PHOTOS: Students Unveil Mural Commemorating Seattle Black Panther Party

Story and Photos by Susan Fried

Hundreds of people filled the Franklin High School commons on Nov. 9 to await the official unveiling of the Franklin High School Art of Resistance and Resilience Club’s 40-foot mural commemorating the Seattle Chapter of the Black Panther’s 50th Anniversary. Members of the Art of Resistance & Resilience, a social and environmental justice-oriented art club at Franklin, have been working on the mural since January and were able to display a portion of it at the SCBP 50th Anniversary Celebration in April.

Making the unveiling even more special was the fact that Bobby Seale, a co-founder with Huey Newton of the Black Panthers in Oakland in 1966, was on hand, along with half a dozen members of the Seattle Chapter of the Black Panthers.

People filed out of the High School to the fence along Rainier Avenue, where the mural is displayed and watched as the tarps were removed to reveal the banner that tells the history of the Seattle Black Panther Party in pictures.

The evening celebration also included a short film documenting the mural’s creation, musical performances, poetry and spoken word, Native American storytelling and a photo essay by Unapologetic Artist Creatives.

The evening ended with guest speakers Elmer Dixon, co-founder of the Seattle Black Panther Party and Bobby Seale talking briefly about the history of the Black Panthers and their contribution the the social justice movements of the sixties and today.

Mural -elmer _ bobby 3-1
Elmer Dixon, one of the original founders of the Seattle Chapter of the Black Panthers shows Black Panther Party co-founder Bobby Seale a mural created by the Franklin High School Art of Resistance & Resilience Club during the official unveiling of the mural on Nov. 9. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Mural -20-1
Native American storyteller Roger Fernandes tells a traditional story Nov. 9 at Franklin High School during the celebration of the official unveiling of a mural honoring the Seattle Chapter of the Black Panther Party. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Mural -9-1
Terrell and Wetlyne Douglas raise their fists in the Power to the People gesture at the unveiling of a mural honoring the Seattle Black Panther Party Nov. 9. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Mural rell be free-1
Rapper and activist Rell Be Free at the unveiling of the Black Panther Party mural Nov. 9 (Photo: Susan Fried)
Mural -22-1
Franklin High School Junior Penelope Oluo recited a poem she wrote during a community art show celebrating the unveiling of the Franklin’s Art of Resistance & Resilience Club’s unveiling of a 40-foot mural honoring the Seattle Chapter of the Black Panthers. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Mural -17-1
Native American storyteller Roger Fernandes does a blessing during the official unveiling of a mural honoring the Seattle Chapter of the Black Panthers. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Mural -5-1
Japhia, 10, at the unveiling of a mural honoring the Seattle Black Panther Party Nov. 9. (Photo: Susan Fried)

Featured Photo: Franklin students pull the tarp off a 40-foot mural created by the Franklin High School Art of Resistance & Resilience Club in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the forming of the Seattle Chapter of the Black Panther Party. (Photo: Susan Fried)

One thought on “PHOTOS: Students Unveil Mural Commemorating Seattle Black Panther Party”

We'd Like to Hear Your Thoughts:

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s