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by Jordan Green

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Black Panther chapter to be commemorated in Winston-Salem

A commemorative marker to honor the Winston-Salem chapter of the Black Panther Party, which was active from 1969 to 1976, will be unveiled near the intersection of Martin Luther King Drive and East 5th Street on Oct. 14 at 3 p.m.

The marker notes that the organization was founded to protect black neighborhoods from police brutality, and acknowledges that during that volatile period the Panthers often found themselves in confrontation with the police.

“Later the chapter offered community service programs, including free breakfasts for school children, sickle cell anemia testing, and the Joseph Waddell People’s Free Ambulance Service, which received national acclaim,” the marker reads. “These programs brought meaningful change to Winston-Salem during a time of social and political upheaval and lent validation to the chapter’s slogan, ‘Power to the people — right on!’” Two members of the Winston-Salem chapter of the Black Panthers, Larry Little and Nelson Malloy, went on to serve on city council. Little said former members, among whom are a drug counselor and an attorney with Legal Aid, are “elated to be recognized.”

Panthers from across the country, including co-founder and former chairman Bobby Seale, will be in Winston-Salem on Oct. 26-27 for a meeting of the National Alumni Association of the Black Panther Party at the Carter G. Woodson, a charter school founded by former Panther Hazel Mack.

The Forsyth County Historic Resources Commission approved the commemorative marker for the Panthers last December.

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