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Buttons 2

Buttons 2 Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


These Black Panther buttons are from the late 1960s and very early 1970s. Individuals identified on these particular buttons include Bobby Seale and Huey Newton. The Black Panther Party (for Self Defense) was founded in Oakland, California in 1966. It was seen as an alternative to the non-violent civil rights movement. The Black Panthers believed that blacks should arm themselves in a liberation struggle and would early on experience several violent confrontations with the police. They would also embrace a non-violent community service agenda that concentrated on providing services such as food (free breakfast programs for children), education, and health care to black neighborhoods and communities.

Huey Newton (1942-1989) and Bobby Seale (1936- ) were the founders of the Black Panthers, but eventually left the organization. Seale was also one of the original "Chicago Eight" that were charged with conspiracy and convicted with trying to violently disrupt the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. His conviction would eventually be overturned.

By the late 1970s philosophical splits began to grow within the Panthers as to whether they should focus on the social service aspects, or maintain their confrontational strategy. The original Black Panthers would eventually lose much of its power and its influence declined.

Bobby Seale would eventually renounce violence and vowed to work within the political system. In 1973 he came in second in a race for Mayor of Oakland, California. Huey Newton would be shot and killed in 1989 in what some believe was a drug related incident.


Buttons from the collection of Albert and Angela Feldstein

Text from over forty years of notes, newspaper and magazine clippings, flyers, and other sources associated with the collecting of buttons and used in the research of the 2003 political history poster entitled, "Buttons of the Cause, 1960-2003: The Events, The People, The Organizations, The Issues".

Collection Location:
Allegany County, Maryland

African Americans, History; Allegany County (Md.), History.

Allegany County (Md.), 1890-2008

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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