Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation Inc. Collection
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Access Terms
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation Inc. collection
    Dates: 1968-1994
    Collection number: M0864
    Creator: Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation, Inc.
    Collection Size: 100 linear ft.
    Repository: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
    Abstract: The Huey P. Newton Foundation was started by David Hilliard and Fredrika Newton to develop and sponsor cultural, historical and educational programs and institutions consistant with the theories and teaching of Huey Newton and the philosophy and ideology of the Black Panther Party. Huey P. Newton founded the Black Panther Party during the late 1960's to organize and train African Americans to protect themselves against official violence. As the Party evolved, Newton professed the development of programs for the Black community and the philosophy of self-help.
    Physical location: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    Collection is open for research; materials must be requested at least 24 hours in advance of intended use. The Audio-Visual materials require at least three weeks advance notice to use in order to allow staff time to have use copies made from the original items.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.

    Preferred Citation

    Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation Inc. collection, M0864. Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired from Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation Inc.

    Access Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Newton, Huey P.--Trials, litigation, etc.
    Black Panther Party--History.
    African Americans--Civil rights.
    African Americans--History--1964-
    Black power--United States.

    Biography / Administrative History

    In 1966 a group of young, African-American men attempting to organize the black community formed the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense and put forth their agenda in a document entitled "What We Want...What We Believe". The Party organized armed patrols, well-versed in civil rights, to protect their communities by monitoring the activities of the community law enforcement officers. Its leaders were Bobby Seale (Chairman of the Black Panther Party from 1966 -1974), Huey P. Newton (Minister of Defense from 1966 -1981), Eldridge Cleaver (Minister of Information), David Hilliard (Chief-of-Staff), and others.
    The first office of the Black Panther Party was opened in Oakland, California on January 1, 1967. By November 1967 most of the Party members and leaders were incarcerated with Huey Newton being arrested for the shooting of an Oakland police officer. "Free Huey" rallies, the development of a Party newspaper and speaking engagements by members transformed the Party from a self-defense organization to a political one.
    By 1968 the implementation of community programs took hold -free breakfasts for schoolchildren, medical clinics, schools, and political education classes for all members. Branches were developing around the nation. But the leadership was struggling with Newton still in jail and dealing with his many legal battles; Cleaver in exile; and Seale and Hilliard in and out of power. Federal and local law enforcement agencies, conscious of the growth and development of the organization, its continued armed police patrols, and its often violent methods began keeping photos and dossiers on various members and their activities.
    By 1969 the Black Panther Party experienced further conflict; the infiltration of disguised police informants and ideological disagreement amongst the ranks created internal instability. Such disputes, however, were momentarily set aside when, in 1970, Huey P. Newton was freed from prison. With his conviction overturned, Newton returned to prominence as the Party's national leader, and community support grew once more.
    A major faction of dissent, lead by Eldridge Cleaver, nevertheless had been firmly established in Newton's absence. Cleaver's dispute centered on the terms of revolution; whereas Newton saw revolution as a process, Cleaver advocated for immediate confrontation. The guns which Panthers first used as a tool for self-defence in 1966, in Cleaver's hands,offered as an ultimatum to society. Newton's philosophy of community service, by contrast, is reflected in the development of Survival Programs such as the Oakland Community School and Seniors Against a Fearful Environment. The Party expelled Cleaver and his comrades in 1972 1for the welfare of the organization and Black communities.
    In 1973, the party experienced another crisis in leadership. Huey Newton fled into exile to Cuba rather than facing arrest and Bobby Seale decided to resign from the Black Panther Party. Elaine Brown assumed the position of chairman of the party and developed the community programs that were in existence. When Huey returned in 1977, the party again experienced a period of divided loyalties between favorite leaders and confusion reigned. By 1981 the final community school sponsored by the Party closed and the Black Panther Party came to an end.
    Huey P. Newton was a strong force in the development of the Black Panther Party with his ideas and charisma. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1980 and wrote several papers and books depicting his theories and his work within the party. After his death in 1989, the Huey P. Newton Foundation was started by David Hilliard and Fredrika Newton to develop and sponsor cultural, historical and educational programs and institutions consistent with the theories and teaching of Huey Newton and the philosophy and ideology of the Black Panther Party.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Huey P. Newton Foundation Records consists of files covering the time period from 1968 -1994 and includes the papers of Huey P. Newton, the Black Panther Party, David Hilliard, FBI papers acquired through the Freedom of Information Act, the Huey P. Newton Foundation, and photographs, audiovisual materials, printed matter and newspaper clippings from all aspects of the collection. There are personal items, correspondences, and internal documents within the organizations. Researchers can find legal files from many different cases, papers from classes that Huey Newton attended, manuscripts of writings by Huey Newton, David Hilliard, and members of the Black Panther Party, and information about programs that the Black Panther Party started (e.g. Oakland Community Schools, Community Survival Projects, health clinics). The financial aspects of the organization are covered in the records of the Stronghold Corp. and other financial materials and ventures. There is also a collection of reference and printed materials that were used by both the Party and Huey Newton.
    The folders themselves are as the Foundation kept them and only arranged to fit into the proper series. Any organization within the folders is that of the person, Party, or the Foundation. In cases where there was no folder name, one was created and placed in brackets. Folders with different contents other than the given title were noted in the "Contents of Folder" field of the database. The Freedom of Information Act files were generally not in folders and so were organized by date.