A visit with Huey Newton: Vacaville Prison Facility; October 17, 1968
Officials at the Vacaville medical facility allowed the press to speak to Black Panther Party founder Huey P. Newton Wednesday and Thursday of this week for the first time since his recent trial KPFA was told he would be allowed to visit with the press from 1:00 to 3:00 pm on Thursday and we arrived at 1:00 precisely entering the facility which is a cop out word like device as a nuclear device. Entering the prison meant showing President of occasion signing and getting my wrist invisibly stamped. Waiting for a series of steel gates to slide open with with NO to ever opening at the same time showing more identification and signing more slips of paper going through more steel doors until I was in the prisoner's area where I didn't know what to do with my eyes and they didn't know what to do with my beard. I was finally led to a small office to wait for Huey Newton who I was told was with his psychologist Dr. Sorenson. A short while later two other members of the
press arrived. Joe who's the editor of the movement and Karen Wald of both the movement and the Guardian. We waited and waited until 2:30. Meanwhile making several somewhat half hearted attempts to point out the time to various officials one of whom politely informed us that Mr Sorenson work was just as important as ours of course for us there was no possibility of returning tomorrow. But it is difficult to bring oneself to argue with the establishment when locked up in it. Before using the phone to contact the official who had arranged for us to see we wanted to dial quickly because any phone left off the hook for longer than 10 seconds would set off an alarm at 2:30 he was brought to our tiny office and we began to talk. The first voice you hear is that if you leave the Newton. It's a. PR machine.
You got to. Say Here it is here. Very. Well through. The Prophet. Rather. Than a prophet a matter you mention but not one that's. Good enough. For a thousand. Just more of. Your ass. Right. After this brief discussion with Joe Blow. He began pouring over the various issues of both the under and above ground press brought in by Joe and Karen. One contained a picture of Huey taken Wednesday. His head practically shaved. From never having. Seen it nothing. But. That mother thing I. Think. She said that in the man threatening that you know something that he was completely bald. Yeah yeah.
Now you feel they get you to keep your bare feet. There are a lot of the patches. Yeah I get it can't reassure. Karrar So even if your back you couldn't yourself I know you never. Know. There's a person. Reasonably fair. In the courts who said that they hacked up two and a half hours of any one minute here to explain news you never very much you know. But this was very bad when they played they all played up. One question that was asked how did it feel about Officer breaking.
And. I explained it. When ever anyone has heard the. Passion for them. And went on to explain it. I had no responsibility for those innocent. But still the Panthers are against killing against all wars. Matter of fact. Explain. Evolution. But they'll explain this if you say that I feel remorseful about it. Well the place where they could be interpreted well crappy stuff like. You. I'd like. To. Say what your reaction was but. I'm really. Curious. How specifically. What specifically.
Would you react negatively. Obviously it was just something with. What points. You point to the see. Why blacks were systematically excluded. In. My charity and on this including the fact that the public defenders apparently reported to the attorneys. To Geary. It has been here experience whenever black was tried. There will be more than one or two blacks Jiri. In the other corner where blacks were banned for blacks on the jury. D.A. had ordered his department to dismiss any blacks
preparatory challenge so that they would be a part of my panel. This wasn't. Because public defenders refused test this even though they give me a mission too. So this went against injustice. District attorney didn't want to challenge even more black than 20 flicks which one. Thing is. Jet. Attempted to erase the tape recording. This was the change of. Career. The first driver was a star witness for the prosecution stated that he did. See the defendant. Allegedly.
Clear because the only. Trial did seem clear because again it's late so. We've got the tape. Two days after Jervis Tate was listen to maybe force presented in court it was very clear on tape it was a possession of the D.A.. That. He said he didn't he didn't see the. Person clear but the DA was listening to a court and the Perrier to reach that part of the Jaish could even hear it was left to transcribe the tape to know the tape recorder and played it else I would get lost completely. We had done so this treachery. District terms. I presume that. The coins will be use terms to get retrained.
