Black Panther Party celebrates 50 years in Seattle

A girl sits in front of the mural made by Franklin High School students called Art of Resistance & Resilience Mural. (Photo by Susan Fried)

Seattle’s Black Panther Party celebrated the 5oth anniversary with a weekend of forums on topics important to the black community.

The Seattle Black Panther coalition was founded in 1968 and was the first chapter established outside of the Oakland chapter.

The 50th anniversary celebration took place the last weekend of April in the Central District’s Washington Hall. It featured conversations with activists, founding members and performances by local musicians. The theme of the celebration was “Power to the People… Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.”

The theme was meant to highlight the revolutionary impact of the Black Panther Party, according to an event program.

“Our vision… is to cement the legacy, history, and accomplishments of the Seattle Chapter of the Black Panther Party in the hearts and minds of the people Seattle as an example of effective struggle for future revolutionaries.”

Presenters discussed topics such as hip-hop activism, Panthers and Zapatistas, and a conversation about the school-to-prison pipeline.

Photographer Susan Fried was there to document the celebration.

The celebration was opened up with an appearance by actor, filmmaker, and activist Danny Glover. (Photo by Susan Fried)
Former Oakland, California Black Panther Party chairwoman, Elaine Brown, attended the 50th anniversary. (Photo by Susan Fried)
Local former mayoral candidate, poet and activist Nikkita Oliver facilitated a conversation with Black Panther Party member Ericka Huggins (center). (Photo by Susan Fried)
Seattle Black Panther member Amma Anang. (Photo by Susan Fried)
Hip hop artist Rell B Free preforms at Friday’s celebration at Washington Hall. (Photo by Susan Fried)
Dance Performance at Washington Hall during the Hip Hop Concert. (Photo by Susan Fried)
The weekend celebration came to an end on Sunday with a fashion show. Designer Yinko Ola struts down the runway. (Photo by Susan Fried)