DAVID HILLIARD

David Hilliard was born in the mid-1940’s in Alabama as the 12th child to a poor, but hardworking family. They faced a lot of hardships as many Blacks did in America before the black rights movement occurred. With the harsh Jim Crow laws of Alabama, and later when he moved to the equally harsh life in Oakland, David Hilliard learned how to fight to defend himself. In his early twenties, he married and raised a family, being employed in blue collar labor. He became friends with Huey Newton long before the BPP was established, but their friendship would bring Hilliard into becoming one of the first members of the BPP and also into becoming chief of staff of organization. Later in 1968, when Huey Newton was arrested, Hilliard took charge of the BPP. However, in that same year, he was one of the 8 panther victims of the 1968 ambush by Oakland police. The year after, he was arrested for threatening President Richard Nixon, when he supposedly said “we will kill Nixon.” Also, in 1971, he was arrested again, accused of shooting at the Oakland police in the 1968 ambush, and this resulted in him spending 10 years in prison. He is still in action today, establishing the Huey P. Newton Foundation in 1993 with Fredrika Newton and also publishing his autobiography, This Side of Glory, which includes his views on the BPP and the oppressive times.