The partys program to feed kids, launched in 1969, became a national phenomenon. This weekend, former members joined a celebration in the partys birthplace
Last Saturday morning at Lil Bobby Hutton Park in West Oakland, local residents lined up for the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther partys pioneering free breakfast program. Among the attendees were Emory Douglas, who was the partys minister of culture; Fredrika Newton, widow of the partys co-founder Huey Newton; and the Black Panther illustrator Gayle Dickson. Organized by the Oakland-based Peoples Kitchen Collective (PKC), the gathering was scored by soul music and warm conversations from communal tables.
Now in its eighth year, the breakfast was one of the PKCs biggest, serving 650 plates of grits, greens, scrambled eggs and tofu. At the edge of the feast, an altar decorated with flowers and seeds held framed photographs of Black Panther members, activists and mothers to whom this breakfast owed its legacy.