Best Known For
Huey P. Newton was an African-American activist best known for founding the militant Black Panther Party in 1966, along with co-founder Bobby Seale.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
Huey P. Newton was born in Monroe, Louisiana, on February 17, 1942, and named for former governor Huey P. Long. In 1966, Newton and Bobby Seale founded the left-wing Black Panther Party for Self Defense. The organization was central to the Black Power movement, making headlines with its inflammatory rhetoric and militaristic style. Newton was killed by a member of another militant group in 1989.
Social activist Huey Percy Newton was born on February 17, 1942, in Monroe, Louisiana. Newton helped establish the controversial African American political organization, The Black Panther Party and became a leading figure in the black power movement of the 1960s. As a teenager growing up in Oakland, California, he got in trouble with the law - as he did numerous times throughout his life.
Despite his legal run-ins, Newton began to take his education seriously. Although he graduated high school in 1959, Newton barely knew how to read. He became his own teacher, learning to read by himself. In the mid-1960s Newton decided to pursue his education at Merritt College where he met Bobby Seale. The two were briefly involved with political groups at the school before they set out to create one of their own. Founded in 1966, they called their group The Black Panther Party for Self Defense. Unlike many of the other social and political organizers of the time, they took a militant stance, advocating the ownership of guns by African Americans, and were often seen brandishing weapons. A famous photograph shows Newton - the group’s minister of defense - holding a gun in one hand and a spear in the other.
The group believed that violence - or the threat of violence - might be needed to bring about social change. They set forth their political goals in a document called the Ten-Point Program, which included better housing, jobs, and education for African Americans. It also called for an end to economic exploitation of black communities. Still the organization itself was not afraid to punctuate its message with a show of force. For example, to protest a gun bill in 1967, Newton and other members of the Panthers entered the California Legislature fully armed. The action was a shocking one that made news across the country. And Newton emerged as a leading figure in the black militant movement.
The Black Panthers wanted to improve life in black communities and established social programs to help those in need. They also fought against police brutality in black neighborhoods by mostly white cops. Members of the group would go to arrests in progress and watch for abuse. Newton himself was arrested in 1967 for allegedly killing an Oakland police officer during a traffic stop. He was later convicted of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to 2 to 15 years in prison. But public pressure - "Free Huey" became a popular slogan of the day - helped Newton’s cause. The case was eventually dismissed after two retrials ended with hung juries.
During its existence, members of the group clashed with police several times.
profile name: Huey P. Newton profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
Famous Aquarians 547 people in this group
African-Americans have a long history of activism in America, from fighting for the right to vote to pushing for integrated public spaces. Activists like Stokely Carmichael organized freedom rides, James Meredith fought to integrate blacks and whites at the University of Mississippi, and Rosa Parks instigated the Montgomery Bus Boycott. These protests were often legal and nonviolent, and made a powerful impact on civil rights in the United States. With the help of activists like these—and many others—the country slowly worked to acknowledge the basic rights and contributions of African-Americans. Activists outisde of the U.S. include Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela, who have fought against apartheid in South Africa. Learn more about the many black activists who fought against the odds in order to achieve equality.
Famous Black Activists 133 people in this group
"Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love." Stated by legendary civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., these words represent a basic human philosophy to which black history's greatest leaders have passionately subscribed. Learn more about the world's most revered civil rights activists, known for their fight against social injustices and lasting impact on the lives of black citizens, including Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Nelson Mandela, Nina Simone, Mary McLeod Bethune, Lena Horne, Marva Collins, Rosa Parks, W.E.B. Du Bois, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.
Famous Civil Rights Activists 156 people in this group