Bobby Seale (Clip 3)

Bobby Seale (Clip 3) (1978)
Duration: 00:04:11

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Themes: Education and Families | Leadership | Urban Challenges |

Guests: Bobby Seale
Host : Ron Scott
Producer : Ron Scott

Summary: Seale is then introduced as a guest on the show and the interview begins. Seale starts by discussing the changes that have occurred in the struggle and the movement, one change being that activists in the struggle have stopped attacking the system and found better ways to promote change. He discusses the Black Panther Party, and talks about how the civil and human rights aspect of the struggle did not leave blacks with a "practical, ideological goal objective." The result has been that many present-day blacks are not aware of what was done in the '60s nor are they familiar with the people involved and events that took place in that struggle.
The host, Ron Scott, then goes on to ask Seale about what led to him becoming Revolutionary Chairman of the Black Panther Party. Seale says that he started out in the struggle simply because of anger and frustration at racist society, but without a great deal of education and knowledge. Following his service in the Air Force, attending college, and his work as a comedian, he developed more of a consciousness about what was occurring, but he still "stumbled into the struggle." After the creation of smaller organizations and activist groups, Seale and his comrades eventually founded the Black Panther Party.
Scott then goes on to introduce "The Lonely Range," which Seale describes as his autobiography. Many people have said that in the book Seale doesn't lay out an exact pattern for liberation, but Seale says this is because one cannot recreate in the '80s exactly what the '60s was like; things change. He also talks about his love for author Richard Wright, and his adoption of his style in his own writings.
They move on to talk about how black males often suffer violent upbringings, suffering things such as whippings from their fathers. Seale believes that this is one of the reasons that people grow up to be violent as adults.
Scott then asks Seale why he decided to leave the Black Panther Party. Seale talks about knowing that they weren't going to be doing the same things in the future as they had done in the past, wanting to get into something else, wanting to rest, his desire to write his autobiography, and his knowledge that they were in a "down period," where not much was occurring. He wanted to move on to new things, and didn't want to stand and "toll the bell on something that was dwindling."
Questions are then taken from the audience. The first man asks Seale about his plans for the future, given that most of the leaders of the '60s are all gone, and does he feel like the struggle was worth it. Seale believes that it was, and describes the organization that he has put together, "Advocates Seen." He believes that the '80s have to be about political organizing at the city level, which he believes this program will help. He also wants to earn his law degree and pass on the activism to the younger generation. The next audience member addresses the issue of the inherent problems of black men and women that were brought up earlier (e.g. that of violence), and asks how they can address these problems of the "apathetic" people so that they can be ready to take over the struggle and organizations such as Advocates Seen. Seale says that he believes people were actually more apathetic in the '60s, and that he thinks it is possible to reach blacks through the work of many people. He has hope for the future of the struggle, and he doesn't believe that everything is dead. A third audience member asks if Seale has some constructive ideas that can be implemented on the community level to continue the education of the younger generation and communication. Seale believes it's important that organizations are taught how to put periodicals together, and that schools are given guidance as to proper curriculum.
Scott asks if it is truly possible for blacks to take over any communications apparatus, such as TV and mass media, as he suggested was necessary for proper education. Seale says that many blacks do not recognize the large amount of talent that exists in the black communities across the country. He thinks that blacks must understand that attending college and getting a proper education is imperative no matter what they want to do, whether it is to get a good job or be a member of the struggle.