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Grassroots activism was a critical part of the context that influenced Huey Newton and Bobby Seale and the men and women who would join the BPP. This chapter focuses on local working-class activism in the black community and the relationships and networks among activists. Organizations like the Oakland Direct Action Committee and activists like Mark Comfort engaged in some of the activities and adopted some of the symbolism that would become Panther trademarks in the late 1960s. Oakland was influenced by regional developments in Berkeley, San Francisco, and Los Angeles as well as events with nationwide impact such as the Birmingham church bombings in 1963 and the Lowndes County freedom movement in 1966.

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