Huey P. Newton

Who Was Huey P. Newton?

Renowned African American activist Huey P. Newton gained notoriety in 1966 when he and Bobby Seale founded the revolutionary Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. Before coming back to the United States, Percy Newton was the subject of several criminal prosecutions. He was assassinated in Oakland in 1989.

Early Years And Education

Huey Percy Newton was born on February 17, 1942, in Monroe, Louisiana. Despite facing legal challenges, P. Newton started to take his education seriously and eventually graduated high school. He attended Merritt College and later went to the University of San Francisco School of Law. He met Bobby Seale at Merritt College, and the two of them decided to start their political group, which eventually took the name Black Panther Party for Self-Defense.

Creation of Black Panthers

The Black Panther Party adopted a more militant stance compared to other social and political organizers of the era. They promoted ending economic exploitation and providing military exemptions, as well as better housing, employment, and educational opportunities for African Americans. The group became well-known for its striking demonstrations and appearances, such as when armed Panthers entered the California Legislature.

Arrest And Conviction

Huey Percy Newton experienced legal issues of his own, including an arrest for the 1967 suspected murder of an Oakland police officer. Although he was ultimately found guilty of voluntary manslaughter, an appeals process determined in 1970 that the trial’s deliberation procedures had been improperly carried out, leading to his release.

P. Newton sought to reorient the Black Panther Party in the 1970s toward democratic socialism, integrated communities, and impoverished service delivery. Nevertheless, factionalism and internal strife caused the party to deteriorate.

African American Activist Newton was accused of murder and assault in the middle of the 1970s, among other crimes, and he fled to Cuba in 1974 to evade justice. Three years later, he went back to the US, and the murder prosecution was eventually dropped following two jury-locked trials.

Later Years & Death

In 1980, Newton completed his doctorate in social philosophy at the University of California, Santa Cruz. But, he also struggled with serious drug and alcohol addiction, as well as legal concerns involving the possession of weapons, embezzlement, and parole violations. On August 22, 1989, Newton was shot and died in Oakland, California.

Notable Works

Activist Huey P. Newton’s life and the Black Panther Party have been the subject of numerous books, plays, and documentaries. Some notable works include the memoir/manifesto “Revolutionary Suicide,” the biography “The Shadow of the Panther: Huey Newton and the Price of Black Power in America” by Hugh Pearson, and the 2015 documentary “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution” by Stanley Nelson.

Interesting Facts

  • Article Title: Huey P. Newton Biography
  • Full Name: Huey Percy Newton
  • Birth Year: 1942
  • Birth Date: February 17, 1942
  • Birth State: Louisiana
  • Birth City: Monroe
  • Birth Country: United States
  • Gender: Male
  • Best Known: African American activist best known for founding the militant Black Panther Party with Bobby Seale in 1966.
  • Industries: Civil Rights
  • Parents: Walter Newton, Armelia Johnson
  • Spouse: Fredrika Newton (m. 1984–1989), Gwen Fontaine (m. 1974–1983)
  • Children: Kieron Newton, Ronald Newton, Jessica Newton
  • Education: Merritt College, University of California, Santa Cruz, Oakland Technical High School, San Francisco Law School
  • Astrological Sign: Aquarius
  • Death Year: 1989
  • Death Date: August 22, 1989
  • Death State: California
  • Death City: Oakland
  • Death Country: United States
  • Author: Editors


  • I think what motivates people is not great hate, but great love for other people.
  • The first lesson a revolutionary must learn is that he is a doomed man.
  • Black Power is giving power to people who have not had the power to determine their destiny.
  • I do not expect the white media to create positive black male images.
  • We have two evils to fight, capitalism and racism. We must destroy both racism and capitalism.