Getting to Know the 2017 NBA draft: Freshman Edition

As an undergraduate student at an NCAA university and collegiate basketball fan many fans and I are anxiously awaiting the 2017 NBA draft coming up on June 22nd, 2017. Although these prospects have declared for the draft they still have the opportunity until the NBA combine in May to withdraw and return to their respective colleges. The draft engages many basketball fans from all around the world, but many fans lack knowledge on who these individuals are. These young men are making tremendous strides at only 19 or 20 years old. Not only, are these some of the top ten recruits for this years’ NBA draft, but they only completed their freshman collegiate basketball seasons. I remember after my freshman year of college I could barely make my way around campus and these young men are on their way to be potential millionaires. These profiles will feature five of the top ten NBA prospects key attributes and their journey to the NBA draft.

1. Markelle Fultz, University of Washington

37443_012517000249_orcuttf

Markelle Fultz from Marlboro, Maryland is currently the number one prospect for the NBA draft. He completed his freshman basketball season at the University of Washington Huskies where he played point guard and averaged 23 points per game. Although Fultz was in college for only eight months he had an astounding work ethic that was noticed by not only his peers, but his coaches and professors. He remains very humble around his family and friends and is very close in his faith. He is projected to be drafted to the Boston Celtics.

2. Josh Jackson, University of Kansas

josh-jackson_q33c54ugnsef1hjospfi5p2p8

Josh Jackson played for the Kansas Jayhawks for only his freshman season. He is from Detroit, Michigan and played as a 6’8 small forward and shooting guard for the Jayhawks. Jackson averaged 16.3 points per game and is projected to be number two drafted to the Phoenix Suns. Recently, he has signed with a former NBA player B.J. Armstrong to be his agent of Wasserman Media Group. This renowned sports marketing and talent agency represents NBA players such as Russell Westbrook from the Oklahoma City Thunder and Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans. It is safe to say Jackson is surrounded by some elite players by signing with this organization.

3. Lonzo Ball, University of California, Los Angeles

lonzo-ball-032417-usnews-getty-ftr_g365ybv1gcc31adhafmxa4red

Lonzo Ball competed his first season at with the UCLA Brains as a point guard. Ball is from Anaheim, California and is currently projected to be drafted to the LA Lakers where he can remain close to home with his family. On average Lonzo had 14.6 points per game and played about 35 minutes per game. His father LaVar Ball has been engaging in podcasts and radio talks speaking on behalf of Lonzo that could affect his chances to stay in LA or limit his draft process in the NBA. Recently, ESPN has reported that the Lakers are “enamored” with Ball and think he would be a great asset for their team.

4. De’Aaron Fox, University of Kentucky

Arkansas v Kentucky

De’Aaron Fox from Houston, Texas played for the University of Kentucky Wildcats. If you are a college basketball fan everyone knows how well directed this program is under Coach John Calipari. He has one of the highest winning records in college basketball and the highest in his conference, Southeastern Conference (SEC). Many of the athletes from the Kentucky program spend one to two seasons at Kentucky and achieve great accomplishments in the NBA. For example, Devin Booker and Karl Anthony Towns drafted last June 2016 were both first-round picks and continue to be assets to their NBA teams. As Fox enters the draft he has expectations placed on him as a Wildcat. This season, De’Aaron Fox averaged 16.7 points per game as a freshman guard and helped lead his team to win the SEC Tournament, but his jump shot is hindering his ranking as point guard against his competitors Fultz and Ball. Although they did not make it as far as they wanted in NCAA March Madness tournament he believes they gave it their all and these will be his brothers for life as he stated in a post-game video.

5. Jarrett Allen, University of Texas at Austin

Allen_Jarrett_ut_170325

Jarrett Allen born and raised in Round Rock, Texas completed his freshman season at the University of Texas at Austin Longhorns. He is known as one of the “Fro Bros,” along with his Longhorn and USA teammate James Banks by many fans. Allen at 6’11 played as the Center this season and used his height to bring depth to team. Although the Horns did not do as well as they wanted under the leadership of Coach Shaka Smart, Allen stood out amongst his teammates. He averaged 13.4 points per game and 8.4 rebounds per game. He is projected number 10 on the 2017 Mock Draft to the Sacramento Kings. Even though the season was not outstanding Allen has potential to grow and develop as he makes his way to the NBA following in the steps of former Longhorn, Kevin Durant who declared after his freshman year at UT.

