The English Wikipedia Entry, the Black Panther Party "was an African-American revolutionary socialist organization active in the United States from 1966 until 1982" which "began in part in the Longfellow neighborhood." (Longfellow Wikipedia Entry).
Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton both attended Merritt Junior College in Oakland in the early 1960s. As students, they participated in the Afro-American Association (est. 1961), and the Merritt Black Student Union. 1 "In the summer of 1966 Newton and Seale worked at a Bay Area CAP [Community Action Program], the North Oakland Neighborhood Anti-Poverty Center." "The center's office was the Party's first headquarters." [Nelson, 55]
Two OPD officers opened fire on party headquarters at 4421 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way (then Grove Street). No one was injured, but Mayor Reading quickly condemned the act and the officers were arrested, fired and charged. 3
In 1968, the survival programs were initiated for all chapters. These included
- "attention to medical issues"
- Free Breakfast for Children Program, January, 1969
- People's Free Medical Clinics, 1970
Those interested in the history of the Black Panther Party may enjoy The Official Black Panther Party Historical Tour Guide (via archive.org)
The BPP 10 Point Plan
What We Want Now!
- We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our Black Community.
- 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 shelter of human beings.
- We want 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 society.
- We want all Black men to be exempt from military service.
- We want an immediate end to POLICE BRUTALITY and MURDER of Black people.
- We want freedom for all Black men held in federal, state, county and city prisons and jails.
- We want all Black people when brought to trial to be tried in court by a jury of their peer group or people from their Black Communities, as defined by the Constitution of the United States.
- We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice and peace.
- Nelson, Alondra. Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination. University of Minnesota Press. 2011. Print.
- Honoring the 44th Anniversary of the Black Panther's Free Breakfast Program
- OPD Officers Attack Black Panther Headquarters SF Bay Area TV Archive
Pages tagged “Black Panther Party”
It is really hard to find good and/or authoritative and/or non-biased books about the Black Panthers. By the nature of the subject, it's difficult to find "objective" texts: many of the Party members are dead from state violence, and the Party ended fragmented. Thus those remaining alive are left with privileged voices. Below are some texts that wiki editors have read.
- Jim Haskins: Power to the People (1997). Written for the young adult/high school student audience, this is a good entry-level book into the subject. Gives a lot of insight into the Oakland connections of the Party, and there are many. Easy to read, very informative. Available at the Oakland Public Library.
- Elaine Brown: A Tastes of Power (1992). Elaine Brown was the first chairwoman of the Party. Her autobiography is both her personal story and the story of her role in the Black Panther Party. Gives a great oversight into the Party as a whole, though must be understood as being written from Brown's point of view. Includes lots of Oakland history, including the Panthers forays into mainstream politics in the '70s. Available at the Oakland Public Library.
Donna Jean Murch. Living for the City: Migration, Education, and the Rise of the Black Panther Party in Oakland California. 2010.
NPR Throughline: The Real Black Panthers podcast with Donna Murch
- Amy Sonnie and James Tracy: Hillbilly Nationalists, Urban Race Rebels and Black Power (2011). Only peripherally about the Panthers, this book is primarily about poor white organizing. The Black Panthers are backgrounded as context for these groups, but gives insight into the workings of the Party, especially in terms of the services they provided via free lunches, etc. Available at the Oakland Public Library.
- Elridge Cleaver: Soul on Ice (1968). Elridge Cleaver was both part of the Party and part of the Party's demise. This book is a powerful and important read, while shocking and disturbing. Not directly about the Panthers, it gives insight into one of the Panther's most important members, and is especially telling when read in context of books that give general overviews of the party. Available at the Oakland Public Library.
- Joshua Bloom et al: Black Against Empire (2013). A brand new book from UC Press that promises to be "first comprehensive overview and analysis of the history and politics of the Black Panther Party." On order for the Oakland Public Library.
- Bobby Seale: Seize the Time - The Story of the Black Panther Party (1970). Transcribed from recordings made by Seale in 1968-70. Available under a "fuck copyright" license at Archive.org with some minor OCR issues.
- American Justice on Trial: People v. Newton (Regent Press 2016). By retired judge Lise Pearlman, about how the trials of Huey Newton changed the American jury “of one’s peers” to the diverse cross-section we often take for granted today.
See the Black Panther Party, Oakland, California, 1968-1972 in the Bob Fitch Photography Archive at Stanford for dozens of photos.
The Black Panther is a publication put out by the Black Panther Party.