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The Black Panther Party


Top left to right: Elbert Howard, Huey Newton, Sherman ... Seizing the Time: Australian Aborigines and the Influence of the Black Panther Party, 1967-1972. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Black Panther Party

The Black Panther Party
Original Members
  • The six original members, Nov. 1966
  • Top left to right Elbert Howard, Huey Newton,
    Sherman Forte, Bobby Seale
  • Bottom Reggie Forte, and Little Bobby Hutton

Origins The Founding
  • Started October 1966 in Oakland, California
  • Founded by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale
  • Initially called The Black Panther Party for
  • One of the first organizations in U.S. history to
    militantly struggle for ethnic minority and
    working class emancipation.

Origins Historical Context
  • They believed that blacks were obliged to wage
    fierce survival struggles in the U.S.
  • Organizations such as the NAACP and UNIA were
    created to promote civil rights and independence
    for blacks.
  • There were also efforts by former slave Booker T.
    Washington to establish a separate socioeconomic
    scheme for blacks.
  • Americas response to all such efforts was
    violent and repressive and unyielding.

Historical Context
  • Some relief came in 1954 when the Supreme Court
    ruled, in the case of Brown v. Board of
    Education, that separate was not equal for blacks
    in America (at least with respect to public
  • Even after Brown blacks struggled to integrate
    and become full partisans in American society.
  • In 1955 numerous boycotts and sit ins were being
    held in Montgomery, Alabama.
  • These acts in favor for civil rights began to
    further challenge white America as a whole no
    longer could they over look the growing voices of

Historical Content
  • Finally, in 1964, the U.S. Congress passed a
    civil rights act that outlawed racial segregation
    in public facilities, but it came too late.
  • Images of nonviolent blacks and other civil
    rights workers and demonstrators being beaten and
    water hosed by police, spat on and jailed for
    protesting social injustices were seen across the
  • Young urban blacks rejected the idea of

Goals and ideals
  • The partys agenda was the revolutionary
    establishment of real economic, social and
    political equality across gender and color lines.
  • Black Panther Theory The practices of the late
    Malcolm X were deeply rooted in the theoretical
    foundations of the Black Panther Party.
  • Followed Malcolms belief of international
    working class unity across the spectrum of color
    and gender and united with various minority and
    white revolutionary groups.

The Ten Point Plan
  • We want freedom. We want power to determine the
    destiny of our black and oppressed communities.
  • We want full employment for our people.
  • We want an end to the robbery by the capitalists
    of our black and oppressed communities.
  • We want decent housing, fit for the shelter of
    human beings.
  • We want decent education for our people that
    exposes the true nature of this decadent American
    society. We want education that teaches us our
    true history and our role in the present-day

The Ten Point Plan
  • We want completely free health care for all black
    and oppressed people.
  • We want an immediate end to police brutality and
    murder of black people, other people of color,
    all oppressed people inside the United States.
  • We want an immediate to all wars of aggression.
  • We want freedom for all black and oppressed
    people now held in the U.S. federal, state,
    county, city and military prisons and jails. We
    want trials by a jury of peers for all persons
    charged with so-called crimes under the laws of
    the country.
  • We want land, bread, housing, education,
    clothing, justice, peace and peoples community
    control of modern technology.

International Reaches
  • The effects of the Black Panthers have rippled
    across many countries, however briefly.
  • International groups have included the Black
    Panther Movement and the White Panthers of the
    United Kingdom, the Black Panther Party of
    Israel, the Black Beret Cadre of Bermuda, the
    Dalit Panthers of India, and the Black Panther
    Party of Australia.
  • Clemons Jones (2001) concluded that the
    ideology of the Panthers, underlined by a
    commitment to self-determination and the
    elimination of all forms of discrimination, found
    resonance with oppressed people around the world.

