"THE PANTHERS' IMPACT WAS INDELIBLE": FIRST EDITION OF SEIZE THE TIME, BOBBY SEALE'S HISTORY OF THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY, INSCRIBED BY HIM
SEALE, Bobby. Seize the Time. The Story of the Black Panther Party and Huey P. Newton. New York: Random House, (1970). Octavo, original brown cloth, original dust jacket. $2000.
First edition of a major history of the Black Panther Party by its co-founder, inscribed on the title page by him, "To M— Bobby Seale,"
Founded by Seale and Huey P. Newton in 1966, the Black Panther Party is "perhaps the most celebrated, demonized, controversial and debated radical political organization in American history" (Peniel Joseph in Black Panthers, 1). While it is "considered a black hate group by some whites; an irresponsible, careless and disorganized band of immature radicals by some leftists; or too conciliatory to white radicals by some black nationalists, the Panthers' impact was indelible" (Jeffrey Ogbar in Black Power Movement, 228). Here Seale chronicles the Party's beginnings, the influence of Stokely Carmichael and Malcolm X, and recalls how he and Newton "pored over the laws of California" to legally arm members of the Party. To Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, that decision stands out. "Seale touches the bone. The very idea that a black man would carry a gun and say that he intended to fight back if attacked was tantamount to murder and violence in the racist mind. Right on time, certain members of the Oakland Police Department exclaimed, 'N— with guns! A stop will have to be put to that.'" The book derives from tape recordings Seale made from 1968-70; many were "made on the run, considering Seale's hectic involvement with the Chicago Conspiracy Trial and the New Haven trial" (New York Times). The images on the book and dust jacket, from an illustration by Howard Brodie, speak to the 1969 Chicago trial in which Seale was handcuffed, gagged and chained to his chair in the courtroom.
Book fine; small closed edge-tears to bright near-fine dust jacket.