Bobby Seale

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Bobby Seale in 2006.

Bobby Seale (born 1936) was a founding member of the Black Panther Party, along with Huey Newton.

With the Panthers[edit]

Seale rose to prominence as the author of Seize the Time: The Story of the Black Panther Party and Huey P. Newton, published in 1970. He was mostly famous as a defendant in the Chicago Eight conspiracy trial and the New Haven Black Panther murder trials. In the, Chicago Eight case, his trial was severed from that of the other seven defendants in 1969 and he was bench-sentenced to four years in prison for contempt of court. After the other seven were acquitted, the conspiracy charge against Seale lost meaning and was dropped. In 1970 he was on trial for ordering the murder of a suspected police informant, as Seale was fingered by the actual hit leader, who had turned State's evidence. The trial, which turned the city of New Haven into a madhouse of epic proportions, resulted in a jury failing to reach a verdict and charges subsequently being dropped. Seale was released from prison in 1972 after his contempt sentences were overturned. He was suspected of, but never charged with, the murder of another Panther who was suspected of impregnating his wife and about whom he had written an inflammatory article. Seale was the second-place finisher in the Oakland, CA Mayoral race of 1972, establishing the Black Panther Party as a force to be reckoned with in city politics. David Horowitz claimed that Huey Newton held Seale at gunpoint, then procedded to beat and severaly injure him in 1974, over an argument about a film being made about the Panthers, but Seale has denied this. [1] Either way, he left the party shortly after this point.

After the Panthers[edit]

Seale returned to public life in 1978, with the publication of A Lonely Rage. He has since then written a book on barbecuing and articles on other topics, taught at Temple University, and appeared in several documentaries. In the documentary film Berkeley in the 60s, he comes across as charismatic, warm, insightful, and humorous - remarkably undamaged by the traumas he experienced during his Panther years. His description of the interaction of the Black Panthers with white radical groupies is one of the highlights of the film.