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Monday, October 19, 2009

Black Panther Party 43rd Anniversary History Month Event - October 24th, 2009

This October will mark the 43rd anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party. To celebrate this milestone, the It's About Time Committee is presenting a Book Fair and Teach-In as just one of many scheduled October events (see attached/enclosed).

On this date, we will also be celebrating the birthday of Bobby Seale, co-founder and Chairman of the Black Panther Party. This particular event will be held at the Laney College Student Center on Saturday, October 24th, 2009 from 11pm until 4pm.

There will be a presentation by Elbert "Big Man" Howard, an original founding member and international spokesperson for the BPP, who will introduce his idea for an historical site which would serve the Oakland community and attract visitors and revenue to Oakland.

Historically, the Black Panther Party contributed to the Oakland community by starting the first Free Breakfast for School Children program and free Medical Clinics which served the people and led to testing and research for sickle cell disease. These programs in Oakland evolved into nationwide programs, and set models for ones which exist today.

Our school, the Oakland Community School, served as a model for the charter schools of today.

It is a known historical fact that before the Black Panther Party, candidates of color did not get elected here in the city of Oakland. This practice was changed forever after the Black Panther Party led a voters' registration drive that engendered votes and support for Black candidates. The election of candidates for public office of Black, Asian, Native American, and Hispanic ethnicities, past and present, such as Lionel Wilson, Ron Dellums, Barbara Lee, Willie Brown, and many others, owe their successes, in part, to what the Black Panther Party initiated so many years ago.

The Black Panther Party led the way and laid the groundwork nationwide that made it possible for the disenfranchised and the oppressed to vote and elect candidates who would reflect the needs of the community and thus, better serve them.

Every October, in Oakland and many other cities, there are educational events held to commemorate the unique and important contributions that the Black Panther Party made to our collective history.

Please join us in celebrating Oakland's rich and life-changing history on October 24th, 2009. We look forward to seeing you there. For more information and updates, please visit our websites: