Former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover once said the most threatening thing about the Black Panthers was their free breakfast program for kids. Seriously.

That didn’t stop the FBI from keeping close tabs on people like Rodney Barnette, a founding member of the Compton chapter. A Vietnam veteran, he became disillusioned by the racism he experienced after returning home from the war. During his time organizing through the Panthers, he helped push the group's "radical" agenda that involved feeding hungry kids, protecting elderly in their neighborhoods, and providing black people easier access to health care and hospitals.

Eight different FBI agents followed Barnette for several years. They traded information with one another as they intimidated and gaslighted him, even going so far as to get him fired from his job at the post office. It was all in an attempt to demoralize and crush a movement they couldn’t control.

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Venus and Serena Williams just opened a center for gun violence victims in Compton.

These tennis stars are using their power to fight gun violence.

Venus and Serena Williams are incredible athletes.

But their recent work shows that their bold abilities reach far beyond the tennis court, too.  

Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images.

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When you think of Compton, California, a few things come to mind.

You might think of rap legends N.W.A. and their three-time-platinum album "Straight Outta Compton" or the Los Angeles suburb's history of violent crime and gang wars in the 1990s.

But odds are, you don't think of cowboys. Until now.

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