San Francisco in the late 1960s was a turbulent place, with radical politics and anti-Vietnam War protests ricocheting from the walls, particularly at hotspots like the San Francisco State University, and Douglas was drawn to black activism.

One day, Douglas was asked by a black students’ activist group to create a poster for an event where Betty Shabazz, Malcolm X’s widow, would be speaking.

The black student’s union had organized for the Black Panthers to provide security for the event – and the group’s founders, Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, showed up.

“After the meeting, I went out and expressed my interest in joining, and Huey Newton and Bobby both gave me their phone numbers. So I started hanging out with them, I went out observing the patrols and stuff.”


The Black Panther paper