Fredrika Newton: Where is Huey Newton’s Second Wife Now?

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Apple TV+’s ‘The Big Cigar’ follows the turbulent life of Huey P. Newton, focusing on the time when he was accused of murder and had to run away from America to save his life. To help him, Bert Schneider came up with the idea of a fake movie shoot, which would provide the perfect cover for Huey’s escape. As great as the idea sounds, its execution is just as, if not more, difficult. While the show gives us a glimpse of all the struggles that he had to go through, it barely gets the full picture. One of the more important pieces of the puzzle that was Huey Newton’s life was his wife, Fredrika Newton.

Fredrika Newton is Keeping Her Husband’s Legacy Alive

A retired nurse, Fredrika Newton was born and raised in Oakland, California, which is where she has been for most of her life. She still calls the city home with her partner, Herb King. She also has a son named Kieron from an earlier relationship. A former member of the Black Panther Party, Fredrika co-founded the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation in 1995 with the mission to “preserve and promulgate the history, ideals, and legacy of the Black Panther Party and its founder Dr. Huey P. Newton” through which she has helped develop and distribute “educational materials, established educational conferences and forums, and maintained and exhibited historical archives.”

Born to a Jewish mother and a Black father, Fredrika met Huey due to her mother’s involvement in activism. A dining table conversation soon turned into something much more, but it took years for them to eventually come around to getting married. By then, Huey had been once divorced and Fredrika had her son. Prior to this, she had been an active member of the BPP, but eventually, she left it to focus on her education. She got a bachelor’s in Sociology at Wesleyan University and an RN degree at the College of the Redwoods. Following Huey’s murder, Fredrika decided to do something about the false narratives being built around Huey and BPP, which led her to form the non-profit in her husband’s name.

For years, through the non-profit and other ventures, Fredrika has tried to raise awareness about the true purpose of the BPP and her husband’s contribution to the movement for the rights of the African-American community. On October 24, 2021, she was present to unveil the bronze bust of Huey Newton near the place where he was killed. She had a street in West Oakland renamed as Dr. Huey P Newton Way in February 2021. Through the Foundation, she is working with the National Park Service to create a monument that pays tribute to the BPP history. It is to be called the Black Panther Party Park Unit and will have a visitor center with a museum (called The Black Power Museum for the People), among other things, to promote the history of the party and the movement.

Fredrika was heavily involved in fundraising that was directed towards the digitization of the papers of the BPP so that it is available for the public to read. She is working to get the BPP history included in the curriculums of school textbooks. A few years back, she joined forces with a sportswear label called Actively Black to create the capsule collection called ‘All Power to the People’ as a tribute and an homage to the BPP. Additionally, she has also been a part of creating the George Jackson Free Medical Clinic, named after the author and activist. Having already done so much, Fredrika says there is still much more left to do. Even at 68, she feels “invigorated” by all that is still to be done.

She feels inspired by the youth and believes that real change can come if everyone comes together. Apart from all this, Fredrika enjoys spending time with her loved ones. She has created a Black Sanctuary Garden, through which she indulges in a holistic approach to her lifestyle. She likes to meditate and believes that in doing all the work for the betterment of society, one needs to be very mindful of one’s own health as well. She is dedicated to keeping her mind and body healthy, something that she also wishes to instill in others.

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