Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Ten Point Program:

After the program rewrite with Melvin Newton's assistance, Huey's brother and UC graduate student, and Seale's ready to be printed stencil layout completion on October 22, 1966 by Bobby Seale, of their Ten Point Program document entitled "What We Want? What we believe" they agreed upon the name, The Black Panther Party For Self Defense. In effect the final founding date was October 22, 1966 when Seale and Newton with the flip of a coin, named themselves Chairman and Minister Of Defense, respectively.

While Huey Newton voiced the need for effective dedicated small group organizing, Bobby Seale's stated objective was nation wide organizing so as to unite all the Black Community voters into a political movement to ultimately run for political offices to man and or take over the majority of localized political city council seats in urban cities and rural counties where African Americans represented large populations. The ballot or the bullet with a preference for the ballot was key to Seale's idea of gaining "constitutional democratic civil-human rights!" The most immediate activity designed by Newton was to use "legal" guns to patrol police. Along with the objective of organizing armed patrols and observation of the police. Using the first and second amendment rights, complete with law books, legal aid, and copies of the Ten Point Program, and in Huey P. Newton's words, "So we can capture the imagination of the people." In Seale's words, "Then organize the people into a political machine!" With the armed patrols of police Seale and Newton were reacting to not only to the numerous acts of rampant police brutality in the black community as their main issue to organize around, but they were also reacting to several years of media reporting of [and their personel observation of Anti-Vietnam war Berkeley protesters], peaceful demonstrators being beaten, brutalized and murdered across the USA. Which was an on going legal argument in debates in the community and around UC Berkeley and Merritt College. Debates lead by Huey Newton that the police and government were violating the first amendment of the US constitution when they brutalized peaceful demonstrators. [By fall of 1966 with the founding of the BPP Newton had completed two years in San Francisco law school]

With their Ten Point Program first draft Seale and Newton secured two guns: An Army .45 for Seale and an M-1 Carbine for Newton from their UC Berkeley academic friend, Richard Aoki, a UC Berkeley student and political revolutionary friend to Seale and Newton. Who gave them the guns to begin their patrols of the police in the San Francisco Oakland Bay Area. The third gun came from "Big Man" Elbert Howard, a Merritt College Student who was the second person to join the BPP after Little Bobby Hutton. Bobby Hutton was Bobby Seale's Youth Assistant employed at the NONSC. Within two weeks the first six members of the party were: Bobby Seale, Huey P. Newton, "Little" Bobby Hutton, "Big Man" Elbert Howard, and two brothers, Reggie and Sherwin Forte. Within two months additional members were; Richard Aoki, Orlando Harrison, Warren Tucker, Big Willie, John Salon, and six other young black males who had worked in Bobby Seale's 1966 Summer Youth Jobs Program at the NONSC, and two females named Kathy and Matalaba who were members for only three months. Extended female membership was stated to Bobby Seale's wife Artie Seale and Huey P. Newton's girl friend, Lavern Williams who came very few to meetings but differed with Seale and Newton about their safety.