The Black Panther Party – Seattle Chapter
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Seattle chapter of the Black Panther Party. The Seattle chapter of the Black Panther Party was the first to be established outside of California. This series highlights some lesser known stories of Seattle’s local Black Panther Party.
KBCS’s Yuko Kodama speaks with Steve Roberson and Aaron Dixon, former members of Seattle’s Black Panther Party. Steve Roberson served as a vista volunteer for the Party in the free community health clinic and breakfast program in the early 70’s, and Aaron Dixon was the former leader of Seattle’s Black Panther Party.
Part 1 – Dixon explains how the Seattle chapter of the Black Panther Party was founded.Roberson shares about memories about the Black Panther Party health clinic in the late 1960’s.
Part 2 – Black Panther Party members were required to educate themselves about black history. The mission was to serve the community. Dixon describes a day in the life of a Black Panther Party member.
Part 3 – Dixon describes how the Black Panther Party free breakfast program worked and who donated to the organization.
Part 4 – One of the Black Panther Party’s programs was to protect the community from racial aggression. Dixon recounts an incident the orgnanization was involved in at Rainier Beach High School.
Part 5 – Roberson shares about an encounter at the Black Panther Party free community medical clinic that changed his perspective on community.
Part 6 – Dixon illustrates how the organization was supported by the local community during a confrontation with the Seattle Police, and explains the history behind a sculpture at Madrona Elementary school and Library
Part 7 – Dixon shares what happened as Black Panther Party chapters in Los Angeles and Chicago were attacked by federal government entities, resulting in 4 political assassinations of Black Panther Party leaders
Part 8 – Dixon reflects on how the Seattle chapter of the Black Panther Party weathered the more intense period after J Edgar Hoover proclaimed the Black Panther Party breakfast program a threat to national security.
Part 9 – Dixon describes how former Seattle Mayor Wes Uhlman stepped in to keep the local chapter safe.
Part 10 – Dixon gives his take on how civil rights and black liberation movements of the 60s and 70’s compare to the social movements of today.
Part 11 – Dixon shares the Seattle Black Panther Party’s relationship with Jimi Hendrix.
Safe Heroin Injection Sites
The debate over safe injection sites in King County is a hot topic. The model for such sites is Insite. The first such site in North America, it’s located in Vancouver, British Columbia and offers a room with harm reduction supplies and staff who know how to resuscitate people after an overdose.
The podcast, Cited, dives into the story of another type of service, Vancouver Canada’s Crosstown Clinic. Here people are actually given government funded, prescription heroin. Thousands of people visit supervised injection facilities. The patients at Crosstown are part of a much smaller club.
Unmute the Commute: Ride Along to the VA
Have you ever wondered what it’s like for veterans to get around town? For this week’s Unmute the Commute, ride along with us to the VA center in Seattle. Produced by Casey Martin. (more…)
The Redmond Mosque’s Free Health Clinic
On the third Sunday of each month, a mosque in Redmond opens its doors as a free clinic to all, regardless of faith, race, gender and income. It’s held at the Muslim Association of Puget Sound or MAPS, and it serves anyone, whether or not they have health care – no questions asked. A small team of volunteer doctors with backgrounds in internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, cardiology, naturopathy and acupuncture attend to patients along with other medically trained help. KBCS’s Jim Cantu brings you this story.
Photo of Nehat Sharif by Yuko Kodama