I was raised in the bay area. I saw Huey Newton on two occasions . I was dining with a friend at “Carlos Murphy” restaurant when Newton strolled in with a woman. He was dressed in a tailored gray suit and I was surprised at how short he was.

The second time I saw him, I was walking to my car on Shattuck Ave., near UC Berkeley, a familiar looking man came stumbling towards me, I could smell the liquor on his breath and his eyes were bloodshot.  After he walked by, I realized, that was Huey Newton.

Huey Newton



Huey Newton was born February 17, 1942 in Monroe Louisiana.  In 1945, the Newton family moved to Oakland to take advantage of job opportunities.

According to Newton, he did not learn to read until he finished high school.  Newton claimed he studied law to become a better burglar.  Early on, he supported himself by burglarizing homes.

At 22, he was arrested and sentenced to six months in jail.  Newton read the works of Malcolm X, Chairman Mao Tse-tung and Che Guevara while incarcerated.

A cop commented, after having a discussion with Newton behind bars, he came to the conclusion; he was one of the most articulate men he had ever conversed with.

When Newton was released, he and friend Bobby Seale decided to form the “Black Panther” party in 1966, their logic; the police must be stopped from harassing Oakland’s African Americans.

The Panthers began patrolling the police and observing police procedure.  Many members were told to bear arms since Newton was familiar with the California penal code and the law regarding weapons.

Member attire consisted of a black leather jacket and pants and a black beret.  At their peak, the Panthers had hundreds of members throughout the bay area and other branches were opening in other cities.

The party also organized free pancake breakfast’s, sickle cell anemia fund-raisers, free food and shoes.

Some informants have claimed, funding for several of the programs were allegedly raised as a result of drug dealers and prostitution rings.

In 1968, Newton unsuccessfully ran for Congress as a candidate of the Peace and Freedom Party.

During the 1970’s, Newton occupied a $1,500 dollar a week penthouse near Lake Merritt and drove exotic sports cars.  An unheard feat for an Black man in the 70’s.

In 1971, Newton visited China for ten days, where he met with Premier Chou En-lai and Chiang Ch’ing.   While there, he was offered political asylum.  He declined the offer.

It soon became evident that Huey Newton had power behind him.

Example #1: In 1967, Newton was accused of murdering a white police officer and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.  In 1970, the conviction was overturned.  Keep in mind, the racial climate was much different than it is now, how many black men had their convictions overturned for allegedly murdering a white cop in the turbulent 60's?

Example #2: In 1974, several assault charges were filed against Newton and he was accused of murdering a 17-year old prostitute by strangling her to death.  Newton jumped bail and escaped to Cuba.  When he returned to face murder charges, again, he was let go. He was acquitted of the murder after two juries were deadlocked.

Also, Newton exchanged harsh words with an very prominent white educator, surprisingly, since the educator didn’t get along with Newton, he was released from his teaching post at a local university.

When the “Black Panther Party” first started, many people complimented them on their fundraiser's to aid the black community but rumors began circulating, was Huey Newton ripping off his people in the name of racism to live high off the hog? Was Huey Newton corrupt?

Even more damaging, unconfirmed rumors began to circulate that FBI director J. Edgar Hoover kept Newton in line, because he allegedly had a sex tape in his possession featuring Newton with a blonde actress. 

The government was instrumental in destroying the “Black Panther Party” but Newton continued to reside in the bay area.

A friend attended a party hosted by Huey Newton’s girlfriend, Newton was in attendance, she said; his behavior was so bizarre and strange, she became uncomfortable and left.

In 1978, Newton studied for a Ph.D. in the history of social consciousness at the University of California.

A male hairdresser claiming to be the son of Huey Newton, committed suicide after a scandal erupted regarding his personal life.

In 1989, Newton was convicted of embezzling funds from a school run by the Black Panthers; allegedly to support his drug and alcohol addictions.

On August 22, 1989, Huey Newton was killed by a drug dealer; some officers said it was a gang initiation and the shooter picked Newton at random, not knowing who he was.

Sources: “Huey P. Newton’s Revolutionary Suicide” and “To Die For The People: The Writings Of Huey P. Newton.”



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