The Everyday Heroism of Bobby Seale

Black Panther Party co-founders, Chairman Bobby Seale (left) and Minister of Defense Huey Newton (right) standing in front of the first office for the Black Panther Party, The Oakland Poverty Center in Oakland, California, 1966.

As a child, I was always fascinated with fiction – I loved stories about ordinary people faced with challenges that forced them to rise to the occasion and become superhuman to achieve the impossible. As I grew older my fascination with heroes did not waver, but I was able to find inspiration outside of comic books and in real life  heroes like Bobby Seale.

Robert George “Bobby” Seale was born in Dallas, Texas on October 22, 1936 to George and Thelma Seale. At the age of 25, Bobby Seale attended Merritt College where he meet Huey P. Newton during a rally protesting the Cuban Blockade. In 1966, he and Huey Newton formed the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense in response to police brutality and economic instability in the Black community. Today in 1966 they drafted the first version of the Ten-Point program which established the primary goals of the Party.

People like Bobby Seale spoke out for the voiceless and struck fear into the heart of the oppressors. He did not just want peace for himself. Influenced by Malcolm X, he believed in Black liberation by any means necessary.

The courage and dedication that I once thought only possible within the pages of a comic book were – and are – realized everyday by activists like Bobby Seale.

by Benjamin Ramos

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