Democratic National Convention (1968)

Decades before Black Lives Matter, there were the Black Panthers in Oakland

Decades before Black Lives Matter, there were the Black Panthers in Oakland

The corner of Market and 55th streets in Oakland is unremarkable in many ways. Rush hour traffic whizzes by modest homes that have become mostly unaffordable for the working class African Americans who once defined the place.

But this intersection holds a unique place in California history.  It is the site of the first important social action by the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, the revolutionary black power movement founded 50 years ago by Merritt College students Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale in response to rampant police brutality.

In 1967, after several children from Santa Fe Elementary School were...

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