Interview with Bobby Seale
QUESTION 37
INTERVIEWER:

When you got back you heard about, you heard about, you were in a car, and you heard on the radio that they had attacked the, uh, retak--retaken the yard.

BOBBY SEALE:

Well, we had arrived at the air--we were picked up at the airport the next Monday morning, early that Monday morning. Ah, we, ah, went to a motel, threw our bags in the door, jumped in a car, headed to the prison. After a couple of miles on the road. There was live broadcast of what was going on at the prison and suddenly the live broadcast began to say, "They've attacked the prison, they're attacking now!" And you could actually hear the gun fire in the background over the live broadcast of the car radio. And, ah, I've always contended that I was not the right person to be one of the key negotiating members concerning Attica. Because you needed a person more like Martin Luther King or even Malcolm X probably could handle it better than me, because I had a real dedication to political revolutionary activity, even at that time, you know. Having 26 Black Panther Party members killed by vicious racist in this country. Of course we killed 14 of them too in attacks on us. But it had gotten to a point that I, I considered the idea, if it was possible to bring a helicopter in over the wall, as a pure revolutionary act against the penal, legal system that's part and parcel of the racist power structure in America. To me that was like, ah, ah, really get into the nitty gritty of criticizing the penal, legal system in America. Because if you really got down to real reform in the prison system of America, you would have to question the whole exploitation that goes on with capitalism in America.

INTERVIEWER:

Good. Cut. Okay.



BOBBY SEALE:

When I got into the prison yard and they announced that brother Bobby Seale is here on the microphone as I was walking in. "Right on." These brothers and sis--were like overwhelmed. It was like, it was victory. Bob, we got Bobby Seale in here, the political revolutionary, they probably heard so much about. That's what was going on. I mean it was a pure warm welcome, you know. In the sense that, "Hey, brother Bobby is here." I mean, there's been movies and stuff that mis-portrayed my role there, you know.

INTERVIEWER:

Okay, I mean, not just, not just what's happened with the prisoners but with the, the guards and all that.

BOBBY SEALE:

Oh, that's before we get to the yard. You have to go down this long hall.

INTERVIEWER:

Tell me about that.

BOBBY SEALE:

Ah, Okay. Finally, Commissioner Oswald said we could go. So then we're walking through the halls and finally we get to a certain section that, I mean, they have police, guards, lined up piggy-back, so to speak. Twenty on this side, twenty on this side and then there's an upper level catwalk where there's ten or fifteen up there. They got machine guns. I'm talking about righteous machine guns, shotguns, and, so we have to stop when we walk through this section here. And these racist guards talking about, "Yeah, you guys, you're going to get too. If anything happens, we're going make sure, I'm going to make sure. somebody, I'm going to make sure I blow him away. I'm to make sure I get his ass," or something like this in fact, you know. So that's this racist atmosphere and this is the cut-off point between out here and when you get ready to go down this long corridor, before you go down this long corridor where the prisoners are in control. Okay? This is where we made me walk through this situation, so, you know, vicious racists.




BOBBY SEALE:

I was invited to speak at the National Black Political Convention in Gary, Indiana. And, ah, I thought that I would give some kind of speech to the convention itself, you know, with respect to us, the Black Panther Party, we were heavy political organizers around America. And, ah, when I arrived there, Jesse Jackson met me and at some locations they told us to show at, ah, he brought in Isaac Hayes. Isaac Hayes met me. I rapped with Isaac Hayes for a while. And then later I was asked to come out to speak and I realized that I was speaking following some entertainment event. And so I spoke for ten or fifteen minutes and then, when we finished, I asked Jesse if I remem--if I remember correctly, "I thought I was supposed to speak at the political convention where they were dealing with hammering out ideological and political goal objectives?" He said, "No, you were scheduled to speak here at this event." I says, "Oh." Later, Isaac Hayes went on at this location that I was at, which, ah, to me at that point, I realized that I had been pulled in or was being ostracized from the real convention floor delegates and people. Most of the people I was speaking to were dressed for an entertainment night situation.