These five prospects are following the footsteps of other NBA athletes, such as Anthony Davis or Kyrie Irving who completed a year in college known as the “one and done.” Although these freshmen have experienced very little in their collegiate they have the potential for the NBA. It is still very early to tell if their positions in the draft are set but we will find out on May 16th when the NBA draft is set. All five of these top NBA prospects will continue to develop and make their mark as they prepare for the draft in June.

Note: I have decided to write this article because I want to give a younger perspective on the NBA draft as a female writer. The Bleacher Report features primarily an older male viewpoint and I think it is important to receive all perspectives in an event that is viewed by millions.

Works Cited

Bedore, Gary. (2017, April 17). 2017 NBA Draft: KU’s Josh Jackson signs with an agent, to enter NBA Draft. Kansas City Star. Retrieved April 24, 2017, from http://www.kansascity.com/sports/college/big-12/university-of-kansas/article145017264.html

King, Jason. (2017, March 1). Markelle Fultz Is the Big Man on Campus 2.0: Inside the Making of a Superstar. Bleacher Report. Retrieved April 20, 2017, from http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2695333-markelle-fultz-is-the-big-man-on-campus-20-inside-the-making-of-a-superstar.

Mazlish, J.Z. (2017, March 28). De’Aaron Fox is a jump shot away from being the NBA’s next great point guard. SBNation. Retrieved April 28, 2017, from http://www.sbnation.com/2017/3/28/15077256/deaaron-fox-kentucky-basketball-highlights-nba-draft-ucla

Wasserman, Jonathan. (2017, April 24). NBA Mock Draft After the Declaration Deadline. Bleacher Report. Retrieved April 27, 2017, from http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2704883-nba-mock-draft-after-the-declaration-deadline

Ward, Ryan. (2017, April 24). 2017 NBA Draft: LaVar Ball’s Antics Reportedly Not Impacting Lonzo Ball’s Draft Stock. Lakers Nation. Retrieved April 28, 2017, from http://www.lakersnation.com/2017-nba-draft-lavar-balls-antics-reportedly-not-impacting-lonzo-balls-draft-stock/2017/04/24/

Getting to Know the 2017 NBA draft: Freshman Edition

As an undergraduate student at an NCAA university and collegiate basketball fan many fans and I are anxiously awaiting the 2017 NBA draft coming up on June 22nd, 2017. Although these prospects have declared for the draft they still have the opportunity until the NBA combine in May to withdraw and return to their respective colleges. The draft engages many basketball fans from all around the world, but many fans lack knowledge on who these individuals are. These young men are making tremendous strides at only 19 or 20 years old. Not only, are these some of the top ten recruits for this years’ NBA draft, but they only completed their freshman collegiate basketball seasons. I remember after my freshman year of college I could barely make my way around campus and these young men are on their way to be potential millionaires. These profiles will feature five of the top ten NBA prospects key attributes and their journey to the NBA draft.

1. Markelle Fultz, University of Washington

37443_012517000249_orcuttf

Markelle Fultz from Marlboro, Maryland is currently the number one prospect for the NBA draft. He completed his freshman basketball season at the University of Washington Huskies where he played point guard and averaged 23 points per game. Although Fultz was in college for only eight months he had an astounding work ethic that was noticed by not only his peers, but his coaches and professors. He remains very humble around his family and friends and is very close in his faith. He is projected to be drafted to the Boston Celtics.

2. Josh Jackson, University of Kansas

josh-jackson_q33c54ugnsef1hjospfi5p2p8

Josh Jackson played for the Kansas Jayhawks for only his freshman season. He is from Detroit, Michigan and played as a 6’8 small forward and shooting guard for the Jayhawks. Jackson averaged 16.3 points per game and is projected to be number two drafted to the Phoenix Suns. Recently, he has signed with a former NBA player B.J. Armstrong to be his agent of Wasserman Media Group. This renowned sports marketing and talent agency represents NBA players such as Russell Westbrook from the Oklahoma City Thunder and Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans. It is safe to say Jackson is surrounded by some elite players by signing with this organization.

