The Uhuru House in Oakland held a Free Huey Rally in 87′ (from left to right: Chairman Omali, Former Black Panther Party member Melvin Dixon, Newton’s lawyer Charles Gary, Newton’s wife Fredericka, and Bobby Hutton’s mother Dollie Mae Hutton)
[The following is an excerpt from the unedited first draft of the Political Report to the Party’s October 6-13 Seventh Congress. Titled, “The African People’s Socialist Party – Vanguard! Advanced Detachment of the African Revolution,” the Party’s Seventh Congress will occur in St. Louis, Missouri at the Uhuru House that is central to our new economic development program, “Black Power Blueprint.”
[Although I expect an earlier finish date, the Political Report must be presented to the entire Party membership by June 6, 2018. We will be presenting the entire Political Report in the pages of The Spear upon its completion.]
It was during one of my frequent prison stints that it became clear to me that the era of “protest politics” was over; that our people had to really fight for power and that meant we had to have a political party, the most effective vehicle for capturing and wielding political power.
It became clear that Black Power had to be translated as our own black “State Power.”
By 1972 when our Party was formed, the Black Revolution of the ‘60s was on its last leg as a generalized expression of organized mass struggle.
The Black Panther Party, which had borne the brunt of the domestic assault by the U.S. colonial State, had lost most semblances of a revolutionary organization.
Many of the Party’s leaders were jailed, exiled and killed and others, after years of assault and eventual political isolation, were driven to paranoid political immobilization and little semblance of its former self.
The African People’s Socialist Party, however, did take up the gauntlet.
Three years before his death, Huey P. Newton, the founder of the Black Panther Party who once achieved international stature as a prominent revolutionary leader, at one of his last public political speeches would state at our Uhuru House in Oakland, California in 1986:
“You might not have the Black Panther Party, but you have the Uhuru House. You might not have the Black Panther newspaper, but you have The Burning Spear. So they haven’t done anything by crushing one organization.”
Indeed, the existence of the Uhuru House in Oakland, California, which at the time was the international headquarters of our Party, was part of our work to resuscitate the African Revolution.
Newton was able to have a venue and an audience for his statement because of our Party and the movement we had created right there in Oakland, California where the U.S. was already performing dirges marking the demise of the U.S. based African Liberation Movement.
Our Party was organizing resistance to the criminal charges being pressed against Newton by the colonial State at the time.
His presence at the Uhuru House was due to our insistence that he fight back and our assurance that we could bring the people to his defense from ridiculous charges associated with a school the Panthers once owned that had been destroyed by fire, likely ignited by the U.S. government.
The African People’s Socialist Party led the campaign to bring Huey P. Newton back into political life in Oakland and, upon his assassination in 1989 we organized the mass fight back against attempts by the bourgeois colonial media to slander his name into revolutionary political revulsion and irrelevance.
It was our Party that supported Newton’s widow after his assassination and that obtained the mortician that presided over his funeral.
It was the African People’s Socialist Party that organized the honor guard of uniformed members of our Party at the public viewing of Newton’s body and printed the program for his funeral.
Also, while the official funeral happened in a major church in Oakland, it was our Party that held the mass People’s Funeral outside the church, conducted by Oakland Party leader Comrade Biko Lumumba from atop a Party van surrounded by thousands of working class Africans who could not get in the church.
We also led the spontaneous funeral march of thousands that accompanied Newton’s hearse at the conclusion of the official ceremony.
The participation of the African People’s Socialist Party in the funeral of Huey P. Newton was a continuation of our work in Oakland and contributes to recognition of concrete transition of a historical moment.
The African People’s Socialist Party was the rising revolutionary force, the current advanced detachment of the African Revolution providing an honorable, if belated, departure for the leadership of the past.
The presence of the African People’s Socialist Party in Oakland affected the history of our people and our movement for liberation.
It was our presence and the decision that we made after Newton’s assassination that before his funeral, the African People’s Socialist Party would define who Newton and the Black Panther Party were.
We defeated the efforts of the colonial ruling class media to define Newton by the last difficult years of his life when he had succumbed to the years of jailings and repression that successfully isolated and finally demoralized and reduced him to the stature and habits of too many of our colonized brothers and sisters during the height of the anti-colonial reaction in the U.S.
On the morning after the announcement of his death, bourgeois colonial newspapers were characterizing Newton as a “bum” and criminal.
This was to be his epitaph as written by our hated class enemies and national oppressors. It was our Party, however that on the same morning held rallies at the site of his assassination and showed videos of the heroic days of the Black Panther Party when it was the revolutionary center of our movement.
It was our Party that held the march that led hundreds of Africans through the streets of Oakland, deserted of all domestic occupation military forces, chanting, “Who killed Huey, don’t tell no lie; it was the government, the government, the FBI!”
Without the intervention of the Party, the State and its media would have succeeded in their attempt to discredit the movement for African liberation by discrediting Newton and the Black Panther Party.
They would have re-written the history of our Revolution that led to the advent of the California-based Black Panther Party.
Left to their own devices, the hated imperialist rulers would have created the myth that they hated and detested Newton because he was a “bum” and a criminal and not because he led an incredible liberation movement that raised many working class African people from the depths of the social, spiritual and political morass created for us by U.S. capitalist-colonialism.
Because of our Party, the colonialists were unable to define Newton on the basis of his difficulties during his final years when demoralization had set in after the years of persecution and political isolation.
Although the attempt continues to be made to define Newton out of his role as the leader of a significant aspect of our struggle against colonial-capitalist domination, our Party rescued the definition of our anti-colonial struggle from the poisoned sewer of white nationalist contempt that was attempted with Newton’s assassination.
It is only because the African working class and our colonized nation had an advanced detachment, a revolutionary Party that functions as the general staff of our struggle for national liberation, unification and socialism that the colonial rulers were unable to rewrite our history of revolutionary resistance.
The revolution continued to exist after the demise of Newton and the Black Panther Party. The Revolution continued to exist in the form of the African People’s Socialist Party.
[The excerpt concludes here but we encourage our readers to stay tuned as we will be presenting the entire Political Report in the pages of The Spear upon its completion.]
Forward to the Party’s Seventh Congress!