Is it just because of the Black Panther’s militant ideals were too scary white America? Or because black history isn't valued in this country? Well, it's probably all of that, but in 2017 with all of our technology and the social justice organizing that has occurred in recent times, really how is it that we still allow these prominent figures to be hidden? Don't get me wrong. I acknowledge the accomplishments and progression of the black community. I bring up Huey P Newton’s obscurity to communicate the need to keep going. We can't become complacent because we had a black president or because Chance the Rapper got a Grammy. We have to continue to educate ourselves and each other. This design is an effort to combine art and social action by exposing our hidden figures while starting a conversation.
An excerpt from The Black Panthers Speak:
"Message to 'Free Hey Rallly,' Oakland Auditorium, February 17, 1968
'Taped in Prison'
REVOLUTIONARY BROTHERS AND SISTERS, WHITE RADICALS WHO ARE BECOMING BROTHERS AND SISTERS:
I'm very happy that we are all here together today, not because it's my birthday, but because we should be together on any and every occasion that we possibly can in the name of solidarity. February 17th fortunately is also the Tet of the lunar new year. So we're celebrating the lunar new year with our brothers in Viet Nam. We're daily making people more and more aware of the need for unity among all revolutionary people and also that it's impossible for us to overcome the treacherous bureaucratic class without an organized force."
Foner, P. S. (1995). The Black Panthers speak. New York: Da Capo Press.
FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS