Sunday, June 21, 2015

D’Angelo and Bobby Seale on the Past and Future of Political Protest (with video)

OAKLAND, CALIF. — In early June, before the shootings in Charleston, S.C., the R&B singer D’Angelo stood beneath the blood-red awning of the It’s All Good Bakery here, peering into the window of the building that served as the first office for the Black Panther Party. At another stop, beneath a street lamp on Seventh Avenue, he stood where the group carried out its first observation of law enforcement.

In the wake of recent killings of unarmed African-American men, D’Angelo has grown increasingly frustrated with racial injustice and has been looking at the political movements of the past for ideas for change. “There’s got to be a way, right?” he asked his tour guide, Bobby Seale.

“It has to go beyond just sitting and arguing and debating,” replied Mr. Seale, who formed the Black Panthers with Huey P. Newton in 1966. Throughout the evening, Mr. Seale stressed the importance of getting more African-Americans elected to office. “Political seats — you make the laws, you change the laws,” he said.


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