Eric Blair Presents – Daily Knowledge: Huey P. Newton, PH.D (Day 7)
Huey P. Newton, PH.D was was a political and urban activist whom founded the Afro-American Association and co-founded the Black Panther Party for Self Defense. Newton and Black Panthers started survival progarms, inspired by Mao Zedong’s advice to revolutionaries in “The Little Red Book”, Newton called on the Panthers to “serve the people” and to make “survival programs” a priority within its branches. The most famous and successful of their programs was the Free Breakfast for Children Program, initially run out of an Oakland church. Other survival programs were free services such as clothing distribution, classes on politics and economics, free medical clinics, lessons on self-defense and first aid, transportation to upstate prisons for family members of inmates, an emergency-response ambulance program, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, and testing for sickle-cell disease.
The Black Panther Party also founded the “Intercommunal Youth Institute” in January 1971, with the intent of demonstrating how black youth ought to be educated. Ericka Huggins was the director of the school and Regina Davis was an administrator. The school was unique in that it didn’t have grade levels but instead had different skill levels so an 11 year old could be in second-level English and fifth-level science. Elaine Brown taught reading and writing to a group of 10 to 11 year olds deemed “uneducable” by the system. At the school children were given free busing; breakfast, lunch, and dinner; books and school supplies; children were taken to have medical checkups; and many children were given free clothes. Newton earned a bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Cruz in 1974. He was enrolled as a graduate student in History of Consciousness at UC Santa Cruz in 1978, when he arranged to take a reading course from famed evolutionary biologist Robert Trivers, while in prison.