A webzine by Jasmine Z.
Editor’s note: This piece was created during the 2022 session of History Lab, a summer intensive for high school students interested in local history and storytelling. Over the course of two weeks, participants explore creative ways to interpret and share history, conduct research, and produce a work of historical interpretation in a digital medium on a topic of their choosing.
Written and created by Gabriella and Sue
The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was founded in 1966 in Oakland, CA by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. In the spring of 1968 the Seattle chapter, the first outside of California, was co-founded by Aaron Dixon and his brother Elmer. Like other branches, the Seattle chapter opened health clinics, ran a free breakfast program for children, and protected citizens from police harassment. While active, the Black Panthers were targeted by the FBI (1). This included tactics such as killing party leaders, smear campaigns, and arresting members on trumped up charges. Though the Seattle chapter only lasted 10 years, it created lots of change. Here in Seattle we have one of the last medical clinics started by the Panthers. Across the nation, schools provide free and reduced price breakfast to students, a practice first initiated by the Panthers (2). Though the Panthers no longer operate in an official capacity, their legacy and goals live on.
Explore this interactive map of places and spaces in Seattle tied to the history of the Black Panther Party.