5 Interesting Facts about Fredrika Newton
Black History and Women's History Month
For me, Black History does not stop when February ends. Black History is American history! Black History is World History! I feel the same way about Women's History. So, for the next month, I'll be doing something special. I will post a series of articles on black women who have made significant contributions to history. I decided to write my first post on a woman you may not know. This woman's work inspires me to better my community. Today, I choose to shine a light on Fredrika Newton.
Mrs. Newton is the widow of the revolutionary leader and co-founder of the Black Panther Party - Dr. Huey P. Newton. The former Black Panther Party member has become an activist in her own right. Here, I explore 5 interesting facts about Mrs. Newton.
1. President of The Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation
Mrs. Newton continues to preserve the legacy of her husband and the Black Panther Party. In 1993, Newton help to establish the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation. Mrs. Newton serves as the organization's president conducting many community outreach programs. These programs help with literacy, voter outreach, and health-related issues. The organization is working now to erect Black Panther monuments in Oakland, CA.
In an interview, Mrs. Newton spoke on the importance of the Black Panther Party's legacy. Fredrika hopes such monuments will help show the great acts of the party.
2. George Jackson Clinic
Also, Newton helped establish the George Jackson Free Medical Clinic. The clinic was named after political prisoner and author George Jackson. Jackson was a revolutionary who gained fame for his book Soledad Brother (1970). The book is a collection of Jackson's letters which were written while he was in prison. In 1971, Jackson was killed during a prison escape.
Jackson was also, a member of the Black Panther Party and was active in recruiting members in prison.
3. Black Panther Teacher and Newspaper Writer
Mrs. Newton started working as a teacher shortly after joining the Panther Party. Mrs. Newton taught at the Samuel Napier Youth Institute. The Black Panther Party established the school in January of 1971. The school help to educate black children from lower-income families in Oakland, CA. At the time, The Panthers felt that public schools systematically failed black youth.
The Party developed new teaching methods to improve the skills of black students. The success of the school and its methods gained the attention of the School District in Oakland. The district tried to adopt similar methods at other educational centers.
During Mrs. Newton's time at the institute, she help to write the Panther Party's newspaper. A pivotal periodical created by the party.
4. Political Mother
Mrs. Newton met Huey through her mother Arlene Slaughter at a dinner party. Slaughter was an activist and real estate broker for the Black Panther Party. Mrs. Newton's mother did a lot of work within the black communities of California. Slaughter even helped Huey P. Newton attain his penthouse apartment in downtown Oakland. Allegedly, the penthouse was used for Huey's protection.
5. Former Drug Rehab Nurse
After Huey's death, Mrs. Newton started working in the field of addiction medicine. Newton was inspired to become a rehab nurse due to her late husband's substance abuse problem. In 2006, Mrs. Newton spoke on C-SPAN for the promotion of David Hilliard's book Huey: Spirit of the Panther (2006). During her speech, Mrs. Newton discussed her work in helping recovering addicts. Mrs. Newton stated, "...If someone like Huey would walk in, I'd ask if they were ready to start." " Say here are the tools to help you start but, you have to want it."
To learn more about the work of Fredrika Newton and the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation visit here.
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About the author
Hey everyone! I'm Zari welcome to my diary! I started this blog to express and discuss my passion for writing, crochet, art, singing, dance, and poetry! Yes! I'm very talented! Follow me as I create!