But it does look as if according to Mr Gary that you will. Probably be here in the 18 months before you know anything and maybe longer actually. Yeah but they won't give me bail that's. Discriminatory practice. Manslaughter you're. Eligible for bail which is in the discretion of the court after conviction. They will get spite of the fact that the community that they want to protect. By putting their signatures. Asking for release on bail she. Kept for this. Reason I say that.
He will give this control to the people he was going to control it like he saw fit and conform to the political machine and. I was released on bail. After the trial you were taken immediately. Back of the. I couldn't believe when a newsman was standing outside the Alameda County Courthouse just that was over. With and his name was really accurate when you say you seen in a station wagon race you couldn't. Really of the whole substance of them so tight up to them would have allowed them to actually drive you directly by the group. So that's exactly what happened was it. Was just one station and you were there were six miles to see a.
Six car escort to back oh we don't have a quarter of a safe most of it. I don't have returned to myself directly down. Matter of fact they were so anxious to get me out they packed about someone else to get back to them. I reckon I have a close till. I think of courting down picked San Francisco. And. You know they gave him. Yeah here bail of any economic Internet him again for nothing. The cops are saying it took 200 caps this was rubber.
After my first warm a marathon marathon. When I validate. That theory. Community to explore. What's what's going on here hasn't been bad as far as your being concerned as well I mean. It's a very crude. Thing Get it right. Well it's worth it. And to improve it. I have the privilege to raise. As far as attitude still very hostile magnitude and every day I have some altercation or. Police or reprimanded me for some pay thing and actually make a big scene out of it. Attempting to provoke me. But I've submitted to the
temptation because I realized that they would like to go. Into. The prisons are very concerned about it. They've noticed that each day there's usually there at least some other minor. It's really it's really a very serious I'll give you an example yesterday. I'm supposed to leave my. Unit at 7:30 have a card to go over X corporate seven. Piece. Car to go to person
over the speaker every want to lock up. And. Go home before ever. After. Well everyone locked up and call me out and say. Well I mean we're lucky but there we were guys who keep the winning streak. And he called me out and the police called me I think he said Why haven't you when you come to me dead. As me and you didn't. And I called you by name. Most difficult for me I understand speak but I hear the noise but it's scrambled. Speakers. I think but. He says well whatever you're supposed to come you know he's nice he said very literal way pointing his finger.
So. And so I say that whenever I had heard him I would have responded What do you want me to do my me like I'm ashamed of my work. He can take what you know given makes a watch and see where am I going to do bad fishy things. So then he said well I'm going to go room and you get a speaker call me I'll see you back here. So I went to the room and so I went up to the speaker and pressed the button and I did and then he stayed in there. Very upset. And they came out I said What did you hear me. Fading fading into a sweat you know big thing. So then I walked. In. He caught my name stepped back.
And he said whenever I call you I want you to come out here. And every day seven and I say. Mister See. This big shaking you. Feel each take if you're over look tame to go. For it you know it's for the way we talk to you I didn't go reprimanded. When I first came when I was treated. Sometimes I. Misread. You see because I
care. If you. Were. To be a janitor. To. Work really you have to live. You know take place. The first time I really thought I could be for years. But I have so far I can go a quarter
and I'm going to get my life practically all day when I met in a jam or. Really the library only stays open two hours. To any place you go. To. Use for counseling. You were.
Just a conversation. Into the case. First his first question was. How do you control us. Hear hear. I can't can't relate. Using what. Works.
They have it here. The only thing is mandatory so forestry. Maybe is mandatory too because if you don't get. There it's cause for disciplinary action against. Perceived slip to go to the. Orientation twice a week. So maybe a psychologist. It's a. You know it's a pretty interest rate. Society.
Counsellor relate. Because it seems to be there. Get real. They have a real purpose.
He didn't do anything. People do give you give you take you. Can't stand. Pretty well. Just get. Back never so far as. Decadence. If you.
Just scream. Listening in. Or standing. But. Can't really see. Some of them even protect. Maybe they don't take the
thing to do it. You know. You said earlier that. You will be watched. What has been. Made to you. Actually ministration. As a bit of makes been well received. It was well received very friendly and intimate friend. I think they expected me to organize since I get here.
