Interview with William O'Neal
QUESTION 33
INTERVIEWER:

Did you ever think about the movement, the Civil Rights Movement, in regards to what the Panthers was doing? Did they ever talk about that?

WILLIAM O'NEAL:

Yes, I did. But it came later for me. The movement came later. The, well, you gotta understand I was inside the Black Panther Party looking out at the movement. Something in my nose?

INTERVIEWER:

No, but look at me

WILLIAM O'NEAL:

Oh.

INTERVIEWER:

WILLIAM O'NEAL:

Stop the camera a m--a minute, please.



WILLIAM O'NEAL:

Well, I always understood the movement from Martin Luther King's angle. In my view, he was the movement. The Panthers, their perspective was as Black revolutionaries, Black nationalists. They really didn't want this government. They wanted to overthrow this government. They wanted to embarrass this government. They wanted to punch holes in the system. They wanted to investigate and illustrate its shortcomings. That was their purpose. They were a vanguard. At one point the party members embraced the, Huey P. Newton's writings, it was a theory of revolutionary suicide; they felt like their job was to get out there and basically die to set an example. They were sacrificial lambs, OK, for the people. That was their, their, their position. It was a, a phase. They were, they were not really in the mainstream Civil Rights Movement in my opinion.