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Bobby Seale

black activist
Born: 10/22/1936
Birthplace: Dallas, Tex.

Seale, with Huey Newton, founded the Black Panther Party for Self Defense. After serving in the Air Force, Seale attended Oakland's Merritt College and was moved to radicalism after hearing Malcolm X speak. Seale and Newton formed the Black Panthers as an alternative to the nonviolent civil rights movement. The Panthers called on all blacks to arm themselves for the liberation struggle. The militant party engaged in several high-profile, violent confrontations with police. Seale was one of the “Chicago Eight” charged and convicted of conspiracy to violently disrupt the Democratic National Convention of 1968 (conviction later overturned) and was a codefendant in a Connecticut case charging murder of Alex Rackley, an alleged informer on the party. He was acquitted in 1971. That same year he abandoned militancy and endorsed a nonviolent strategy that focused on providing community services to African Americans.


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