Of course I have. To. Adjust to the situation or at least understand the dynamics that are working here. Figure out some things you can do. I think they were they were expecting. Me to respond to the. Bashing. Because. Directed their hostilities at me. So please. People.
Will. You go for. 60 days if. You know. What I think of him you know. 3 you fear. This. Is not. This time. I think. It was really. Good it was a normal procedure here for a year or so is when. You. Know what kind of person. Back to. My history.
Back today when I was concentrating on a question correctly it is very interesting to me. So I just go through and just make black marks on the paper. Because most of us went through it because I just do it in three minutes. Because. I can't see it. But the fifth.
One of the most apt to do. But. Then they had. This one section of history. Like these. Circles. Change takes. A retest when they save it this time the count may skip to. This time a counselor due to a mistake.
Give me a test and I was a half hour. It set me back and start walking. Actually I don't think you could do a decent job on this test and that. Person said you can finish this test with us so we can do this test. No one between you and your superior. Just talk to the fact now if he had all my pet. Theory there. Might test.
And explain a bit of it. We know we don't. We still don't know anything about here. The. Test. Reflects you know. So I said What do you have to know. You know what. You. Are going to change to take. OK. I'll jump back in with both feet. I guess this is probably the most serious question I had in mind asking when I came in and so I wrote that way. What do you think. The effect is going to be.
If. You. Build it all. In jail. How do you think you might change that. I think it might change them because they you know Achree. Most Outstanding. I think. Dany Hillary. Here you're here with. George Mary Kathleen you have a. Big hand. Frank I think there will be a had only and. Bilbray there. And Wade. And some other Panthers take a leading. Critic and. She's been.
Kept out of circulation. We have laid down a program like taking. Leaders. Leaders from their taking program are taking away. There was. One. Major. One of the major attempt was to create a program for community. And. So. People have leadership abilities. Be attracted to the program and to the community. So you definitely feel. For.
You. We're trying to. Be carried on. Here we have. Deputy Minister of Information Ray Lewis. With a cleaver. So natter and paper paper. I think things will go. Into Larry. Do you do you have any feeling that there may be. People involved in the conference who. As as the three of you are locked up. Will get. That much more frustrated in the process. Do you expect an increasing sense of militancy. Continues to happen. I think that people were more Oprah this
oppression escalating this country to liberation. Escalating. Oppression. Here. Is just one example. Press people here. Think we know different. Anything. Question.
The. Prison. People. Some people. With the. Most. Potential. In the prison system so some. Respect. So far. Inmate inmate. List. Members probably
thinking. They want. Something. To take with. Especially in. Terms. Of maybe. 20. 20.
But some inmates have joined. This point. And. Many of them care. To. Play. I plan to do some more relaxed campaigning right here on.
New year's time we fix. Things. And when. You come back here.
Research. Challenge this particular low tan. Matter of fact inmates are very enthusiastic about it because they mask me about which case. They are very interested on that point. The camera probably like yes of course and this is TELL ME IF. You want to organize this. Oh yes it is difficult to imagine winning after the conversation between you Newton and Jo Blom and Karen Walton myself was over getting out of Vacaville required more identification more signatures more
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- Black Panther Party co-founder and leader Huey P. Newton discusses his imprisonment at Vacaville Medical Facility in Vacaville, CA with Denny Smithson of KPFA's Public Affairs Department; Karen Wald, reporter for the Guardian; and Joe Blum, editor of The Movement. Newton talks about the way he's been portrayed in the media and physical and social conditions at Vacaville.
- Black Panther Party; Newton, Huey P.; California Medical Facility, Vacaville; Prisoners -- Personal narratives; Prisons and race relations; African Americans--Civil rights--History
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Pacifica Radio Archives
Identifier: 21335_D01 (Pacifica Radio Archives)
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- MLA: “A visit with Huey Newton: Vacaville Prison Facility; October 17, 1968.” Pacifica Radio Archives, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 20, 2020. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-28-d795718160>.
- APA: A visit with Huey Newton: Vacaville Prison Facility; October 17, 1968. Boston, MA: Pacifica Radio Archives, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-28-d795718160