The Black Panther party preached "power to the people," but in the San Francisco Bay area's thriving real estate market, the power is in the property.
Realtors expected to close a deal Friday on the Oakland home where the militant black power group was founded in 1966.
Panther co-founder Bobby Seale's family sold the house in October for $200,000 to real estate investors who renovated the home with chic maple and quartz upgrades, The Oakland Tribune reported ( http://bit.ly/GSQhOX).
After the improvements, the home was put on the market for $400,000 _ almost 40 times what Seale's parents paid for it in 1960.
Seale said he and Huey Newton drafted the party's manifesto in the dining room.
"We would come in from patrol at night, unload our weapons at my house, and lay them all out across the long dining room table," Seale wrote in his 1978 autobiography.
The surrounding streets that armed party members once patrolled in the name of black empowerment are quickly gentrifying, with longtime residents like Seale departing for less expensive suburbs.
Seale, now 75, has worked as a draftsman and a carpenter. He made improvements on the house and wanted to do more, but his sister persuaded him to sell.
The house's dramatically increased selling price was part of "the same crap that got this financial debacle started in the first place," he said.
But Seale didn't hold the cutthroat realities of buying and selling homes in the Bay Area against the new residents.
"People move. Humans move. Power to the people, whether they're black, white, blue, whatever," he said.
Information from: The Oakland Tribune, http://www.oaklandtribune.com
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