These buttons are also from the late 1960s and very early 1970s. Individuals included on these buttons include Eldridge Cleaver, Malcolm X, Angela Davis, Bobby Seale, and Huey Newton.
Malcolm X (1925-1965) was born Malcolm Little. He became a Muslim minister in 1952 upon his release from prison and took the name Malcolm X. Malcolm X was a Black Nationalist leader who originally believed in separatism. He founded the Organization of Afro-American Unity and in his final years came to believe there could be a brotherhood between black and white. Controversy still surrounds his assassination on February 21, 1965.
Eldridge Cleaver (1935-1998) was a black activist who joined the Black Panther Party soon after they were formed. He wrote a famous book in 1968 entitled, "Soul on Ice". It was also in 1968 that he ran for President of the United States on the Peace and Freedom Party (founded 1967) ticket. Following a police shoot-out he "exiled" himself to Cuba, Algeria, and Paris. Cleaver eventually broke with the Panthers and returned to America in 1975. He later became a born-again Christian.
In 1970 Angela Davis (1944- ), a black activist, had to go into hiding after a gun that was registered in her name was used in a courtroom escape which resulting in the killing of a judge and three others. Davis was tried in 1972 on conspiracy and murder and after several months in jail was acquitted by an all-white jury. She later ran as the Communist Party USA's (CPUSA) vice-presidential candidate in 1980, and again in 1984. Angela Davis remains a political activist and is very involved in prison reform. At the present time she is also college professor in Feminist Studies at the University of California.
In 1968 Huey Newton was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the 1967 killing of an Oakland, California police officer. "Free Huey" became a national calling for his release. After several mistrials he was cleared in 1971, and soon announced a non-violent Black Panther policy focusing upon the provision of services to black communities.
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".
Allegany County, Maryland
African Americans, History; Allegany County (Md.), History.
Allegany County (Md.), 1890-2008