Other subgroups
  • Black Panther coalition and support groups began
    to spring up internationally in Japan, China,
    France, England, Germany, Sweden, Mozambique,
    South Africa, Zimbabwe, Uruguay and Israel.
  • There was a rapid proliferation of other, like
    minded organizations.
  • Chicanos or Mexican Americans in South California
    formed the Brown Berets.
  • Whites in Chicago formed the White Patriot Party.

Other subgroups cont.
  • Chinese in the San Francisco Bay Area formed the
    Red Guard.
  • Puerto Ricans in New York created the Young
  • A group of so called senior citizens organized
    the Gray Panthers to address human and civil
    rights abuses of the elderly in society.

Survival programs
  • There came to more than 35 programs in the 1960s
    that were referred to as Survival Programs and
    were operated by Party members under the slogan
    survival pending revolution.
  • Free Breakfast for Children Program, which spread
    from being operated at one small Catholic church
    to every major city in America where there was a
    Party chapter.
  • Thousands upon thousands of poor and hungry
    children were fed free breakfasts every day by
    the Party under this program.

Survival programs cont.
  • Other survival programs that existed were
  • Free Clinics
  • Grocery Giveaways
  • The manufacture and distribution of free shoes
  • Senior transport and service programs,
  • Free busing to prisons and prisoner support and
    legal aid programs, among others.

Political activities
  • Fought for and obtained funds to build 300 new,
    replacement housing units for poor people
    displaced by a local freeway.
  • They entered into a working partnership with
    certain developers to build up the dilapidated
    downtown city center in order to provide 10,000
    new jobs for Oaklands poor and unemployed.

Political activities cont.
  • At that same time, a permanent primary school was
    instituted, which was highly lauded by the
    California legislature, among others.
  • The Party briefly merged with the Student
    Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, headed by the
    fiery Stokely Carmichael.
  • In 1967, the party organized a march on the
    California state capitol to protest the state's
    attempt to outlaw carrying loaded weapons in
  • In order to prove a point, participants in the
    march carried rifles.

Demise of the panthers
  • The Panthers were no longer a progressive
    political organization calling for an end to a
    racist, class-based society, but thugs with the
    capacity to incite incredible damage.
  • While part of the organization was already
    participating in local government and social
    services, another group was in constant conflict
    with the police.
  • For some of the Party's supporters, the
    separation between political action, criminal
    activity, social services, access to power, and
    grass-roots identity became confusing and
    contradictory as the Panther's political momentum
    was bogged down in the criminal justice system.

Demise of the panthers cont.
  • A significant split in the Black Panther Party
    occurred over disagreements within the Panther
    leadership about how to confront these
  • By the beginning of the 1980s, attacks on the
    party and internal degradation and divisions,
    caused the party to fall apart.
  • Many remaining Panthers were hunted down and
    killed in the following years, imprisoned on
    trumped charges, or forced to flee the United

Where are they now?
  • Black Panthers gathered for their 35th
    Anniversary on April 18, 2002, which discussed
    preserving civil liberties, women in the
    struggle, police brutality, the prison industrial
    complex and a session led by Bobby Seale on
    grassroots organizing in a high-tech society.
  • Although the Black Panthers Party are no longer
    active, one of the six members Bobby Seale
    continues to speak on racism, abusive
    exploitation, and violence against women and

  • The Black Panther Party. Retrieved January 20,
    2006 from
  • Burroughs, Todd Steven. 2002. Black Panthers
    Gather for 35th Anniversary. Crisis (The New)
  • Columbia Encyclopedia. 1994. Black Panthers.
  • Fraley, Todd and Elli Lester-Roushanzamir. 2004.
    Revolutionary Leader or Deviant Thug? A
    Comparative Analysis of the Chicago Tribune and
    Chicago Daily Defenders Reporting on the Death
    of Fred Hampton. The Howard Journal of
    Communications 15147-167.
  • Lothian, Kathy. 2005. "Seizing the Time
    Australian Aborigines and the Influence of the
    Black Panther Party, 1967-1972. Journal of
    Black Studies 35179-200.
  • Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The Black
    Panther Party. Retrieved February 27, 2006 from