3. Lonzo Ball, University of California, Los Angeles

lonzo-ball-032417-usnews-getty-ftr_g365ybv1gcc31adhafmxa4red

Lonzo Ball competed his first season at with the UCLA Brains as a point guard. Ball is from Anaheim, California and is currently projected to be drafted to the LA Lakers where he can remain close to home with his family. On average Lonzo had 14.6 points per game and played about 35 minutes per game. His father LaVar Ball has been engaging in podcasts and radio talks speaking on behalf of Lonzo that could affect his chances to stay in LA or limit his draft process in the NBA. Recently, ESPN has reported that the Lakers are “enamored” with Ball and think he would be a great asset for their team.

4. De’Aaron Fox, University of Kentucky

Arkansas v Kentucky

De’Aaron Fox from Houston, Texas played for the University of Kentucky Wildcats. If you are a college basketball fan everyone knows how well directed this program is under Coach John Calipari. He has one of the highest winning records in college basketball and the highest in his conference, Southeastern Conference (SEC). Many of the athletes from the Kentucky program spend one to two seasons at Kentucky and achieve great accomplishments in the NBA. For example, Devin Booker and Karl Anthony Towns drafted last June 2016 were both first-round picks and continue to be assets to their NBA teams. As Fox enters the draft he has expectations placed on him as a Wildcat. This season, De’Aaron Fox averaged 16.7 points per game as a freshman guard and helped lead his team to win the SEC Tournament, but his jump shot is hindering his ranking as point guard against his competitors Fultz and Ball. Although they did not make it as far as they wanted in NCAA March Madness tournament he believes they gave it their all and these will be his brothers for life as he stated in a post-game video.

5. Jarrett Allen, University of Texas at Austin

Allen_Jarrett_ut_170325

Jarrett Allen born and raised in Round Rock, Texas completed his freshman season at the University of Texas at Austin Longhorns. He is known as one of the “Fro Bros,” along with his Longhorn and USA teammate James Banks by many fans. Allen at 6’11 played as the Center this season and used his height to bring depth to team. Although the Horns did not do as well as they wanted under the leadership of Coach Shaka Smart, Allen stood out amongst his teammates. He averaged 13.4 points per game and 8.4 rebounds per game. He is projected number 10 on the 2017 Mock Draft to the Sacramento Kings. Even though the season was not outstanding Allen has potential to grow and develop as he makes his way to the NBA following in the steps of former Longhorn, Kevin Durant who declared after his freshman year at UT.

These five prospects are following the footsteps of other NBA athletes, such as Anthony Davis or Kyrie Irving who completed a year in college known as the “one and done.” Although these freshmen have experienced very little in their collegiate they have the potential for the NBA. It is still very early to tell if their positions in the draft are set but we will find out on May 16th when the NBA draft is set. All five of these top NBA prospects will continue to develop and make their mark as they prepare for the draft in June.

Note: I have decided to write this article because I want to give a younger perspective on the NBA draft as a female writer. The Bleacher Report features primarily an older male viewpoint and I think it is important to receive all perspectives in an event that is viewed by millions.

 

Works Cited

Bedore, Gary. (2017, April 17). 2017 NBA Draft: KU’s Josh Jackson signs with an agent, to enter NBA Draft. Kansas City Star. Retrieved April 24, 2017, from http://www.kansascity.com/sports/college/big-12/university-of-kansas/article145017264.html

King, Jason. (2017, March 1). Markelle Fultz Is the Big Man on Campus 2.0: Inside the Making of a Superstar. Bleacher Report. Retrieved April 20, 2017, from http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2695333-markelle-fultz-is-the-big-man-on-campus-20-inside-the-making-of-a-superstar.

Mazlish, J.Z. (2017, March 28). De’Aaron Fox is a jump shot away from being the NBA’s next great point guard. SBNation. Retrieved April 28, 2017, from http://www.sbnation.com/2017/3/28/15077256/deaaron-fox-kentucky-basketball-highlights-nba-draft-ucla

Wasserman, Jonathan. (2017, April 24). NBA Mock Draft After the Declaration Deadline. Bleacher Report. Retrieved April 27, 2017, from http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2704883-nba-mock-draft-after-the-declaration-deadline

Ward, Ryan. (2017, April 24). 2017 NBA Draft: LaVar Ball’s Antics Reportedly Not Impacting Lonzo Ball’s Draft Stock. Lakers Nation. Retrieved April 28, 2017, from http://www.lakersnation.com/2017-nba-draft-lavar-balls-antics-reportedly-not-impacting-lonzo-balls-draft-stock/2017/04/24/

Are you a Sports Enthusiast? The Bleacher Report is for YOU.

 

The Bleacher Report is a San Francisco based sports website that reports the latest sports news, live scores, breaking updates and video highlights. It features various sports organizations such as, the NBA, NFL, MLB and more. It is currently owned by Turner Broadcasting, but was founded by

Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 11.42.01 PM
Founders of the Bleacher Report

David Finocchio, David Nemetz, Bryan Goldberg and Alexander Freund in 2007 with their motto, “covering your teams better than anyone else.” This platform seeks to give sports consumers a one stop shop for all sport related content and news. It is a very well know and successful medium because not only does it display graphics and text, but it has a large social media base that is followed by millions.

The main components of this platform consist of digital graphics, video and articles. The medium aims to feature many elements of sports at professional and collegiate levels. Although the content of the Bleacher Report is only sports related it creates captivating stories for its consumers and keeps them up to date on the sports world and the most trending sports topics. The social media of the Bleacher Report keeps is what keeps its fans up to date. Their Twitter page has over 3 million followers, not including the number of people they can reach via retweets and shared content.

 

Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 5.24.22 PM

The Bleacher Report facilitates the process to find sports information for its users by creating tabs for each sport, linking tickets to StubHub for upcoming games and listing current and upcoming games for their viewers to use as a reference. They also list each time under their respective category, which makes it easier for a consumer to find information on their team. The website is very interconnected to other sites such as, the NBA and other team’s social media, which truly makes it a compelling experience for their audience, which are sports enthusiasts. I believe the interconnectivity of the website allows it to grab the audience attention because they can access it many ways. The Bleacher Report provides the ultimate sports experience and knowledge to its readers.

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Howard Beck, Bleacher Report

Since the digital space is sports based the articles are centered around athletes and other key players in the sports industry. One notable contributor for the Bleacher Report is Howard Beck. He is a Senior NBA Writer at the Bleacher Report, works on long form stories and is in his 19th season of covering the NBA. He stories feature the NBA at large specifically covering the Knicks and Nets and he co-hosts NBA Sunday Tip on the Bleacher Report Radio. Most of his recent articles feature the Knicks and Nets, but he will engage in nontraditional material on other NBA teams such as the Oklahoma City Thunder. His most recent article “Last Fan Standing.” featured a dedicated 11-year-old OKC fan named Charlie Rico who still supports Kevin Durant despite his trade to the Golden State Warriors. Charlie explains how although other people burned Durant’s jerseys and called him a traitor he still sees him as a good guy and supports him and his initiative to help charity. He mentions how Durant truly cared about the Oklahoma City community and he demonstrated that by donating $57,000 last December to the homeless. Charlie knows that Durant will not be welcomed with open arms when the Warriors come to Oklahoma City, but will continue to yell, “Come on Kev!” just as he always has. This type of article is abnormal for Bleacher Report writers to cover because there is more reporting of news versus appealing emotion of the readers. In Beck’s articles, he tends to show a different style of writing compared to the other contributors. He exemplifies more versatility within his writing on the Bleacher Report and wants to engage all types of readers. This type of article can broaden the audience because of the emotional appeal it makes. This shows an example that although the Bleacher Report’s main purpose is to deliver sports related news it can tell stories and profile athletes in a way that goes beyond their athletic ability.

 

 

Getting to know a Black Panther Legend: Huey Newton

 

huey
Huey P. Newton

 

Around five o’clock on the morning of October 28, 1967, in the desolate district between San Francisco Bay and the Oakland estuary that the Oakland police call Beat l0l A, a 25-year-old black militant named Huey P. Newton was stopped and questioned by a white police officer named John Frey Jr. An hour later Huey P. Newton was under arrest at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland, where he had gone for emergency treatment of a gunshot wound in his stomach, and a few weeks later he was indicted by the Alameda County grand jury on charges of murdering officer John Frey, wounding another officer, and kidnapping a bystander. He is now awaiting trial in the Alameda County jail.

