On October 15, 1966; 52 years ago today, two young students, Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale of Merritt College in Oakland California founded the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense in response to continuous police harassment and brutality within Black Communities. The young movement of Black Panthers channeled the frustration and conflict between the Black communities and police into a political stance by reclaiming the right to bear arms, overseeing police activity in order to protect the community, and instituting a variety of community social programs such as free breakfast for children. .
Today we continue to see the same issues that caused the Black Panther Party to be established and it is important that we do our part in standing up to defend our communities against being systematically taken advantage of. The Black Organizing Project continues the legacy of organizing the Black Community to develop leaders that can bring about positive change in our communities.
#Inktober18 DAY 11 || #Cruel 😠
@cleonpeterson has a really cool way of making art about really dark stuff. The first time I saw his art was when he had created a mural for the @berrics a while back, but Peterson has very deep roots in skateboarding. I loved how the mural looked like the ancient art found on pots in Greece. His use of shape and negative space, the gestures and form of his subjects, the simplicity; all of it just flows and balances. You're looking at a still image but there's movement, energy, and conflict.
The piece that I emulated is called CIVIL RIGHTS and depicts police brutality. I don't want to get too political. All I'm gonna say is that things still need to get fixed and hate will never win.
📽 "In Killing We Live" by HUF x Cleon Peterson
Before I say a word of my own about my Morehouse brother, Chinedu Okobi, I want you to first read the beautiful and painful words his sister, Ebele, Head of Policy for Facebook Africa. Here they are: “He was born the day before Valentine’s day, so close to the brother before him that people used to think they were twins. He had irresistibly chubby cheeks when he was a baby, which was unfortunate because he clearly found the resulting cheek pinching entirely beneath his dignity.
He was the last of we five, and my memories of him as a child all involve constant motion and extreme truth telling-from him barreling everywhere on extremely bowed legs, to that time, at three years old, when he solemnly informed our Sunday school teacher that he should chew some gum because he had bad breath (he was not wrong, and feedback is a gift). When he graduated from Morehouse College, we were all so proud-he was smart, funny, hard-working, and incredibly kind, with an earnest streak that I found hilarious. He called me Little Big Sis, because he was 6 foot 3 and I am 5 foot 4 but still (always!) the bossy older sister.
He met a great girl, and they had a beautiful daughter, and I remember saying that I couldn’t believe that the kid whose diapers I had changed was now changing diapers of his own.
Last Wednesday, he was killed by police, in Millbrae, California. He was unarmed. He had committed no crime. So today, I helped my mother decide how to bury her son.
His name is now one of too many names.
Chinedu Valentine Okobi. He was a person. He was my little brother, he was a father, he was loved. Now he is gone, and our hearts are broken.” Black Lives Matter
I am dedicating the next 24 hours to telling one essential story that I need to make sure you know, learn, understand, and share. Are you with me? The rest of my Instagram posts for the next 24 hours will tell a story. It will be best if you read them together.
This is Ebele Okobi. She’s brilliant. Everybody who knows her, thinks so. Often called “the Secretary of State” at Facebook, she is the Head of Public Policy for Africa at the company. She previously served as the Global Head and Senior Legal Director for Human Rights at Yahoo. She’s a Delta. She got her undergraduate degree in Psychology at USC and her law degree at Columbia. She was a pioneering leader at Nike. In other words, she’s badass.
On Saturday, I spoke to her for the very first time and it was one of the most painful phone calls I’ve had in my entire life. Her wonderful little brother, Chinedu Valentine Okobi, a 36 year father, was just murdered by police in the Bay Area of California. Of course, he was unarmed. He was a sweet, gregarious soul.
Chinedu was my Morehouse brother. I was his Student Government President. He was friends with many men I know well.
When I got on the phone with his sister, Ebele, on Saturday, she said something to me that my own wife has said to me many, many times. She said, “Shaun - four years ago, after my husband and I had our first child, I moved out of the United States and moved my family to London, knowing that the United States had no real vested interest in protecting us.” Ebele has right. The United States has no sincere interest in protecting and valuing the lives of Black people. And now, in the worst way imaginable, what she knew to be true has visited her own family.
Today I am going to tell the story of Chinedu Valentine Okobi - murdered in cold blood by the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office.
Say his name. Chinedu Okobi. He should be alive right now. Black Lives Matter.
The Black Panther Party was founded on this day in 1966.
The Panthers were created to combat the multiple injustices faced by the African American community, first in Oakland, and then across the breadth of the United States. What stands out and continues to inspire the struggle for racial and class justice today is their various social programs and their militancy.
Apart from having a very clear ideological position in regards to white supremacy, capitalism, and imperialism, they also had very definite projects to match their ideas to actions. These included healthcare clinics and breakfast programs for poor Black people, political education study groups, and gun clubs and self-defense classes.
Today, the legacy of the Black Panthers continues to influence culture and politics, especially in the Black communities across the country and the world.
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