Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    Trial of Huey P. Newton Exhibit

    The Laney Library hosts artistic depictions of the Black Panther Party in the “Trials of Huey P. Newton Exhibit,” organized by the Black Student Union. Coverage of the trial in news clippings and courtroom sketches also on display. Photo by Sarah Carpenter

    Laney Black Student Union displays Black Panther documents in Laney Library

    By Kironyo

    Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale founded the Black Panther Party in October of 1966 at Merritt College.

    The Black Student Union (BSU) curated and displayed an exhibit in honor of Black Panther Month. The “Trials of Huey P. Newton Exhibit” is on display throughout the month of October in the Laney College Library.

    The BSU also held a free school breakfast to honor the Panthers on Oct. 23 and 24 in the Student Center, welcoming students, faculty and community.

    Jabari Shaw, culinary student and member of the BSU, organized the library exhibit of materials on loan from Melvin Dickson, commemorator for the Commemoration Committee for the Black Panther Party.

    In conjunction with the exhibit, the BSU will host Dickson along with Gregory Newton, nephew of Huey P. Newton, to come and speak on Nov. 2, 12 p.m. — 2 p.m about the trial of his uncle for shooting a police officer.

    Gregory Newton testified on behalf of his uncle in the 1968 trial.

    Courtroom sketches and newspaper pages documenting the 1968 trial are displayed on board in the Laney Library throughout October. Photo by Sarah Carpenter

    “We wanted to showcase that this moment was really important in history,” Shaw said.

    The library display includes front pages of the Black Panthers “intercommunal news service,” posters and drawings, and dozens of courtroom sketches of the trial, along with clippings of news coverage of the Panthers.

    One of the news headlines read: “Why was Denzil Dowell killed?” Dowell was an African American resident of North Richmond, California. He was shot by a Martinez Sheriff’s Department officer for suspected burglary.

    The exhibit shows a tense relationship between the Oakland Police Department and the Black community, which remains today.

    For Shaw, it’s important that Laney stay connected to this piece of history. 
    “Laney is our last stronghold in the Black community,” he said.

    The BSU meets in the Tower Building, room 403, at noon Tuesdays. For more information, email them at [email protected].


    Kironyo is a Tower Contributer in the Journalism Department.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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