The Black Panther Movement History Essay

The Civil Rights Movement in the United States was a period of alteration in the ideals and manner of life for many Americans. The Black Panther Party was a merchandise of this epoch. The intent of this survey is to understand to what extent did the Black Panther motion contribute to the promotions of the Civil Rights motion in America. The probe efforts to understand the parts of the party towards the successes of the 1960s motion. In order to turn to the inquiry, it must be investigated in both the context of late sixtiess to 1980s. The different positions of the effects of the motion will be taken into consideration along with a critical analysis of the beginnings used. Two beginnings used in this survey are The Shadow of the Panther by Hugh Pearson, and The Black Panther Party Platform by Huey Newton which will be evaluated for their beginning, intent, value, and restrictions. The probe does non turn to the success or failure of the civil rights motion nor does the success or failure of any of the party leaders or their resistance.

Summary of Evidence

In December 1966 the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee ( SNCC ) was “ running out of gas ” .[ 1 ]The widening of the intents of the SNCC created a vacuity of power in which Huey Newton[ 2 ]and Bobby Seale[ 3 ]would make the Black Panther Party for Self-Defence. Newton and Seale would get down a motion to non merely authorise and assist the black population of Oakland but to radicalize and militarise black power motions throughout the universe while trying to keep an image of charity and good purposes.

The Black Panthers foremost met in a clubhouse in Peralta Street, West Oakland, 1966.[ 4 ]Soon after, the Black Panthers agreed to the “ 10 Point Program ” written by Newton and accepted it as the party ‘s platform. The platform was extremist and socialist in nature due to Newton ‘s cognition of plants by Mao Zedong and other socialist revolutionists. The platform protested the U.S. Governments in their racism, inequality, and demanded for a compensation for the old ages of bondage[ 5 ]as seen in points three[ 6 ]and six[ 7 ]which show disdain and rebelliousness towards the authorities. The combination of these actions and the force against inkinesss through the 1940s and into the sixtiess in the southern U.S. created the Black Power Movement. Specifically, events such as the onslaughts on Freedom Riders and onslaughts on Robert F. Williams in North Carolina would make plants like “ Negros with Guns ” which would travel on to act upon Newton to organize the party[ 8 ].

The violent facet of the party is what it is most clearly remembered for. Because of Newton ‘s cognition of a California jurisprudence that permitted the bearing of laden weaponries every bit long as they are seeable[ 9 ]and his thoughts of implementing something similar to the CAP[ 10 ]created an armed wing of the party which would on a regular basis skirmish with constabulary. This developed into the Self-Defence facet of the party which would finally vanish as the party became less extremist and more appealing.

Because of Newton ‘s esteem of Mao, Lenin, and Marx, the party created plans that would assist black people throughout America. The most celebrated plan was the Free Breakfast for Children. Started in St. Augustine ‘s Church, Panthers would give out free breakfast to the hapless young person in the country.[ 11 ]As the party grew, the undertaking grew along with it and at one point members were functioning breakfast to over 10,000 kids in America.[ 12 ]They would besides establish educational and wellness attention establishments which would raise the criterion of life of many inkinesss across the state and assist the image of the party adequate to make international fandom.

The party saw its diminution for assorted grounds. The misdirection by Newton, his apprehension and the division of the party contributed to its suicide while the outside forces of the authorities that through the Federal Bureau of Investigation ( FBI ) and police forces would execute foraies on the houses of of import members every bit good as party offices ; sometimes perpetrating blackwashs. Finally the party would slowly fade out out of being until now where it has seen a little Renaissance.

Evaluation of Beginnings

The Shadow of the Panther was written by Hugh Pearson columnist for The Wall Street Journal. The Book was published in 1995 by Perseus Publishing in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The book aims to critically analyze the ruin of the party through the eyes of Newton and argues that the party fell non because of FBI intercession but instead due to the awkwardness of the leading. The book contains a assortment of beginnings from interviews to other books on the subject. The book uses largely facts and Pearson ‘s personal research which does incorporate some prejudice. The beginning is limited due to the prejudice of Pearson thanks to his background every bit good as in the censoring and devastation of assorted beginnings by the FBI. Pearson tries to reason a revisionist point of position in his book and does non turn to many of the benefits of the party.

Black Panther Party Platform and Program was written by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. The papers was written from October 1st to 15th, 1966 in North Oakland, California. The platform was published multiple times hence no official publish day of the month exists. The platform aimed to expose what the party wanted and what it believed. It besides served as a guideline for all party members. The papers besides worked as propaganda and incitement for new members to fall in the party. The beginning provides a great expression into the head of Newton and the beliefs of most party members. The sentiments of the platform spring and good reading of the attitude at the clip. The beginning fails to look at the broader position and the sentiments of its resistance within and outside the party. The propaganda of the platform besides non reflect the personal sentiments of every party member.


