Black Panther Party: The Black Panthers

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Cozette Fortune Professor Collingwood POSC 171 23 November 2015 The Black Panthers The Black Panther Party was originally created in Oakland, California by Huey P. Newton and Bobby G. Seale in 1966. Newton and Seale attended community college at Merritt and they acquired their exposure to politics by being active in various political organizations. The pair soon realized that the organizations on campus were not enough. They wanted to cater to inner-city Blacks as well to the low income populace. The Black Panther Party began to pick up popularity in the late 60s because they were ready to fight police brutality. The Black Panther Party received media coverage that boosted their social presence and members. They became a national and…show more content…
When Malcolm X was assassinated in 1965, Newton and Seale felt they should fill the vacuum he left behind. So they shaped a list of demands that would be the basis for BPP for the rest of its duration until the 1980s. Its demands were “ full employment and decent housing . . . exemption of black men from military service and freedom for all black men held in federal, state, county, and city prisons and jails. The last item on their list summarized their goals: We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice and peace” (Foner x). Tensions were rising with the police force and Blacks. Police brutality was rampant and so the BPP stepped up when no one would protect them. The BPP created a self-titled newspaper in 1967 that called for Blacks to “protest the police killing of Denzil Dowell, who was shot while allegedly running from a stolen car” (Foner, xi). Panther members would patrol their neighborhoods armed so when the police pulled someone over they would watch what happened and they were prepared to fight back if the police officer overstepped his boundaries. The Panther members learned about California law so they could know their rights. If members knew their rights then it was harder for the police to take advantage of Blacks. “Newton carried law books in his car, and despite police objections he would question police conduct, often drawing a crowd as he read aloud the relevant portions of the California legal code”(Foner xi). This shows how serious the Panthers were about protecting Blacks “by any means necessary”. They had armed themselves to fight the physical battle of police brutality and white supremacy as well as mentally prepared themselves to fight the intellectual battle of fighting in court. This scared White supremacists and so the California State Assembly would make the armed Panther
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