Special Assignment

Huey P. Newton Returns From China - 1971

By Billy X

Huey in China

The Black Panther Party (BPP) has always had an international outlook and believed in worldwide revolution. It was a monumental event for The People's Republic of China to recognize the Black Panther Party in solidarity and to invite Huey P. Newton to visit.

In 1971, the United States was trying to establish better relations with China. Richard Nixon was president at that time and going to be the first U.S. president to visit China and Chairman Mao. Huey P. Newton and the BPP delegation upstaged him when it was announced that they were officially invited and were going to visit. The BPP delegation visited China before President Nixon, so when Huey was returning, it was big news and his press conference was well attended.

Huey was met by BPP members at the San Francisco airport and the press conference was held there in a room with a big table. Up front were Elaine Brown, Huey, Robert Bay and Charles Garry. We had already checked the room out for security purposes and we greeted Huey as he entered the room. The security team included Emory Douglas (Minister of Culture) John Seale, Van Taylor, Phillip, myself (Billy X), Michael Torrance and Eugene Baltazar. The reporters were in frenzy as they jockeyed for position with their tape recorders and microphones in hand. There were about 20 reporters from radio, TV, and the press. Charles introduced Huey, Huey spoke, and then Elaine Brown (Minister of Information) spoke. Huey was very articulate in discussing internationalism and China.

Black Panthers at press conference in San Francisco

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