Life at the Learning Center
The Oakland Community Learning Center was perhaps one of the
greatest endeavors of the Black Panther Party as an integral
entity within the community providing innovative and
universal community services and cultural events. The
concept of an all encompassing educational and cultural
center is what the African-American community needed at that
time and the Party delivered on the Ten Point Program.
The OCLC contained the model Oakland Community School,
numerous youth, and adult programs that included a youth
film program, martial arts training. Entertainers performed
and dignitaries constantly visited the facility, some of the
well-known folks like Cab Calloway, James Baldwin, Bill
Walton, Former Governor Jerry Brown…just to name a few and
there were many more.
Comrade Deacon was killed at a community function at the
It served as a base of operations for community-wide
activities and involvement.
The OCLC was the institution that further legitimized the
Party in the eyes of the community; because they could see
us, giving back…it was a place to go…. It could perhaps have
taken the Party the the next level..