Interview with Bobby Seale
QUESTION 22
INTERVIEWER:

Okay, once again, the symbol, the name Black Panther, how did that come about? And you can talk about Lowndes County, Alabama.

BOBBY SEALE:

We were talking about, it's not Lowndes County, Alabama. I'm not saying that because it's not correct.

INTERVIEWER:

Okay, let's stop.

BOBBY SEALE:

The Lowndes County Freedom Organiz--



INTERVIEWER:

Okay, how did you come up with the name Black Panther for the Black Panther Party?

BOBBY SEALE:

Huey P. Newton and I had received a pamphlet from the Lowndes County Freedom Organization from down south. And they had a logo of a picture of a charging Black panther. I asked Huey, "Why would they have a charging Black panther?" Later he came up with the point that if you push a panther into a corner, if he can't go left and he can't go right, he will tend to come out of that corner to wipe out its aggressor, whoever had pushed it into the corner. And the analogy was that's where Black people been pushed. Peaceful demonstrators exercised the first amendment of the Constitution of the United States and then Bull Connor and racists brutalizing them: they couldn't go left, couldn't go right. With the petition we had for community police review boards. They ignored that, the city government. So in effect Huey and I decided to name the Black Panther Party, the Black Panther Party for Self Defense. We later dropped the Defense because we didn't want to be tagged as a paramilitary organization.