Bobby White was born in Forth Worth, Texas but moved at a young age to Seattle in the early 1950s and grew up in the city’s Central District. White joined the U.S. army at age 17, and served in the 82nd Airborne in Vietnam. He left the service and returned home in 1967, and joined the Seattle chapter of the Black Panther Party not long after it was founded in 1968.
White was the local Party’s Lieutenant of Information, and helped coordinate the regional distribution of Party literature. In addition, White’s military background allowed him to take a leadership role in training Seattle Party members in their use of firearms. White left the Party in 1971.
Bobby White discussed his experiences in the Black Panther Party in a videotaped interview conducted by Janet Jones.