Remembering the Black Panthers in New Haven | Connecticut Public Radio

Remembering the Black Panthers in New Haven

Apr 16, 2015

Forty-five years ago, the attention of the nation and much of the world swung toward New Haven, where the murder trial of Bobby Seale and Ericka Huggins had made the city a magnet for Black Panther outrage and pushed New Haven to the brink of anarchy.

It's an amazing story with a cast of characters that includes not only the Panthers, but future black leaders like Kurt Schmoke, a Yale student who would become mayor of Baltimore, and J. Edgar Hoover, Jerry Rubin, Allen Ginsberg, Archibald Cox, Spiro Agnew, Kingman Brewster and Tom Hayden.

Panther leaders had called for the burning of Yale, and Brewster, working with his young assistant Sam Chauncey, made a series of remarkable decisions about how to handle the crisis.

This panel discussion was taped at New Haven's Institute Library.


  • Paul Bass - editor and reporter at the New Haven Independent, and author of Murder in the Model City
  • Alex Bragg - retiree and long-time New Haven resident
  • Henry Chauncey - graduate from Yale College in 1957; Yale employee from 1957 to 1982; author of May Day at Yale, 1970: Recollections -- The Trial of Bobby Seale and the Black Panthers