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pensive Huey
I'm actually a rather shy individual. I wouldn't consider myself to be very charismatic; I never did anything hero-like, I just worked on some little community programs. I do have a role to play however - I'm a theorist of sorts - I work on theories. But I really do not enjoy discussing the details of my personal life except as it relates to the movement. I hate cameras, microphones stuck up in my face. To tell you the truth, I hate stages cause they put you up on a stage and expect for you to entertain them and I keep trying to tell them I'm not an entertainer. Came to New York and I was supposed to speak at the Apollo Theater - 125th Street. And somebody called me, said Huey we gonna have to cancel the rally, somebody's gonna assassinate you from the balcony. I said listen if I'm ever foolish enough to get up on stage at the Apollo Theatre they wouldn't need to assassinate me, that man will just come out and hook me off the stage. What's his name? The sandman? Yeah, the sandman cometh.
My parents taught me to be unafraid of life and therefore unafraid of death. They were both very much involved in the NAACP through their church. My father was in fact a man of the church. Small man, wasn't very tall, but whenever he stood up in that pulpit on Sunday morning, he was the tallest man in the world to me. Hardworking man - he worked three or four jobs simultaneously to support us. He had to - there were seven children in the family - I'm the youngest one of seven. We were poor, of course I didn't know what that meant at the time, all I knew was that my father was away from home quite often and I resented him for that at that time. But now I realize that he did it because he loved us and we did love him in return even though he was what you might a call a benevolent tyrant - there was only one way of doing anything in this wide world and that was always my daddy's way.
Huey P. Newton in Alameda County Jail Huey P. Newton in Alameda County Jail Huey P. Newton in Alameda County Jail
I got myself together as a young adult and went on to law school, which made my parents very happy cause they figured that I would graduate from law school, take the bar, pass the bar and make a lot of money. And of course I dropped out which disappointed them greatly. They saw it as a form of ingratitude after all they had sacrificed for me. But to tell you the truth, the only reason I started studying the law in the first place was so that I could become a better burglar. Its true the first college course I ever signed up for back in junior college was a course in criminology because I wanted to be a criminal, but I didn't know which type so I figured I would take a course in criminology, maybe that would help me make up my mind. I was a big time fool; that's why I have confidence in knowing what a big time fool is.
Huey P's
Of course my namesake is Governor Huey P. Long of Louisiana. That's where I was born, Louisiana. And it seems like my father felt that Huey P. Long had done positive things for black people in Louisiana, so he named me after him. And as you can imagine the name always caused me a few problems. He was a notorious racist but not really political problems per se, but really more problems of a personal nature. See cause I was the youngest one of seven, I was the baby and my name was Huey, so everybody want to call me, don't say it, don't even think about saying it. Who wants to be named after a little funny walking, funny talking cartoon duck?
You don't even want to know what happened to the last person called me baby to my face. And these kids can be merciless, start rhyming on your name. They used to run me home from school, every day throwing rocks upside my head, talking about Huey P. Huey P. goes wee wee wee. I'm running home to my mama, rocks upside my head, tears coming down my face, talking about mama mama, I don't want to be Huey P. Newton no more, I don't want to be Huey P. Newton no more. My mother said son listen, Huey P. Newton is the name you were given at birth and Huey P. Newton is name you shall carry into your grave - Huey P. Newton.
And my father came out to California with another good friend of his who was also trying to support a large family. And this friend of his got a good job with the Oakland Public Works Department, something like that, but he quit that job cause he took a new job with the Oakland Police Department. He must have been one of the first black police officers on the force - we're talking way back in 1952 '53, something like that. And my father broke friendship with him, not because he joined the police force, he had to support his family just like my daddy; he broke his friendship with him because his friend was only allowed to arrest black people. So my father broke friendship with him on principle, cause that's the kind of man my father was, he was a man of high standing principle.
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