Interview with Bobby Seale

When did the Panther party begin to start moving on a, on a national front, that's becoming, become a national organization effectively?


Effectively as a national organization, the Black Panther Party began to move, well, originally, you have to understand that when I did the, um, California, when I went to the California state capital, that caused us first to have international notoriety. But in terms of on an organizational level, the Black Panther Party really spread from, prior to the murder of Martin Lu--the assassination of Brother Martin Luther King. We only had about seven hundred members in six or seven chapters and branches, largely on the west coast. Following the assassination of Martin Luther King our organization grew from seven hundred to five thousand members plus. And with the assassination of Robert Kennedy later that year the young White radicals readily coalesced with us at our direction. They couldn't direct us. They coalesced with us. So it was whoever in the power structure who murdered Martin Luther King caused a lot of people who sided with Martin Luther King to say, "The heck with it. Let's join the Panthers." And they in effect tagged us as the vanguard of the revolution.