“Black Power is giving power to people who have not had power to determine their destiny.”

“Black men and women who refuse to live under oppression are dangerous to [whyte] society because they become symbols of hope to their brothers and sisters, inspiring them to follow their example.”

“I do not think that life will change for the better without an assault on the Establishment, which goes on exploiting the wretched of the earth. This belief lies at the heart of the concept of revolutionary suicide. Thus it is better to oppose the forces that would drive me to self-murder than to endure them. Although I risk the likelihood of death, there is at least the possibility, if not the probability, of changing intolerable conditions. This possibility is important, because much in human existence is based upon hope without any real understanding of the odds. Indeed, we are all—Black and white alike—ill in the same way, mortally ill. But before we die, how shall we live? I say with hope and dignity; and if premature death is the result, that death has a meaning reactionary suicide can never have. It is the price of self-respect. Revolutionary suicide does not mean that I and my comrades have a death wish; it means just the opposite. We have such a strong desire to live with hope and human dignity that existence without them is impossible. When reactionary forces crush us, we must move against these forces, even at the risk of death. We will have to be driven out with a stick.”

“I do not expect the white media to create positive black male images.”

“The policemen or soldiers are only a gun in the establishments hand. They make the racist secure in his racism.”

“Youths are passed through schools that don’t teach, then forced to search for jobs that don’t exist and finally left stranded in the street to stare at the glamorous lives advertised around them.”

“The first lesson a revolutionary must learn is that he is a doomed man. Unless he understands this, he does not grasp the essential meaning of his life.”

“As we all know, sometimes our first instinct is to want to hit a homosexual in the mouth and want a woman to be quiet. We want to hit a homosexual in the mouth because we’re afraid we might be homosexual; and we want to hit the woman or shut her up because we’re afraid that she might castrate us. The remedy is to gain security in ourselves and therefore have respect and feelings for all oppressed people.”

“I have often pondered the similarity between prison experience and the slave experience of Black people. Both systems involve exploitation: the slave received no compensation for the wealth he produced, and the prisoner is expected to produce marketable goods for what amounts to no compensation. Slavery and prison life share a compete lack of freedom of movement. The power of those in authority is total, and they expect deference from those under their domination. Just as in the days of slavery, constant surveillance and observation are part of the prison experience, and if inmates develop meaningful and revolutionary friendships among themselves, these ties are broken by institutional transfers, just as the slavemaster broke up families.”

“I do not think that life will change for the better without an assault on the Establishment, which goes on exploiting the wretched of the earth.”

Nb: Some of the quotes above were sourced from a very good article, Notes and quotes from Huey Newton’s autobiography

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