Memories of Huey P. Newton and the Black Panthers

On February 17, 2014, the Zinn Education Project Facebook page featured a photo of Huey P. Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense with Bobby Seale in October of 1966.

Huey Newton surrounded by youth of East Oakland community, August 1970. Photograph by Ducho.

At the time this photo with a group of children in 1970, Newton had recently been released from jail after a national “Free Huey” campaign.

We were thrilled to see a comment by Annissa Nadirah Karim on the Facebook post, saying:

I am the girl in this photo. My little brother is sitting right below Huey. This is a day I will never forget.

We asked Karim to tell us more:

Annissa Nadirah Karim.

Annissa Nadirah Karim in 2014.

Thank you for posting the picture of Huey Newton and the children. I am the girl in the picture. My little brother, John, with his hand on his face, is sitting between Huey’s legs. My two little cousins are in the photo too, Al and Ken Jones. This was a wonderful day for us. He played with us all the time.

The photo is at the house where we had breakfast, lunch, and arts and crafts activities. It is on 99th and International in Oakland. I have a piece of paper in my hand because I had been typing.

I was 11-years-old and volunteering as a typist for the Black Panther Party because in school I got in trouble cutting class. I needed to learn to type fast, so the Panthers helped me. I learned to type listening to the music of Santana and African musicians. I also learned how to develop film and pictures in the darkroom at the Panther headquarters on 85th Ave. in Oakland.

We also had a school on 62nd where entertainers like Lenny Williams and speakers like Angela Davis would come and see us. I’ve met Bobby Seale, Erica Huggins, Eldridge Cleaver, and Emory Douglas.

By the time I was 14, I was a clerk typist for the Black Panther newspaper. Today I work on computers, so I am still typing!

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Karim (in the long dress) is pictured here along with her siblings, including her brother, John, in the red shirt.