Who is Huey P. Newton?

To understand how that had happened, you must first consider Huey Newton, who he is. He comes from an Oakland family, and for a while lie went to Merritt College, In October of 1966 he and a friend named Bobby Seale organized what they called the Black Panther Party. They borrowed the name from the emblem used by the Freedom Party in Lowndes County. Ala., and. from the beginning, they defined themselves as a revolutionary political group. The Oakland police know the Panthers, and have a list of the 20 or so cars they drive. I am telling you neither that Huey Newton killed John Frey nor that he did not kill John Frey, for in the context of revolutionary politics Huey Newton’s guilt or innocence is irrelevant. I am telling you only how Huey Newton happened to be in the Alameda County jail, and why rallies were held in his name, demonstrations organized whenever he appeared in court. LET’s SPRING HUEY, the buttons said (50 cents each), and here and there on the courthouse steps, among the Black Panthers with their berets and sunglasses, the chants would go up: Get your M-31.‘Cause babv we gonna have some fun, BOOM, BOOM. BOOM, BOOM.” “Fight on, brother,” a woman would add in the spirit of a good-natured amen. “Bang, bang.”

It was at the night rallies, of course, that the big names came out. James Forman came, and told the Panthers and their black and white admirers that whereas the retaliation they were to extract in the case of his own death should be only 10 war factories. 15 power plants, 30 police stations, one southern governor, two mayors and 50 cops, “for Huey Newton the sky’s the limit.” Rap Brown came, “The only thing that’s gonna free Huey Newton,” he told them, “is gunpowder,” Stokely Carmichael came, and he told them this: “Huey Newton laid down his life for us.”

The Trial

But of course Huey Newton had not yet laid down his life at all, he was just sitting there in the Alameda County jail waiting to be tried, and I wondered if the direction these rallies were taking ever made him uneasy, ever made him suspect that in many ways he was more useful to the revolution behind bars than on the street. It was the fact of him being behind bars, after all, that attracted attention, that enabled Huey Newton to give, as he was giving the day I saw him at press conferences.

There was a Los Angeles Times man there that morning, and a radio newscaster, and we all signed the police register and sat around a scarred pine table and waited for Mr. Newton. When he came in, he seemed an extremely likable young man, engaging, direct, and 1 did not get the sense that he had intended to become a political martyr. He smiled at us all and waited for the tape recorder, and then he smoked and talked, running the words together because he had said them so many times before, “the American capitalistic materialistic system” and “so-called free enterprise” and “the fight for the liberation of black people throughout the world.”

His lawyer was Eldridge Cleaver, the Black Panthers’ Minister of Information were there too. Huey Newton was also still the Minister of Defense. Eldridge Cleaver wore a black sweater and one gold earring and spoke in an almost inaudible drawl and was allowed to see Huey Newton because he had press credentials, from Ramparts. Actually his interest was in getting “statements” from Huey Newton, “messages” for the faithful, and every now and then he would signal Huey Newton and say something like, “There are a lot of people interested in the Executive Mandate Number Three you’ve issued to the Black Panther Party. Huey, Care to comment on that?”

And Huey Newton, like a bright child with a good memory, would comment, “Yes, Mandate Number Three is this demand from the Black Panther Party speaking for the black community. Within the mandate we admonish the racist police force,” I kept wishing that he would talk about himself, hoping to break through the wall of rhetoric, but he seemed to be one of those who played it safe and remained general.

I seemed to be listening to one of those educational fun-fair machines, where pressing a button elicits great thoughts on selected subjects, I heard Huey P. Newton speak about racism, cultural nationalism, and white radicalism.

Racism “The Black Panther Part is against racism,” Huey P. Newton.

Cultural Nationalism “The Black Panther Party believes that the only culture worth holding onto is revolutionary culture,” Huey P. Newton.

White Radicalism Police Occupation of the Ghetto, The European vs. The African. “The European started to be sick when he denied his sexual nature,” Huey Newton said, and his lawyer interrupted then, bringing it back to first principles. “Isn’t it true, though, Huey,” he said, “that racism got its start for economic reasons?”

