Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily Darrow
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.-Bobby Seale, a founder of the Black Panther Party, and David Hilliard, the party's chief of staff, will speak at Bard College during a lecture/discussion and booksigning on Wednesday, February 17, at 8:30 p.m. in Kline Commons. February 17 is the birthday of the late Panther founder Huey P. Newton, and this the first time that Seale and Hilliard will have lectured together. The program is free and open to the public.

Both Seale and Hilliard were pivotal in the rise of the Black Panther Party in the late '60s and early '70s and were active from the party's inception in Oakland, California. They will review the formation and history of the Black Panther Party, addressing the myths that grew up around it and the relevance of the party's activities to the past and the present.

Today Hilliard and Seale work within a more traditional political framework; Hilliard, after managing Jerry Brown's successful bid for mayor of Oakland in 1997, has recently announced his own candidacy for a seat on the Oakland City Council in a campaign managed by Seale.

Bobby Seale cofounded the Black Panther Party with Huey P. Newton in 1966 and served as its chairman throughout his time with the party. In 1968 Seale was part of the part of the "Chicago Seven" conspiracy trial. During this infamous trial Seale was chained and gagged in the courtroom when he demanded that his lawyer be present before the trial began. While in prison he wrote Seize the Time, a memoir of his and Newton's lives and the story and ideology of the Black Panther Party. Seize the Time was the first book published telling the story of the Panthers and remains the most revealing document about the party's early years in Oakland. Defining himself as a "revolutionary humanist," Seale, is now the director of REACH and community liaison with Temple University's Department of African American Studies.

As chief of staff of the Black Panther Party from 1968 to 1974, David Hilliard played an active role in every major event of the party during that period. He was primarily responsible for organizing and overseeing the activities of the forty-two party chapters that came into being during Huey Newton's imprisonment, from 1967 to 1970. He also represented the party in international affairs, traveling to Algeria, Canada, Mexico, and other nations, establishing various global coalitions for the Party. He founded the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation, for which he serves full time as executive director and treasurer.

This event is sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Bard College Black Student Organization. For further information, call the Office of Multicultural Affairs at 914-758-7454.

back to top

This event was last updated on 03-02-2001