The late Huey Newton, leader of the Black Panther Party, believed it was his mission to “destroy both racism and capitalism.” His party wanted housing “fit for shelter of human beings.”
And now, six months after his co-founder Bobby Seale made 52 percent return on the party’s first headquarters, the house was today to be flipped by real estate investors at a sale price of $400,000.
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Forty-six years ago the party was formed in 1901 North Oakland house at 809 57th Street and a sale to be concluded today would see it change hands with renovations including stainless steel features, maple cabinets and quartz counters, according to The Oakland Tribune.
The newspaper said Seale lived in the house with his parents during the time he and other party members conducted armed neighborhood patrols and that the party’s Ten Point Program was drafted in it. (Point number four says: “We want decent housing, fit for shelter of human beings.”)
The Tribune quoted Seale as saying his family had paid $13,000 for the house in 1960 (the equivalent of about $95,000 in today’s money, by one calculation) but that he had sold the house in October to a real estate firm for $200,000.
Photos of the house can be seen here.
"We had to replace the entire brick foundation, ripped out the carpeting, opened up the whole house to a more contemporary aesthetic," realtor Eric Wong of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate was quoted as saying.
Seale was quoted as telling The Associated Press that he was dismayed by the 100 percent markup, saying “the same crap that got this financial debacle started in the first place.”
The news agency quoted his 1978 autobiography as saying the Seale would “come in from patrol at night, unload our weapons at my house, and lay them all out across the long dining room table.”
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"People move. Humans move. Power to the people, whether they're black, white, blue, whatever," Seale was quoted as telling the AP.