In February of 1967, Oakland police officers stopped a car carrying Newton, Seale, and several other Panthers with rifles and handguns. When one officer asked to see one of the guns, Newton refused. “I don’t have to give you anything but my identification, name, and address,” he insisted. This, too, he had learned in law school.
“Who in the hell do you think you are?” an officer responded.
“Who in the hell do you think you are?,” Newton replied indignantly. He told the officer that he and his friends had a legal right to have their firearms.
Newton got out of the car, still holding his rifle.
“What are you going to do with that gun?” asked one of the stunned policemen.
“What are you going to do with your gun?,” Newton replied.
By this time, the scene had drawn a crowd of onlookers. An officer told the bystanders to move on, but Newton shouted at them to stay. California law, he yelled, gave civilians a right to observe a police officer making an arrest, so long as they didn’t interfere. Newton played it up for the crowd. In a loud voice, he told the police officers, “If you try to shoot at me or if you try to take this gun, I’m going to shoot back at you, swine.” Although normally a black man with Newton’s attitude would quickly find himself handcuffed in the back of a police car, enough people had gathered on the street to discourage the officers from doing anything rash. Because they hadn’t committed any crime, the Panthers were allowed to go on their way.
The people who’d witnessed the scene were dumbstruck. Not even Bobby Seale could believe it. Right then, he said, he knew that Newton was the “baddest motherfucker in the world.”
Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead Sunday afternoon in his New York City apartment, a law-enforcement official said.
The New York Police Department is investigating, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to determine exact cause of death. The official said Mr. Hoffman, 46 years old, was found dead at his apartment at 35 Bethune St. in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan.
Mr. Hoffman won the Academy Award for Best Actor for the 2005 film, “Capote.” (WSJ)
Today In Black History: February 1, 1960
- Ezell A. Blair, Jr. (now Jibreel Khazan), Franklin E. McCain, Joseph A. McNeil, and David L. Richmond stage a sit-in at a segregated lunch counter in Greensboro, NC, beginning the first of the historic sit-ins of the 1960s.
On February 1, 1960, four African American college students sat down at a lunch counter at Woolworth’s in Greensboro, North Carolina, and politely asked for service. Their request was refused. When asked to leave, they remained in their seats. Their passive resistance and peaceful sit-down demand helped ignite a youth-led movement to challenge racial inequality throughout the South.
By July 25, 1960, F.W. Woolworth agreed to integrate its Greensboro store; four black Woolworth employees — Geneva Tisdale, Susie Morrison, Anetha Jones and Charles Best — are the first to be served.
Today, the site of the building that was Woolworth’s department store is the International Civil Rights Center and Museum. It opened on February 1, 2010, on the 50th anniversary of the original sit in. A section of the Woolworth lunch counter now appears in the display of the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History.
The sit-ins are cited as a key event in the Civil Rights Movement’s push for de-segregation. While legal segregation may seem a thing of the past, schools in America are more segregated now than they were 40 years ago - and in 2011, homeless mother Tanya McDowell was sentenced to 5 years in prison for sending her son to a school outside her district.
Woollies Black History