The University of Washington has researched and archived a great deal of information on the Seattle Chapter of the Black Panther Party.
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SEATTLE CHAPTER of the BLACK PANTHER PARTY
50 YEARS OF PRIDE AND POWER!
ABOUT THE SEATTLE CHAPTER OF THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY
The Seattle branch of the Black Panther Party was the first chapter formed outside of the state of California. A year and a half before the start of the Seattle chapter, the Black Panther Party was born in Oakland, California. Huey Newton and Bobby Seale started the organization on October 15, 1966, and it was originally called the Black Panther Party for Self Defense. Its goal was to prevent police brutality as well as establish a new social, political, and economic order, heavily based upon Marxist doctrine, to improve the Black community.
The Seattle Chapter of the Black Panther Party was founded by a collection of Seattle activists including brothers Aaron and Elmer Dixon in 1968, following a series of events that included the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the murder of Bobby Hutton days later. Hutton was the first member of the Black Panther Party to die at the hands of Oakland police; along with a series of frustrating, angering and racially motivated acts against Blacks in Seattle. At one point, the Chapter membership approached 300. The Chapter founding raised the level of struggle, resistance, and Black consciousness in the city.
During its most formative period, the Seattle Chapter sponsored free breakfast programs for all children, education programs, and established the first free medical clinic in Seattle’s Black community, originally named the Sydney Miller Free Medical Clinic, after a fallen Seattle Panther, and later known as the Carolyn Downs Family Medical Clinic, still in operation today!
The 50th anniversary celebration is in honor of the Chapter’s founding and the continuing legacy of self-determination.
50th Anniversary Planning Team: Cecelia ‘Amma’ Anang, Kristina Clark, Mark Cook, Leonard Dawson, Aaron Dixon, Elmer Dixon, Michael Dixon, Heidi Jackson, Stephanie Johnson-Toliver, Marie Kidhe, Vanetta Molson-Turner, Garry Owens, Vivian Phillips, Na’eem Shareef, Courtney Sheehan, Mike Tagawa, Rosita Thomas, Octaiviea Townsend, Sharon Williams. Taelore Rhoden, Craig "First Rider", Aziza Dixon, Vincent Keele, Gayle Asali Dickson, Piaf Lester
Special thanks to our presenting partners:
LANGSTON, Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, Northwest African American Museum, Washington Hall, Carolyn Downs Medical Clinic