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Ansel Adams

One hot summer with the Black Panthers

One hot summer with the Black Panthers

On the morning a California judge sentenced Huey P. Newton to two years in prison for voluntary manslaughter, an Oakland police cruiser rolled to a stop outside the Black Panther Party National Headquarters. Witnesses watched two officers draw their pistols and pump bullets into the storefront's plate-glass window, piercing a portrait of Eldridge Cleaver just above his chin and ripping a hole in Newton's iconic poster, in which the Black Panther co-founder wields an African spear in one hand and a shotgun in the other.

These weren't victory gunshots, each one meant to roil an already disgraced Black Panther Party. Officers fired them in anger, each bullet a retribution against...