Black Panther Party Argument Analysis

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In light of the current media attention on the accomplishments of women like Michelle Obama, it seems difficult to believe that black women were once considered passive members of history, rarely seen and almost never heard. Yet, previous works covering the history of the 20th century tended to ignore the role of women in shaping urban space, relegating them to the background. When they were mentioned, it was usually in terms of labelling them as over sexual creatures who served as distractions. This is understandable if one considers the fact that most publications prior to this current wave of research focused on a ghetto-synthesis model approach, focusing on the actions of the black community as simply a reaction to actions taken by whites…show more content…
Murch’s argument focused on illustrating the various ways that women were involved in the BPP, both as leaders and as members. Though the BPP may have been started by Bobby Seale and Huey Newton, Murch’s argument portrayed the women as the heart and soul of the Party, keeping it going after the deaths and arrest of most of the leadership. Making up over sixty percent of the membership, women in the Party stood up to keep up the fight against brutality, as well as establishing a stronger focus on community work. Efforts like the free breakfast program and food banks cemented the importance of the BPP chapters in their cities, raising support for their work. Through this type of work, Murch argued that the women of the BPP managed to raise just as much support for the cause as the men, by appealing to different groups in the community. Murch’s sources on the topic include records from the Party leadership, showing the increase in female involvement over the years and the corresponding growth in influence. The BPP gave black women a way to change the urban space that they lived…show more content…
There are very few records of interviews or of these girls’ lives, making it difficult to get an accurate representation of all the different experiences that they had. Her focus was also on the concepts of black girlhood and how black girls in the Great Migration dealt with changes in their lives. While deeply connected to the actions of black women, who sought to protect these girls, Chatelain was unable to explore more deeply the internal structure of groups like the AKA, which was influential in the development of ideas of black womanhood and activism. Her discussion on good vs bad girls could also have used more space, but she was limited to the space on hand. Overall, the main weaknesses in Chatelain’s approach lay in a lack of variety in sources and lack of

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