Black Panthers

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's November 2001

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BLACK PANTHERS A Brief History Throughout the years we have been taught in brief about the social movements shaping the ultimate Civil Rights Movement. However, very rarely has it been a possibility to study in depth the extra institutional efforts that gave rise to the Civil Rights Movement. The Black Panther Party is a prime example of a widely dispersed, socially based program to African Americans. Originally the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, it was founded in October, 1966 in Oakland, California by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. Eventually the name was condensed to the Black Panther Party (BPP) and it began spreading eastward through the Black urban areas across America. As history has proven to be the ultimate judge of the BPP's place in the Black Liberation Movement (BLM), it remains crucial to point out some of the broader aspects of the Black Panther's contributions to the BLM.

In 1967, Newton became the party's defense minister, and Seale its chairman. Advocating black self-defense and restructuring American society to make it more politically, economically, and socially equal, Newton and Seale expressed the BPP's goals in a ten-point platform. The platform demanded, among other items, full employment, exemption of black men from military service, and an end to police brutality. In effect, the Black Panther's platform evolved allowing for negative and positive contributions to the civil rights movement.

Firstly, let us explore the positive aspects of the Black Panther's. The BPP was a nationalist organization. It focused mainly on the Black population in the America. Restricting its membership solely to Blacks, the BPP also provided African American's with a broader sense of international relations. Through incorporating Africa, Third World nations, and Socialist nations the liberation movements associated with these areas contributed concrete ideology and reinforced its policy of...