The Forsyth County Historic Resources Commission will unveil a marker honoring the legacy of the city’s history-making Black Panther Party.
The marker will be dedicated on Sunday, Oct. 14 at 3 p.m. at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Fifth Street (across from the Burger King). The location is near the site where the local Panthers had their headquarters in the late 1960s and 1970s. Former members of the local party, including former City Council Members Larry Little and Nelson Malloy and Attorney Hazel Mack, will speak, as will City Council Member Derwin Montgomery, whose East Ward includes the marker site.
In 1969, Winston-Salem became the first Southern city to start a Black Panther chapter. Local Panthers set themselves apart with their community-mindedness. They started a free breakfast program for local kids, provided free sickle cell testing and even began a community ambulance service, which was also free to local residents.
A portion of the marker reads :“These programs brought meaningful change to Winston-Salem during a time of social and political upheaval and lent validation to the Chapter’s slogan, “Power to the People – Right On!”
Malloy, Little and Mack and many other members of the chapter went on to successful careers. Many continued to serve the community as teachers, ministers, lawyers and community activists.
The Oct. 14 dedication is free and open to the public.