Black Panther Organization

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The Black Panthers were a paramilitary organization fighting to improve conditions of the black community. They adopted the black panther symbol from The Lowndes County Freedom Organization, an independent political party established in 1965 by black residents in Alabama. As the antithesis of the nonviolence approach to the civil rights movement, advocated by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the original Black Panther Party for Self-Defense advocated weaponry use against police aggression. .

Armed with sincerity, the words of revolutionaries such as Mao Tse-Tung and Malcolm X, law books, and rifles, The Black Panther Party fed the hungry, protected the weak from racist police, and presented a new paradigm of Black political and social activism. Founded in October 1966 by Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton in Oakland, California, the Party grew to at least 5,000 members nationwide, with chapters in more than half of American cities and an international branch in Algeria. Party members viewed themselves as “embodying the highest aspirations of a generation of radical African American youth” (Jones 78).

Image result for Black Panther Party The Black Panther Party was involved in typical behavior associated with organizations during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960″s. They were heavily involved in protests and marches. Much of the literature found in their newsletter The Panther contributed in creating riots and rebellions that occurred in Watts, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Newark following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 9th, 1968. (Jennings 110). Much publicized and criticized as the demise of the party were the betrayal, murder, rapes, robberies, extortion, and graft the party was involved with. However, reduced in significance by most critics and minimally known by the public are their “survival programs.” These include free health clinics, free breakfast programs, soup kitchens, ambulance patrols, voter registration assistance, community patrols and schools the party was heavily involved with.

Who are the Black Panthers?

Today I’d like to tell you about a group of people who over the years have gained a bad reputation in the world for simply telling the truth and trying to fit into a society which rejects them and rejects the truth itself. The group that I am referring to is the Black Panthers. Most people perceive the Black Panthers as being a type of white hate group that despise white people and doesn’t want anything to do with them. This perception is due mostly to the government and what they tell you to believe about this certain group of people. In reality, the Panthers preached equality, self-defense, and the civil and human rights of black people. So today I’d like to help you understand a little more about the Black Panthers with information I’ve gathered from The Struggle for Black Equality and the Encyclopedia of Black America.

The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was founded in October 1966 in Oakland, California by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. Seale was from Dallas and Newton from Monroe, Lousiana. They both met while attending Merritt Junior College in Oakland in the early 60’s. The Black Panther Party’s main goals were to end police brutality and strengthen black communities through organization and education. In October 1966, the Panthers made their rules and regulations known to everyone. They were called the ten-point platform. The main points of the platform were that the Black Panthers believed that they should be able to choose their own destiny, that every man should be employed by the government to be able to support himself and his family, and that no black man should serve in any military branch. They refused to fight for a government that does not treat them as full citizens of the United States. The Black Panthers may have seemed like they were revolting against America, but they were only doing what they felt was right. A major difference between the Black Panther Party and other black nationalist groups of the day is that they believed their mother country was America, not Africa.

Black Panther Party for Self-Defense in October 1966

Image result for Black Panther PartyNewton and Bobby Seale founded the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense in October 1966, in Oakland, California. The name was shortened to the Black Panther Party later. Stokely Carmicheal, the leader of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) also joined the Black Panther Party. The Black Panther Party’s main goals were to end police brutality, and strengthen Black communities through organization and education. There was only one problem in their plan. The problem was J. Edgar Hoover. J. Edgar Hoover was the director of the FBI, and he got the Federal Bureau of Investigation involved. He wanted to make America safer. While J. Edgar Hoover was destroying the Black Panther Party for the safety of white Americans, and was destroying the lives of black Americans. .

In October 1966, the Black Panther Party made their rules and regulations known to everyone. They were called the ten-point platform. The main points of the platform were that the Black Panther Party believed that they should be able to choose their own destiny, that every man should be employed by the government to be able to support himself and his family, and that no black man should serve in any military branch. The Black Panther Party refused to fight for a government that does not treat them as full citizens of the United States of America. This would reduce the military number of men drastically. The Black Panther Party may have seemed like they were revolting against America, but were only doing what they felt was right. A major difference between the Black Panther Party and other black nationalist groups of the day can be seen in the plan for a communist America: to them, the mother country was America, not Africa. The Black Panthers felt like they belonged in America, but were being oppressed. .

 

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