There was a window between where we sat and the sheriff’s deputies at the jail desk, and I had the sense that we were acting out some dumb show for them behind the glass. The small room was hot and the fluorescent light hurt my eyes and I still did not know to what extent Huey Newton understood the nature of the role in which he had been cast. As It happened I had always appreciated the logic of the Panther position, based as it is on the notion that political power begins with the barrel of a gun, which is exactly what guns had been specified in an early memorandum from Huey P. Newton.

 

 

huey_demo_guards
The Alameda County Court House

In the politics of revolution everyone is expendable, but I doubted that Huey Newton’s political sophistication extended to seeing himself that way; the value of a Scottsboro boy is easier to see if you are not yourself the Scottsboro boy. “Is there anything else you want to ask Huey?” the lawyer said. There did not seem to be. The lawyer adjusted his tape recorder.” I’ve had a request, Huey,” he said.” from a high school student, a reporter on his school paper. and he wanted a statement from you, and he’s going to call me tonight. Care to give me a message for him? Huey Newton regarded the microphone. There was a moment in which he seemed not to remember what button had been pushed, and then he brightened. “I would like to point out.” he said, and I could see how the memory disks have clicked, high school, student, youth, message to youth, “That America is becoming a very young nation.”

 

Below is an interview between Eldridge Cleaver and Huey P. Newton. Cleaver was with the press and took a visit to the Alameda County Jail when Newton was in jail. Cleaver conducted an interview with Newton to get to know more about him and his experience with the Black Panther Party and hear his side of the story.

Q: Tell us something about yourself. Huey, I mean your life before the Panthers.

A: Before the Black Panther Party my life was very similar to that of most black people in the country.

 Q: Well, your family, some incidents you remember, the influences that shaped you . . . A. Living in America shaped me.

Q: Well, yes. but more specifically—

A: It reminds me of a quote from James Baldwin: “To be black and conscious in America is to be in a constant slate of rage.” (Interview with Eldridge Cleaver)

 

Getting to know a Black Panther Legend: Huey P. Newton

huey
Huey P. Newton

 

Q: Tell us something about yourself. Huey, I mean your life before the Panthers.

A: Before the Black Panther Party my life was very similar to that of most black people in the country.

 Q: Well, your family, some incidents you remember, the influences that shaped you . . . A. Living in America shaped me.

Q: Well, yes. but more specifically—

A: It reminds me of a quote from James Baldwin: “To be black and conscious in America is to be in a constant slate of rage.” (Interview with Eldridge Cleaver)

Around five o’clock on the morning of October 28, 1967, in the desolate district between San Francisco Bay and the Oakland estuary that the Oakland police call Beat l0l A, a 25-year-old black militant named Huey P. Newton was stopped and questioned by a white police officer named John Frey Jr. An hour later Huey P. Newton was under arrest at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland, where he had gone for emergency treatment of a gunshot wound in his stomach, and a few weeks later he was indicted by the Alameda County grand jury on charges of murdering Jolin Frey, wounding another officer, and kidnapping a bystander. He is now awaiting trial in the Alameda County jail.

Who is Huey P. Newton?

To understand how that had happened, you must first consider Huey Newton, who he is. He comes from an Oakland family, and for a while lie went to Merritt College, In October of 1966 he and a friend named Bobby Seale organized what they called the Black Panther Party. They borrowed the name from the emblem used by the Freedom Party in Lowndes County. Ala., and. from the beginning, they defined themselves as a revolutionary political group. The Oakland police know the Panthers, and have a list of the 20 or so cars they drive. I am telling you neither that Huey Newton killed John Frey nor that he did not kill John Frey, for in the context of revolutionary politics Huey Newton’s guilt or innocence is irrelevant. I am telling you only how Huey Newton happened to be in the Alameda County jail, and why rallies were held in his name, demonstrations organized whenever he appeared in court. LET’s SPRING HUEY, the buttons said (50 cents each), and here and there on the courthouse steps, among the Black Panthers with their berets and sunglasses, the chants would go up:

Get your M-31.
‘Cause babv we gonna have some fun, BOOM, BOOM. BOOM, BOOM.”
“Fight on, brother,” a woman would add in the spirit of a good-natured amen. “Bang, bang.”

