7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 11 July 2012
I cut my teeth on this book and used it in my English O level paper in 1971. Not sure why a weedy, white Geordie found this book so profound. But reading back on it, it remains so in a number of areas. Recently watching the animated version of the Chicago trial (Hoffman et al) I was reminded how much black America paid a huge price compared to most of the white revolutionaries of that era. Huey Newton stating " I'm standing on my constitutional rights. I'm going to stop you from brutalizing my people". But Huey and Bobby and others were brutalised. Why did the other defendents not take a stand when Bobby Seale was shackled and gagged during the Chicago trial? These were watershed moments where key white political activists did not stand up to be counted. And this schism resonates through America today. Polemics aside, look at what Bobby Seale was expressing through his books, Breakfasts for children, soup kitchens and education as a means of gaining freedom. Does that still not resonate? And the Black Panthers were better in the equality of women domain than the Hippy/Yippies who treated women like shag machines under the guise of free love. It was easy to be sucked into the leather jackets, sunglasses and guns-then later the drug appetites and miss what this was about. Newton's prinicpal to stand up for basic human rights. The right not to be harrassed, the right to challenge being treated as unequal because of the colour of your skin, to stand against the principal be condemned by birth to have to struggle to access good education, diet, work and a life. The pressure put on the Black Panthers would have crushed most of us as flat as a milk bottle top but most of these people stood up and although some cracked, dont let it take away from the message. We all have a right to basic things in life. Reflect on that with our current love of consumerism produced by sweat labour, our shallow media of ten second sound bites, imagery out of context. We the majority in the developed world still get by on the dispossession of the many. This book written in 1970 still has relevance today. Seize the time Bobby Seale-you were a courageous and forthright man and I for one, honour you to this day.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 11 November 2006
Bobby Seale's account of the Black Panther Party is a refreshing breath of invigorating air in todays deeply apolitical times - when the likes of 'Puffy' and '50 cent' are held up as black role models.
These revolutionaries were just that - and they paid the ultimate price at the hands of a criminal and bloodthirsty FBI.
Bobby describes in rightous detail the sound policies of the Black Panther Party: their education and welfare programmes, their dismisal of superficial afrocentric organisations and their role as the vangaurd of a growing mass-movement which linked working class blacks with their hispanic and white counterparts.
An inspiring read for anyone with an interest in improving the state of humanity.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 4 March 2000
This book is incredibly inspiring. It combines the history of the Black Panthers with an exciting vision of how communities can organise to solve their problems. It also shows the lengths the state will go to to stop it. As well as that it's a cracking good read. Buy it, be inspired, and go out and do something about it.