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Panthers' History Discussed

Co-Founder Seale, Other Panelists Speak Before Crowd of 100

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

A group of panelists, including the co-founder of the Black Panther Party, discussed the history of the party and the future of social activism last night before a crowd of 100 at the Carpenter Center.

The panel was part of a three-day film series on the Black Panther Party, which opened last night with a screening of a documentary about the 1971 murder of a party member by the Chicago police.

"The Murder of Fred Hampton," produced by panel member Mike Gray, depicted the life of the deputy chair of the party from the time of the "Free Huey" campaign in 1968 until his death in 1971.

The film ends with shots of Hampton's bloody mattress and other physical evidence that Black Panther attorneys used to accuse the Chicago Police of first-degree murder.

"I wish none of it were true, but it happens to be," Gray said after the screening.

Panelist Kathleen Kendlehurst, a former Black Panther, called the film a "microcosm" of the history of oppressed groups.

"What happened to Fred is what happened to many other people," Kendlehurst said.

Bobby Seale, co-founder of the Black Panther Party, gave an unconventional presentation which was warmly received by a crowd ranging from elementary school children to senior citizens.

Seale said he plans to make a $25 million movie about the history of the Black Panthers to counter what he called the myths that were presented in the recent mainstream movie "Panther."

"[I was] not the street thug that the unofficial documentary depicted," Seale said.

"At the time we founded the party, I was in college as an engineer and design major," he added.

Seale also clarified his positions on black power and black nationalism.

"Sure, I believe in black unity, but only as a catalyst to help humanize the world," Seale said.

During a question-and-answer session, Seale rejected the label "black radical" and declared, "I'm an African-American revolutionary humanist."

In response to a question about the future of the civil rights movement, Seale said, "It is about grass-roots programs. But know the history, know oppressed people's history, and connect it to the future."

Student reaction to the presentation was generally enthusiastic.

"I felt privileged to have the opportunity to listen to the people doing the organizing talk about what really happened," said Grace K. Katabaruki '99, an Afro-American studies and English concentrator.

Anna M. Schneider-Mayerson '00 said the panel "was definitely very emotionally charged."

Eva Ruiz, a volunteer in the Youth Build Boston program, declared, "It was just so phat.

Student reaction to the presentation was generally enthusiastic.

"I felt privileged to have the opportunity to listen to the people doing the organizing talk about what really happened," said Grace K. Katabaruki '99, an Afro-American studies and English concentrator.

Anna M. Schneider-Mayerson '00 said the panel "was definitely very emotionally charged."

Eva Ruiz, a volunteer in the Youth Build Boston program, declared, "It was just so phat.

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