Black Panther Founder Coming to Seattle


AP Photo

Bobby Seale, who along with Huey Newton started the Black Panther Party in Oakland in 1966, will be here later this month in honor of the 40th anniversary of Seattle's chapter of the organization. Elmer Dixon, who along with brother Aaron Dixon, helped found the Seattle Black Panthers, says the local chapter was the first to be started outside of California. Aaron, who ran for Maria Cantwell's Senate seat in 2006 as a Green Party candidate, will also be on hand to participate in the main event: a rally at the Yesler Terrace Community Center where Seale will give the keynote speech.

Anniversary events are as follows:

Friday April 25, 6-9 p.m. at Seattle University's Casey Building. Seale will be there, as will the revolutionary art of Emory Douglas, who served as the Panthers' minister of culture. Open to the public. Suggested donation of $10.

Scheduling is also being finalized for events April 25 at Seattle Central Community College and Franklin High School during which Seale is expected to speak.

Saturday April 26, workshops 1-4 p.m., rally 6-9 p.m. at Yesler Terrace Community Center. Rally will feature Seale as well as Elmer and Aaron Dixon.

Says Elmer: "We really want the community to come out. We want to acknowledge people who worked with us and some of the former party members. We had a lot of doctors and dentists, a lot of people who gave their time."

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