Bobby Seale

American Activist

Biography

Robert George “Bobby” Seale is an American political activist. He and fellow activist Huey P. Newton co-founded the Black Panther Party. Seale was one of a generation of young African-American radicals who broke away from the traditionally nonviolent Civil Rights Movement to preach a doctrine of militant black empowerment. Following the dismissal of murder charges against him in 1971, Seale somewhat moderated his more militant views and devoted his time to effecting change from within the system.

Seale grew up in Dallas and in California. Following service in the U.S. Air Force, he entered Merritt College, in Oakland, Calif. There his radicalism took root in 1962, when he first heard Malcolm X speak. Seale helped found the Black Panthers in 1966. Noted for their violent views, they also ran medical clinics and served free breakfasts to school children, among other programs.