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Indybay Feature
Thu Mar 19 2009 (Updated 03/24/09)
Black Panther, Asian American Activist Richard Aoki Dies at Age 71
Richard Aoki, Revolutionary, Civil Rights Activist, and Member of BPP, Passed Away
Revolutionary and civil rights activist Richard Aoki died on March 15, 2009. Aoki was a founding member of the Black Panther Party (BPP), becoming a Field Marshal. Using his military training, Aoki assisted members of the BPP in acquiring weapons and trained members in defending the community from the Oakland Police. Aoki was also a leader in the third world Liberation Front (twLF), an organization that led strikes, resulting in the establishment of Berkeley’s Ethnic Studies department.

At the age of four, Aoki was confined with his family in a concentration camp in Utah, during the Japanese internment of World War II. After the war, Aoki’s family moved to Oakland and still in his youth, Aoki enlisted in the military; however, he later was discharged for dissent against the Vietnam War. Growing up in West Oakland, Aoki was a close friend of Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seal, and helped found the BPP. Read more

Black Panther/Asian American Activist Richard Aoki dies at age 71 | R.I.P.: Black Panther Field Marshall Richard Aoki Dies (First Asian Member of The BPP) - FTP MOVEMENT | Richard Aoki: The Japanese Black Panther l
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