Movie: A Huey P. Newton Story
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Renaissance Theatre & Mansfield Symphony
138 Park Ave. West
Presented By: Renaissance Theatre & Mansfield Symphony
The youngest of seven, Huey P. Newton was born in a Monroe, Louisiana and moved with his family to Oakland, California as a child. In 1966, the 24-year-old Newton, with Bobby Seale, co-founded the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. Newton and Seale articulated a ten-point plan of liberation which placed the Panthers in the international spotlight and made them the target of a well-documented program of government harassment. In 1967, Newton was arrested for the murder of an Oakland police officer which inspired thousands world-wide to take up the chant, "Free Huey!" Acquitted in 1970, Huey emerged triumphantly, only to be confined in a penthouse apartment, his self-described "stucco cell."
Leading a creative, complex and controversial life, Newton was an enigmatic figure. A largely self-educated political theorist and poet, Newton published an autobiography, Revolutionary Suicide; To Die for the People, a collection of essays; On Common Ground, conversations at Yale University; and Insights and Other Poems. In 1974, Newton went to Cuba, fleeing murder and assault charges in Oakland. He returned to Oakland in 1977 to stand trial, once again avoiding conviction. In 1980, he earned a Ph.D. at the University of California at Santa Cruz. His dissertation was published as War Against the Panthers: A Study of Repression in America. Newton spent the last years of his life fighting protracted legal battles and self-acknowledged vices. In 1989, he was murdered in Oakland by a 24-year-old drug dealer, his life tragically extinguished on the same streets where he had labored to deliver "All Power to the People."
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