Above: Hebert and myself
I arrived on campus today sporting a sports jacket and button up collar shirt, only to find myself in a Black Panther Party t-shirt; I assure you, I do not endorse nor favor anything this group represents. Better yet, I did not buy this shirt. My friend and faculty colleague, Stephen Hebert, awaits my arrival this morning offering me this gift. I could not say no of course. Most recently, Hebert and his wife had dinner with Janette and myself at Russo’s, the best pizza place in Houston. Afterwards, we went back to my house to watch Spike Lee’s Malcolm X. We did not put the movie on until 9:00 PM; I forgot that it is over 3 hours and 20 minutes long; we were up until 12:30 AM watching Denzel Washington play the part. Oh, we both had 8:30 AM classes to teach the next day. I think Hebert is just into the black power movement.
Here is a short history lesson:
By 1966, there was a major shift in civil rights activism. W.E.B. Du Bois, who was in self-exile, died in 1963. Malcolm X, a voice in the North, joined the Nation of Islam, whose adherents called themselves Black Muslims. By 1964, he had left the movement and began to cultivate a greater audience. Due to his divorce from the party, and his on recognition of his hate, he started advocating for greater peace among all people. In the end, his voice was too loud thus bringing about his execution by three Black Muslims. With the death of X, two black brothers named Huey Newton and Bobby Seale organized the Black Panther Party for Self-defense in 1966. They advocating violence, though they were “highly” active in the black community. There good deeds were feeding young school children and educating black folks on how to be productive members to their family. But in the end, this was not and is not a good organization. I have found that my students are highly interested in their story.