Interview with Bobby Seale

Now, the Marxist philos--philosophy, the Maoist influence, was it there from the beginning?


No. The Marxist-type philosophy had no real influence on us creating the Black Panther Party. It was later that we found a way to make money by selling _The Little Red Book, The Thoughts of Mao Tse-Tung_. We sold this book for three or four weeks before we even opened it up to read it because we would take it up to the White students at the University of California. We'd buy it for 20 cents and sell it for a buck. "Get your Red Book, the thoughts of Chairman Mao Tse-Tung, one dollar." I mean people hand over fist. So we'd run out, go pay our rent, box a few extra shotguns, pay our phone bills, go get more books, come back. We went to a big anti-war rally with 35 thousand people, sold two, three thousand books that day. We left our guns at home. All we wanted to do was sell books because we needed funds, financial support. And one day after all of this selling of this book, we sit down and start reading this book and at one point in there it says, "Do not steal, not even a needle in a piece of thread from the people." We thought that was great. We started reading all these points. And the we began to coo-- incorporate some of the aspects that Mao talked about in this Little Red Book. Later we picked up the four works of Mao Tse-Tung. We began to read that. And then we began to look at look at Marxist, Leninist material. But we never was what you call "doctrinaire socialist." In fact we didn't get along too well with many of the hardcore "doctrinaire-type socialists".