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Seale Recalls a Different Side of the Black Panthers 1 - 2 - 3

Bobby Seale has never had much use for the status quo. But at a United Law Students of Color-sponsored lecture last February, the Black Panther Party’s founder and former chairman wasn’t questioning authority so much as questioning history. Taking issue with the mainstream perception of the Panthers, he emphasized the controversial group’s less-publicized social programs.

The media usually portrays the Black Panthers as violent revolutionaries, but Seale said the other side — the group’s penchant for helping the poor — rarely gets told. “We were feeding 250,000 kids free breakfast at 49 chapters and branches throughout the U.S.” recounted Seale. “After that, the California state legislature gave five million dollars to schools for free breakfast programs, and 28 state legislatures followed suit in the next year and a half, all because of that free breakfast children’s program that we had no government funding for.”

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