The Civil Rights Movement in the United States is one of the most of import events of the twentieth century which would determine black civilization for many old ages after. Even if the motion was perceived as peaceful there were utmost facets ; the Black Panther Party being the one of the biggest.[ 13 ]Even if the party was regarded as extremist and combative, the facets of the party that benefited the party were felt for coevalss. The party would overlook the creative activity of assorted plans including the anti-police ferociousness patrols, Liberation Schools,[ 14 ]every bit good as Free Breakfast for Children Program,[ 15 ]and Free Health Clinics.[ 16 ]

The party ‘s basic ideals came from the platform itself.[ 17 ]Their points were reflected in their actions. The Panthers were really aggressive with their thought of halting constabulary ferociousness and the slaying of African Americans as stated in the 7th point in the platform.[ 18 ]This point in the party would be the causing of the atrocious label the party would inherit. Between 1967 and 1970 there had been nine police deceases and 56 more hurt. On the Panther side at that place was 10 deceases and an unknown figure of hurt. This period besides saw aggregate apprehensions of Jaguars amounting to 348.[ 19 ]This discoloration in their repute came with blessing of the black population. This was shown in a countrywide Lou Harris canvass taken on January 1970. It showed that the support and pride for the Panthers was at 64 %[ 20 ]taken shortly after the decease of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark.[ 21 ]Most of these battles would go on due to party members prosecuting constabulary officers and supplying adjutant to inkinesss if they were acquiring harassed.[ 22 ]Some of these deceases besides happened due to authorities intervention and efforts to level the party through the FBI and local constabulary sections.[ 23 ]We can theorize that the African Americans in these towns and metropoliss in which the Panthers were active would hold felt safer due to their patrolling.[ 24 ]This Orthodox position is challenged by revisionist historiographers like Pearson which argue that the deceases, hurts and apprehensions did non warrant their actions and that those actions did non better the life of black Americans.

The party ‘s lighter repute came from the assorted actions it took in order to sign point 5.[ 25 ]Point 5 specifically provinces their desire for proper instruction and instruction of African American history. The party did precisely this when they opened their Panther elementary in East Oakland.[ 26 ]The 120 pupil tuition-free school hosted categories of Spanish, math, reading, authorship, and broader history.[ 27 ]It is known that these schools would transfuse a strong sense of dignity and pride in the pupils.[ 28 ]The school was topographic point for non merely black pupils but for the big Mexican minority and even some white pupils.[ 29 ]This thought spread around the state. However some revisionists like Pearson once more argue that the methods of acquisition and funding merely further contamination the Panther ‘s image as it was known that they were funded by cocaine distribution.[ 30 ]However as the party grew, and the simple grew into the Oakland Community Learning Center, the school became one of the Party ‘s most outstanding achievements. It helped educate many inkinesss into literacy and informed inkinesss of their history and civilization.[ 31 ]This is even more apparent as it was one of the party ‘s precedences to maintain running as the party was traveling broke after the 1970s.[ 32 ]Overall, nevertheless, the bequest of the party ‘s enterprise of cultural and accessible acquisition for inkinesss remains today in black colleges and black surveies classs in other universities. After the school closed down it was bought by Blank Muslims who made it into a mosque and subsequently on the school would be purchased and made into the Acts full Gospel Church.[ 33 ]

Point 10s[ 34 ]of the platform was really of import to the Panthers even if it was non their first precedence like point 5. The Panthers besides created two polar plans to help their repute. The gap of wellness clinics, and the Free Breakfast for Children Program were entreaties at the populace in order to sign their misguided image. The FBCP started in November 1968.[ 35 ]Again, as good willed as the cause might hold been the methods that the Jaguars used were nil but opprobrious as argued by revisionist Pearson. The party would motivate the members of communities to non purchase from larger supermarket ironss that would decline to donate to the FBCP like Safeway.[ 36 ]Other smaller shops were vandalized and even fire bombed for non donating what was asked of them.[ 37 ]The response was so great even Swedish media created a telecasting section about the plan.[ 38 ]The plan helped many black households non merely by take downing the cost of populating but giving them excess clip every forenoon. Sheeba Haven founded the Berkeley Free Clinic[ 39 ]and many all over the state including Kansas, Chicago, and Seattle. These clinics were non all smooth seafaring as seen in Haven ‘s instance, even if she had to cover with awkwardness from staff. Once Newton centralized the economic sciences of the party,[ 40 ]most of the clinics had to shut due to the inefficiency of the direction. The clinics nevertheless did supply many inkinesss with all sorts of proving, medicine, and attention. Sickle Cell anaemia trials were common, every bit good as inoculations.[ 41 ]The clinics and the FBCP was a great success in both cleaning up the repute of the party and fostering the black civil rights motion by supplying nutrient and wellness attention to communities that could non afford these and give them chances for their hereafter.


Overall the party demonstrates the ageless inquiry of whether the terminal justifies the agencies or endure the agencies justify the terminal. After analyzing the groundss in the beginnings picked we can see that the party did hold an overall good consequence on non merely the little graduated table lives of inkinesss across America but to the individuality of inkinesss and their ability to acknowledge their presence and power in the political game even through the party ‘s history of force and bad celebrity.

List of Beginnings


Newton, Huey P. Interview by Louis Massiah. Personal interview. Washington University, May 23, 1989.

“ It ‘s About Time – Black Panther Party Legacy & A ; Alumni 45th Year Reunion. ” It ‘s About Time – Black Panther Party Legacy & A ; Alumni 45th Year Reunion. hypertext transfer protocol: // ( accessed October 30, 2012 ) .

Newton, Huey P. “ The Ten Point Plan. ” hypertext transfer protocol: // ( accessed October 30, 2012 ) .

Newton, Huey P. “ Huey ‘s Statement on Racist Verdict. ” The Black Panther ( Oakland ) , September 14, 1965.

Newton, Huey P. “ I Found Freedom In Jail. ” Ebony, May 1973.

Austin, Curtis J. Up against the wall: force in the devising and unmaking of the Black Panther Party. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2006.


Austin, Curtis J. Up against the wall: force in the devising and unmaking of the Black Panther Party. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2006.

Pearson, Hugh. The shadow of the jaguar: Huey Newton and the monetary value of Black power in America. 1994. Reprint, Reading, Mass. : Perseus Publishing, 1996.

“ Rise OF THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY. ” Black Panther Party. ( accessed December 1, 2012 ) .

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