Black Panther Party 21 Speaking Tour
February 23, 2019 - 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
The Black Panther Party, founded in 1966 in Oakland, California by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, became the most famous black power organization of the late 1960s.
Join us for an evening with the authors and editor the new book, Look For Me in the Whirlwind: From the Panther 21 to 21st-Century Revolutions
About the Book
In the era of Black Lives Matter, this chronicle of the Black Panther 21—the group charged in 1969 with the conspiracy to commit violent acts in what became the longest trial in New York history—is more relevant than ever.
In the tumultuous year of 1969, amid music festivals and moon landings, assassinations and million-person antiwar mobilizations, twenty-one members of the militant New York branch of the Black Panther Party (BPP) were rounded up and indicted on multiple charges of violent acts and conspiracies. They were charged with plans to blow up a variety of sites—from a police station in Manhattan to the Queens offices of the Board of Education and the Bronx Botanical Gardens. Though some among the New York Panther 21 (NY 21) had hardly even met one another, the group was gathered together as an obvious attempt by the FBI, in cooperation with city and state authorities, to discredit, disrupt, and destroy the organization which was attracting so many young people across the world. In the ensuing preparation for a trial that would become the longest and most expensive in New York’s history at the time, information came out about the FBI’s illegal Counterintelligence Program (COINTELPRO), as members of the BPP were assassinated, forced into exile, framed, and set against each other.
About the Speakers
Sekou Odinga was a member of Malcolm X’s Organization of Afro-American Unity, a founding member of the New York chapter of the Black Panther Party as well as the Black Panther International Section, and was a member of the NY Panther 21. A citizen of the Republic of New Afrika and combatant of the Black Liberation Army, Sekou was captured in October 1981, mercilessly tortured, and spent the following thirty-three years behind bars—a prisoner of war and political prisoner of the U.S. empire. Since his release in November 2014, he has remained a stalwart fighter for justice and for the release of all political prisoners.
dequi kioni-sadiki is the chair of the Malcolm X Commemoration Committee and was a leader of the Sekou Odinga Defense Committee, which waged a successful campaign for the release of her husband. A tireless coalition-builder and organizer, dequi is a radio producer of the weekly show “Where We Live” on WBAI-Radio, Pacifica; an educator with the NYC Department of Education; and a member of the Jericho Movement to Free All Political Prisoners.
Matt Meyer, a native New York City-based educator, activist, and author, is the War Resisters International Africa Support Network Coordinator, and a United Nations/ECOSOC representative of the International Peace Research Association. The founding chair of the Peace and Justice Studies Association and former Chair of the Consortium on Peace Research, Education and Development (COPRED), Meyer has long worked to bring together academics and activists for lasting social change. A former public draft registration resister and chair of the War Resisters League, he continues to serve as co-convener of the War Resisters International Africa Working Group.