Socio-Political Hip Hop Artist and Activist Sellassie sits down with Black Panther Party co-founder Bobby Seale in an intimate setting and asks the questions the community wants to hear. Subjects ranging from modern day social movements, galvanizing the power in the ghetto, the 2016 Presidential election and the future of the Black Panther Party. The event will be held at Freedom Archives, an impressive organization and event space that has organized and archived 10,000 hours of audio and video recordings and thousands of documents about social justice movements locally, nationally and internationally from the 1960s to present. The Archives feature speeches of movement leaders and community activists, protests and demonstrations, cultural currents of rebellion and resistance.
Bobby Seale: www.BobbySeale.com
Bobby Seale is an African-American political activist and co-founder and national chairman of the Black Panther Party.
Born in Texas in 1936, Bobby Seale is one of a generation of young African-American radicals who broke away from the usually nonviolent Civil Rights Movement to preach a doctrine of militant black empowerment, helping found the Black Panthers (later renamed the Black Panther Party) in 1966. Originally created as an armed force protecting the black community from the notoriously racist Oakland police, the Panthers' reputation grew and with it the scope of the organization itself. The Panthers became a new voice in the Civil Rights Movement, and they rejected outright the mainstream movement's nonviolent approach as well as the "Back to Africa" teachings put forth by the more radical Black Nationalists. The Panthers focused much of their energies on community outreach, and the California movement spawned chapters across the nation. By 1968, Seale decided that a public account of the formation and history of the Panthers was needed, so he wrote Seize the Time: The Story of the Black Panther Party and Huey P. Newton (published in 1970). That same year, Seale was arrested while protesting at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. He and seven other defendants, thereafter known as the Chicago Seven, were tried for conspiracy to incite riots in a circus-like atmosphere that resulted in Seale being sentenced to four years in prison for contempt of court . Seale was also tried during this period for the murder of a fellow Panther suspected of being a police informant. The trial ended with a hung jury. In the 1970s, as the Black Panthers faded from public view, Seale took on a quieter role, working toward improving social services in black neighborhoods and other causes. After his release from prison, Bobby Seale renounced violence as a means to an end and began the task of reorganizing the Panthers, which had fallen into disarray in his absence. In 1973, he also ran for mayor of Oakland and came in second out of nine candidates. But Seale soon grew tired of politics and turned again to writing, producing A Lonely Rage in 1978 and a cookbook titled Barbeque'n with Bobby in 1987. In 2002, Seale moved back to Oakland to work with young political activists to spark social change.
About Sellassie: www.sellassiefrisco.com
The Rap Contest creator, host and producer Sellassie, is the worlds first higherground hip-hop artist; he is a social justice activist, a member of the #Frisco5, who endured the longest politically motivated hunger strike in San Francisco, entrepreneur, event producer and pioneer. He has carved his niche as a leading progressive voice in hip-hop and as a force in bringing independent artists together. With an acclaimed and award-winning debut release, Im Tryin to Make a Livin Not a Killin, this trendsetting emcee has garnered a street level buzz with a fresh perspective. Sellassie is proof that there are young black artists that can make music that is creative, street, positive and smart. He stands firm to his message, has a charismatic presence and is evidence that not every rapper raps negatively, glorifying drugs, guns, money or their ego. He is also the creator, producer and host of the Independent Artist Series, The Rap Contest, We All We Got and Undiscovered Tour. Producing over 200 shows on the calendar in the last five years in over 15 markets nationwide, the series have distinguished themselves as premier outlets for independent artists. He is also working with many social, political and youth based initiatives, and is a contributor to various special projects including the film, It Doesnt Cost Nothin to Dream. Sellassie is grounded; a confident and refreshing emcee in an industry plagued with commercialism, materialism, negativity and drama. Sellassie utilizes his music and events as a vehicle for social change and inspiration, and he regularly states that he wants to be in the history books, not the pop charts.
Sellassie has shared the stage with many great artists; Rakim, Saul Williams, KRS-One, The Goodie Mob, Mos Def, Sly and Robbie, Vieux Farka Toure, dead prez, Redman and Method Man, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Ziggy Marley, Alanis Morissette, Raekwon, The Indigo Girls, Radio Active, Rebelution, Warren Haynes, Goapele, The Hieroglyphics, Mr. FAB, Camp Lo, Pharoahe Monch, Ise Lyfe, Namkha Rinpoche, Medusa, One Block Radius, Lyrics Born, Kev Choice, Martin Luther, Silk-E, The Mighty San Quinn, The Jacka, The Husalah, Bayonics, Zion I, Rah Digga, Rappin 4-Tay, Jelly Bread, Vinnie Paz, Keith Murray, Richie Rich, 2Mex and Jennifer Johns among hundreds independent artists.