Bobby Seale, Black Panthers Co-Founder, Visits HVCC on Thursday, Feb. 9

January 27, 2023

Bobby Seale

Evening program is part of events to commemorate Black History Month

Bobby Seale, best known as co-founder of the Black Panthers who rejected nonviolence during the civil rights movement in the late 1960s, will appear on Thursday, Feb. 9 at Hudson Valley Community College. The 6 p.m. program in the Bulmer Telecommunications Center Auditorium on the Troy campus is open free to the public.

During an on-stage interview, Bobby Seale and Ainsley Thomas, the college’s chief diversity officer, will discuss the evolution of resistance to racism in America since the founding of the Black Panthers through today. Time will be allotted for questions from the audience.

Seale also gained notoriety as one of the Chicago Seven, protestors arrested during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago and tried for conspiracy to incite a riot. Seale received a four-year jail sentence. Earlier that year, he’d written “Seize the Time: The Story of the Black Panther Party and Huey P. Newton” that was published in 1970.

Newton and Seale met at a protest rally in 1962 and quickly became friends. Both were part of the generation of young African-Americans who broke away from the mostly nonviolent Civil Rights Movement to preach a doctrine of militant Black empowerment. They formed the Black Panthers in 1966, later renamed the Black Panther Party.

Following prison, Seale renounced violence. As the Black Panther Party faded from public view, he focused on improving Black neighborhoods and advancing other social causes. After a failed 1973 campaign for mayor of Oakland, CA (he placed second in a nine-candidate race), Seale returned to writing, and published “A Lonely Rage” in 1978. Now 86, he continues to work with young activists to spur social change.

Seale’s appearance at HVCC is the third annual event in the Martin Luther King Jr. Speaker Series for Black History Month. It is co-presented by Student Activities, the Student Senate and Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion with support from the Cultural Affairs Program.

Additional Black History Month Programs – open free to the public

  • Injustice in Healthcare: The Power of One, The Power of Many
    Dr. Brenda Robinson, CEO and founder of the Albany-based Black Nurses Coalition, Inc., presents the annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture as part of Voices: A Library Lecture Series – 11 to 11:50 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7 – BTC Auditorium
  • Film Series
    Thursdays, 2 to 4 p.m. – Siek Campus Center, room 202
    • Feb. 2 – “Selma”
    • Feb. 9 – “Do the Right Thing”
    • Feb. 16 – “The Help”
    • Feb. 23 – “Black Panther”

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