The Black Panther Party originally the Black Panther Party for Self Defense was an African American organization established to promote Black Power and self defense through acts of social agitation It was active in the United States from the mid 1960s into the 1970s Founded in Oakland... Show More >>
The Black Panther Party originally the Black Panther Party for Self Defense was an African American organization established to promote Black Power and self defense through acts of social agitation It was active in the United States from the mid 1960s into the 1970s Founded in Oakland California by Huey P Newton and Bobby Seale on October 15 1966 the organization initially set forth a doctrine calling for the protection of African American neighborhoods from police brutality in the interest of African American justice Its objectives and philosophy changed radically during the party s existence While the organization s leaders passionately espoused socialist doctrine the Party s black nationalist reputation attracted an ideologically diverse membership Ideological consensus within the party was difficult to achieve Some members openly disagreed with the views of the leaders In 1967 the organization marched on the California State Capitol in Sacramento in protest of a ban on weapons The official newspaper The Black Panther was also first circulated that year By 1968 the party had expanded into many cities throughout the United States including Chicago Los Angeles San Diego Denver Newark New York City Philadelphia Seattle and Baltimore That same year membership reached 5 000 and their newspaper had grown to a circulation of 250 000 The group created a Ten Point Program a document that called for Land Bread Housing Education Clothing Justice and Peace as well as exemption from military service for African American men among other demands While firmly grounded in black nationalism and begun as an organization that accepted only African Americans as members the party changed as it grew to national prominence and became an icon of the counterculture of the 1960s The Black Panthers ultimately condemned black nationalism as black racism They became more focused on socialism without racial exclusivity They instituted a variety of community programs to alleviate poverty and improve health among communities deemed most needful of aid While the party retained its all black membership it recognized that different minority communities those it deemed oppressed by the American government needed to organize around their own set of issues and encouraged alliances with such organizations The group s political goals were often overshadowed by their confrontational and militant tactics and by their suspicions of law enforcement agents The Black Panthers considered them as oppressors to be overcome by a willingness to take up armed self defense After party membership started to decline during Huey Newtons 1968 manslaughter trial the Black Panther Party collapsed in the early 1970s Writers such as Black Panther and Socialist Angela Davis and American writer and political activist Ward Churchill have alleged that law enforcement officials went to great lengths to discredit and destroy the organization including assassination Show Less >>
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