Black Panther Party co-founder to visit FAMU

Florida A&M’s Marcus Garvey Club will host the Black Panther Party co-founder in Lee Hall Auditorium on Thursday.

Bobby Seale co-founded the Black Panther Party with activist Huey Newton on Oct. 15,1966.

The party’s original purpose was to train the black community to protect black neighborhoods from police brutality through organization and unified discipline. The group evolved into a national political force advocating for the rights and equality of African-American people during the peak of the civil rights movement. The Black Panthers’ slogan was “freedom by any means necessary.”

Darius Young, Garvey Club faculty adviser, said the Marcus Garvey Club isn’t a protest group but an awareness group.

“The Garvey Club discusses topics pertinent to the African diaspora and wishes to educate the student body on the issues that affect the greater black community,” Young said. “I want students to be able to connect to the struggle that African-Americans went through and know that the fight against inequality didn’t happen long ago.”

Jelani Marks, a fourth-year political science student from Decatur, Ga., along with other Garvey Club students, compiled a list of people they wished to hear speak on campus. Seale was on that list. After reading up on his work and background, the students reached out to him.

Bianca Rucker, a criminal justice student from Marietta, Ga., and Garvey Club member, said students are interested in hearing Seale’s outlook on the “stand your ground” laws and how he feels about the distorted views of the Black Panther Party.

“We want to know his true thoughts on the death of Huey P. Newton, and why allies abandoned the Panthers during the height of their influence,” Rucker said.

Seale will speak on the ’60s protest movement and the true history of the Black Panther Party. Through sharing his story, Seale wishes to “give those now and in the future an awareness of our history, as an example of how one should never give up the struggle for true liberation and freedom.”

The free event is begins at 6:30 p.m.