It was at the night rallies, of course, that the big names came out. James Forman came, and told the Panthers and their black and white admirers that whereas the retaliation they were to extract in the case of his own death should be only 10 war factories. 15 power plants, 30 police stations, one southern governor, two mayors and 50 cops, “for Huey Newton the sky’s the limit.” Rap Brown came, “The only thing that’s gonna free Huey Newton,” he told them, “is gunpowder,” Stokely Carmichael came, and he told them this: “Huey Newton laid down his life for us,”

The Trial

But of course Huey Newton had not yet laid down his life at all, was just sitting there in the Alameda County jail waiting to be tried, and I wondered if the direction these rallies were taking ever made him uneasy, ever made him suspect that in many ways he was more useful to the revolution behind bars than on the street. It was the fact of him being behind bars, after all, that attracted attention, that enabled Huey Newton to give, as he was giving the day I saw him at press conferences.

There was a Los Angeles Times man there that morning, and a radio newscaster, and we all signed the police register and sat around a scarred pine table and waited for Mr. Newton. When he came in, he seemed an extremely likable young man, engaging, direct, and 1 did not get the sense that he had intended to become a political martyr. He smiled at us all and waited for the tape recorder, and then he smoked and talked, running the words together because he had said them so many times before, “the American capitalistic materialistic system” and “so-called free enterprise” and “the fight for the liberation of black people throughout the world.”

His lawyer was and Eldridge Cleaver, the Black Panthers’ Minister of Information were there too. Huey Newton was also still the Minister of Defense. Eldridge Cleaver wore a black sweater and one gold earring and spoke in an almost inaudible drawl and was allowed to see Huey Newton because he had press credentials, from Ramparts. Actually his interest was in getting “statements” from Huey Newton, “messages” for the faithful, and every now and then he would signal Huey Newton and say something like, “There are a lot of people interested in the Executive Mandate Number Three you’ve issued to the Black Panther Party. Huey, Care to comment on that?”

And Huey Newton, like a bright child with a good memory, would comment, “Yes, Mandate Number Three is this demand from the Black Panther Party speaking for the black community. Within the mandate we admonish the racist police force,” I kept wishing that he would talk about himself, hoping to break through the wall of rhetoric, but he seemed to be one of those who played it safe and remained general.

I seemed to be listening to one of those educational fun-fair machines, where pressing a button elicits great thoughts on selected subjects, I heard Huey P. Newton speak about racism, cultural nationalism, and white radicalism.

Racism “The Black Panther Part is against racism,” Huey P. Newton.

Cultural Nationalism “The Black Panther Party believes that the only culture worth holding onto is revolutionary culture,” Huey P. Newton.

White Radicalism Police Occupation of the Ghetto, The European vs. The African. “The European started to be sick when he denied his sexual nature,” Huey Newton said, and his lawyer interrupted then, bringing it back to first principles. “Isn’t it true, though, Huey,” he said, “that racism got its start for economic reasons?”

There was a window between where we sat and the sheriff’s deputies at the jail desk, and I had the sense that we were acting out some dumb show for them behind the glass. The small room was hot and the fluorescent light hurt my eyes and I still did not know to what extent Huey Newton understood the nature of the role in which he had been cast. As It happened I had always appreciated the logic of the Panther position, based as it is on the notion that political power begins with the barrel of a gun, which is exactly what guns had been specified in an early memorandum from Huey P. Newton.

 

huey_demo_guards
The Alameda County Court House

 

In the politics of revolution everyone is expendable, but I doubted that Huey Newton’s political sophistication extended to seeing himself that way; the value of a Scottsboro boy is easier to see if you are not yourself the Scottsboro boy. “Is there anything else you want to ask Huey?” the lawyer said. There did not seem to be. The lawyer adjusted his tape recorder.” I’ve had a request, Huey,” he said.” from a high school student, a reporter on his school paper. and he wanted a statement from you, and he’s going to call me tonight. Care to give me a message for him? Huey Newton regarded the microphone. There was a moment in which he seemed not to remember what button had been pushed, and then he brightened. “I would like to point out.” he said, and I could see how the memory disks have clicked, high school, student, youth, message to youth, “That America is becoming a very young nation.”