Black History Month: The Era of The Black Panthers

The Black Panthers were the dawn of a new generation.

It was founded in 1966 as a political organization by both Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. Much like Black Lives Matter the Black Panthers was formed on the basis of challenging police brutality against the African American Community.

Cases like the murder of Ronald Stoke( Los Angeles member of the Nation of Islam)in 1962 and Clifford Glover( 10 year old New York boy) in 1973 strike very similar to the murders of Trayvon Martin ( 17 year old who was unarmed) in 2012 and Eric Garner (unarmed man placed in headlock) in 2014.

Black Panther members believed in militancy and their common uniform involved them wearing black berets and black jackets.

Their strategy of offense was organized armed citizen patrols that carried guns. In contrast to Martin Luther King (who was a nonviolent civil rights leader) the Black Panthers didn’t vow to the belief that nonviolence could beget justice and equality.

The Black Panthers founders Newton and Seale met in 1961, while students at Merritt College in Oakland California. Both had been protesting the college’s “Pioneer Day. After the formation of a friendship both men created the Negro History Fact Group, which demanded the school to offer classes in black history.

Black nationalist Malcolm X’s assassination in 1965 and many brutal murders of African American men during this time inspired the Black Panthers organization.

Here is a quote from co-founder of Black Panthers Bobby Seale:”
After the formation of a friendship both men created the Negro History Fact Group, which demanded the school to offer classes in black history.

Black nationalist Malcolm X’s assassination in 1965 and many brutal murders of African American men during this time inspired the Black Panthers organization.

Here is a quote from co-founder of Black Panthers Bobby Seale:”If they had not murdered Malcolm X, there probably never would have been a Black Panther Party.”

Between the beginning of The Black Panthers in 1966 to 1968 the organization would flourish to have 2,000 committed members across the USA. Which is evidence of the power a Black Movement group would have that started on a college campus (History.com “Black Panthers).

The image many people have of the Black Panthers is black men with fist pumping in the air. An image of power, anger, war, and being ready to fight till the death. This though is not entirely true. The Black Panthers organization was created to fight police brutality, but along with that The Black Panthers main mission was for the freedom and equality of black men and women (specifically in America). As an organization the people sought to uplift and empower black people during a violent time of racial tension in America.

Examples of the work and efforts of this organization include community programs such as The Free Breakfast For Children Program, health clinics, and giving shoes and clothes.

Here is another quote from co-founder Bobby Seale that goes into detail of the purpose behind creating community programs for specifically black people: “A revolutionary program is onset forth by revolutionaries, by those who want to change the existing system for a better system.”
As an organization the people sought to uplift and empower black people during a violent time of racial tension in America.

Examples of the work and efforts of this organization include community programs such as The Free Breakfast For Children Program, health clinics, and giving shoes and clothes.

Here is another quote from co-founder Bobby Seale that goes into detail of the purpose behind creating community programs for specifically black people: “A revolutionary program is onset forth by revolutionaries, by those who want to change the existing system for a better system.”

Behind The Black Panthers stood very powerful beliefs and determination to defend, protect, and build up black people and communities.Bobby Seale and Huey Newton created a platform and program in 1966 when they decided to form The Black Panthers (

Bobby Seale and Huey Newton created a platform and program in 1966 when they decided to form The Black Panthers ( Socialist Alternative). It lists in vivid detail what The Black Panthers believed in, was grounded in, and what initiatives they were committed to.

In ten points a reader will be fully informed of the intent and mindset behind the creators and leaders of the Black Panther Movement. Certain values and rights such as freedom, employment, decent housing, education, black men to be exempt from military, end of police brutality, all black people to be released from jail, and trial and jury by a black members community are demanded.

The tone of desired freedom and empowerment spills from the pages of this Black Panthers founding document. It ends with a long quote from The Declaration of Independence, which was written by founding father Thomas Jefferson.

Even though the Black Panthers seem to have been found on a righteous foundation the reality was far from that. The Black Panthers were different than their predecessor Martin Luther King, and instead more similar to the activist Malcolm X.

They believed peace wouldn’t earn black people the freedom and safety they deserved in America, therefore freedom had to be earned by force and passion.

In the eyes of the rest of the world this created an eerie feeling that led to the organization being labeled dangerous and rebellious.

Most specifically by the FBI. The FBI raided Black Panther offices, burnt food provisions for the breakfast program, Bobby Hunt (The Black Panthers first member) was murdered, the government worked to create dysfunction within The Black Panther members, and in 1969 alone 25 Black Panther members would be killed.

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover spoke this about the Panthers:” they are the greatest threat to the internal security of the country”.

This argument that labels the Black Panthers as dangerous and threatening to a nation rings similar to the most recent belief that black lives matter should be instead all lives matter.

While it is true that all lives matter, Black Lives Matter was created as an exclusive movement to bring awareness to the police brutality and rage being perpetrated against people of color, which is based on stereotypes, racism, and the feeling of superiority. Much like the reason its forefather The Black Panthers was created.
The Black Panthers were different than their predecessor Martin Luther King, and instead more similar to the activist Malcolm X.

They believed peace wouldn’t earn black people the freedom and safety they deserved in America, therefore freedom had to be earned by force and passion.

In the eyes of the rest of the world this created an eerie feeling that led to the organization being labeled dangerous and rebellious.

Most specifically by the FBI. The FBI raided Black Panther offices, burnt food provisions for the breakfast program, Bobby Hunt (The Black Panthers first member) was murdered, the government worked to create dysfunction within The Black Panther members, and in 1969 alone 25 Black Panther members would be killed.

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover spoke this about the Panthers:” they are the greatest threat to the internal security of the country”.

This argument that labels the Black Panthers as dangerous and threatening to a nation rings similar to the most recent belief that black lives matter should be instead all lives matter.

While it is true that all lives matter, Black Lives Matter was created as an exclusive movement to bring awareness to the police brutality and rage being perpetrated against people of color, which is based on stereotypes, racism, and the feeling of superiority. Much like the reason its forefather The Black Panthers was created.

In the 70’s The Black Panthers fight would continue though things would become tough. Tragedies such as murder, betrayal, and disloyalty would hinder the movement. Many woman became recognizable faces in history because of their involvement in The Black Panthers.

This proved wrong the belief only men could fight for power and freedom, and creates credibility for black woman feminists. Kathleen Cleaver, Fredericka Newton, and Elaine Brown are a few woman that stood as members of the Black Panthers Movement.

Throughout the 70’s the Black Panthers would seek to advance politically and gain greater attention and notoriety. In 1973 co-founder Seale would run for mayor of Oakland and Elaine Brown (who would lead the Panthers from 1974-1977) would run for Oakland city council.

Unfortunately The Black panthers would dissolve in 1982. Almost 17 years after becoming known as a movement that instilled power but in the same time fear it would be the end of The Black Panthers Era.
Tragedies such as murder, betrayal, and disloyalty would hinder the movement. Many woman became recognizable faces in history because of their involvement in The Black Panthers.

This proved wrong the belief only men could fight for power and freedom, and creates credibility for black woman feminists. Kathleen Cleaver, Fredericka Newton, and Elaine Brown are a few woman that stood as members of the Black Panthers Movement.

Throughout the 70’s the Black Panthers would seek to advance politically and gain greater attention and notoriety. In 1973 co-founder Seale would run for mayor of Oakland and Elaine Brown (who would lead the Panthers from 1974-1977) would run for Oakland city council.

Unfortunately The Black panthers would dissolve in 1982. Almost 17 years after becoming known as a movement that instilled power but in the same time fear it would be the end of The Black Panthers Era.

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