Happy 70th Birthday Huey Newton-Co-founder of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense…which sadly was destroyed by the FBI’s infamous Cointel-Pro Program Newton was born February 17th 1942 in Monroe, Louisiana and died in Oakland California Aug 22 1989 after being shot by a drug dealer.. Below are a couple of videos that exemplify the brilliance and commitment Huey had for the struggle to liberate Black people.. Its important folks in 2012 remember that Huey Newton was more than just a song about weed done by Whiz Khalifa..
As you peep the videos below be sure to check out this excellent blog post that sums up alot of what Huey P newton stood for…
20 years ago Rodney King was brutally beaten by police..It was shocking and caught on film, folks just knew the officers were going to jail.. It was a slam dunk. Who could refute the evidence? My how times have changed..or have they? Fast forward to the Oscar Grant murder which was also caught on film and you tell me..shout out to Paul Scott for his article..
March 3, 1991. What started off as just another case of a brotha gettin’ beat down by the Po Po, would set off a chain of events that would forever change the socio-political dynamics of America, especially for the Hip Hop generation.
Although, the beating of Rodney King by four Los Angeles police officers happened 20 years ago, the shock waves from the event are still being felt today. To grasp the gravity of the situation one has to look at it in historical terms.
The period of the late 80’s was,possibly,the most revolutionary since the ’60’s, as the combination of Reaganomics and racial incidents such as the Virginia Beach and Crown Heights incidents had pushed America, once again to the brink of revolution. There was also a cultural revolution happening ion America, where Black youth were rediscovering the works of heroes such as Malcolm X and Huey P. Newton. The rapidly maturing Hip Hop genre also began to absorb the changes as the party music of the early 80’s began to become what Public Enemy front-man, Chuck D, coined “The CNN of Black America.”
While the music previously was seen as fad and just a blip on the radar screen of middle America, the idea of rebelling “ghetto youth” using rap music as an unregulated form of information dissemination sent shock America’s political foundation.
This is not the first time that the rising collective voice of “the silent minority” became a matter of national security.
According to the March 21, 1993 edition of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, in 1917, a Lt Col. Ralph Van Deman created the Army’s black spy network, which snitched on black organizations, even black churches. The article names Robert Morton of Booker T. Washington’s Tuskegee Institute andJoel Spingarn, one of the founders of the NAACP,as operatives in the spy network.
In the book, “Heard it Through the Grapevine,” Patricia A. Turner wrote that “rumor clinics” were set up during World War II to “prevent potentially adverse hearsay of all sorts from gaining credibility.”
Also, although the FBI’s COINTELPRO is the best known of the “dirty trick” operations of the Civil Rights /Black Power Era, Clay Risen, in his book “A Nation On Fire: “America in the Wake of the King Assassination,” wrote about the Army Operations Center and” its first operations plan for national disturbances, code named Steep Hill.” Risen also talks about the U.S. Army Intelligence Command (USAINTC) which included 1000 agents “around tthe country whose job was to spy on militants and “monitor indicators of imminent violence.”
The entertainment industry was not immune of the fear of a black uprising. In Peter Doggett’s book, “There’s a Riot Going On” he wrote about how James Brown was hired by the mayor of Boston , Kevin White, to throw a concert the night after the King murder to keep the natives calm.
From the very beginning it has been clear that America’s fear was not the thugs in the street stealing hubcaps but the fear that they may become politicized, intelligent hoodlums. So on April 29, 1992, the day the police officers were acquitted of beating King, the apparatus was already in place to deal with young “urban” youth who were chanting Hip Hop lyrics challenging the system as their mantra.
As, rebellions took place in cities across the country, even the watchful eye of the Fed’s underestimated the politicizing of the youth courtesy of rap lyrics. The site of “gangstas” articulating the political ideologies of Frantz Fanon on Night-line caught politicians with their pants down.
According, to the May 11, 1992 Time Magazine article “How TV failed to Get the Real Picture” it was reported that LA mayor Tom Bradley “requested” that in the midst of the chaos that the highly rated “Cosby Show:” air as an exercise in “crisis counter-programming.” However, this was not 1986 and black youth were more responsive to the voices of the X-Clan, than they were “Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable.”
So, another form of “crisis counter-programing” had to be developed that would insure that rebellions like what happened in LA would never happen again.
Even before the LA Rebellion, President George Bush had instituted the “Weed and Seed Program” which many residents of Los Angeles, such as those interviewed in the book “Uprisng” by Yusef Jah and Sister Shah Keyah considered a spy operation. The official purpose of weed and seed was to “weed” out gang members and in their places “seed”the hood with community programs.
So, we see the same strategy was used in Hip Hop as the biggest threat to this country’s racial hegemony ” conscious rappers” were weeded out and the industry was seeded with “gangsta” rappers.
One can clearly see how the careers of early conscious rappers suffered because of their courage to speak truth to power. However, the “gangster rappers” of the period became multi-millionaires and were rewarded with movie scripts and endorsement deals.
It is against this historical backdrop that two major post-LA Rebellion developments took place.
First the “no snitching” ethos was taken out of its historical context and was been replaced with a scapegoat for black on black violence and the demonization of entire black neighborhoods. Conveniently forgotten were the various government sponsored snitch operations that had plagued the black community for decades.h
More important is the overall anti-political direction of commercial Hip Hop, where, instead of “Cosby” crisis programming, the Hip Hop artists are now part of preemptive crisis programming, where the minds of the youth are distracted by such things as face tattoos This can help to explain, in part, why the incidents of police brutality in cities such as Cincinnati, New York, Oakland and Houston generated relatively little outcry.
Some may argue that times have changed and the season of “fighting the power” is a part of a bygone era.
However, with incidents of global outrage taking place from Egypt to Wisconsin, maybe not.
Perhaps Ice Cube was right when he once rapped ,” April 29th brought power to the people, and we just might see a sequel.”
Today February 17th 2011 is the birthday of Huey P Newton-co-founder of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense..Since its Black History month we figured it be good o give folks some insight on who Huey was and who the Panthers were.. Below are some clips that give some insight.. Here’s a bio on Huey…
The activities of the Black Pantherscame to the attention of J. Edgar Hooverand the FBI. Hoover described the Panthers as “the greatest threat to the internal security of the country” and in November 1968 ordered the FBI to employ “hard-hitting counter-intelligence measures to cripple the Black Panthers”.
The Black Panthers had chapters in several major cities and had a membership of over 2,000. Harassed by the police, members became involved in several shoot-outs. This included an exchange of fire between Panthers and the police at Oakland on 28th October, 1967. Newton was wounded and while in hospital was charged with killing a police officer. The following year he was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter.
After being released from prison Newton renounced political violence. Over a six year period 24 Black Panthers had been killed in gun fights with the police. Another member, George Jackson, was killed while in San Quentin prison in August, 1971.
Newton now concentrated on socialist community programs including free breakfasts for children, free medical clinics and helping the homeless. The Panthers also became involved in conventional politics and in 1973 Bobby Seale ran for mayor of Oakland and came second out of nine candidates with 43,710 votes (40 per cent of votes cast).
Newton published his book, Revolutionary Suicide in 1973. The following year he was arrested and charged with murder and assault with a deadly weapon. Released on bail, Newton fled to Cuba but in 1977 he returned to the United States and was freed after two hung juries.
Newton returned to his studies at the University of California and in 1980 he received a Ph.D. in social philosophy. His dissertation was entitled:War Against the Panthers: A Study in Repression in America. Huey Newton was shot dead on 22nd August, 1989, while walking along a street in Oakland.