bp tour 2022/04/16
At this location in June 1967, the Anti-Poverty Center began working with a group of local activists who would soon be known as the Black Panther Party. Together, these young men organized in response to the danger posed by speeding traffic at this formerly-unmarked intersection. The Black Panthers and the Anti-Poverty Center asked the city to install a stoplight after several children at the nearby Santa Fe Elementary School were killed and others had been injured by motorists. However, the Oakland City Council denied the request. Rather than allowing another death at this intersection until the city would agree to install a light, members of the Black Panthers directed traffic at this intersection. The young men also escorted children across the busy intersection, and no further automobile-related deaths or injuries occurred. However, the Oakland Police began harassing and arresting the young men for directing traffic without authority. These confrontations between the Panthers and the Oakland Police led the Panthers to demand changes in the way the almost all-white police force operated.
During the 1960s, Bobby Seale lived with his parents and siblings at the home on 57th Street. Seale was the co-founder, along with Huey Newton, of the Black Panthers, and the organization often met at the residence.
Though it now occupies another location, Merritt College was originally located on Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, near the home of Black Panther co-founder, Bobby Seale. The college was a hotbed of political activity and was where Seale met Huey Newton. The pair founded the Black Panthers in 1966. The college also had the nation's first Black Studies Department, created in 1964.
In North Oakland, the It's All Good Bakery might appear to be an ordinary bake shop. But the building has a history not readily apparent from the outside. In the 1960s, the building was the original headquarters of the Black Panther Party.
In August of 1989, the life of controversial Black Panther co-founder came to a violent end in an Oakland neighborhood, just two blocks from the original Panther headquarters.
Between 1969 and 1971, New Haven was the site of one of the most significant political trials of the century: the New Haven Black Panther trials. Beginning in 1966, the Black Panther Party formed and, in the following years, expanded to every major city in the U.S. Because of the Party’s calls for violent action against racist institutions, J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI called the Black Panther Party as “the greatest threat to the internal security of the country.” In New Haven in 1969, local Panther Party members suspected another member, Alex Rackley, of being an informant for the FBI. Rackley was held hostage at the Party headquarters on Orchard Street and subsequently tortured and murdered. The following trial, beginning in 1970, garnered national media attention. Three of the killers were arrested and eventually confessed while the FBI took the opportunity to move against the group’s leadership. By May Day in 1970, tens of thousands of Black Panthers gathered in New Haven and on Yale grounds to protest the trials. Hostilities and violence undercoated the mood of the city, and everyone—from J. Edgar Hoover to New Haveners—made plans to leave town, thinking the city would explode. In the aftermath of the trial, both the Black Panthers and the FBI suffered substantial damage to their reputations.