Civil Rights - the Black Panthers

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The Black Panthers ‘Through its beliefs and actions did the Black Panther Party cause detriment to the Civil Rights Movement?’ From the early 1600’s African/American people were treated as an inferior race, enslaved, tortured, segregated from white Americans, treated like animals, murdered indifferently and were governed by different laws. By the mid 1950’s, black Americans were starting to seek some equality and put an end to discrimination and oppression at which time Martin Luther King became president of The Southern Christian leadership conference. Martin Luther King and his followers were determined to fight for equality of the blacks one step at a time and by peaceful means. The Black Panther Party was formed in California in 1966, by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. Initially formed to protect local communities from police brutality and racism, The Black Panthers believed that the non-violent campaign of Martin Luther King had failed and any promised changes to their lifestyle via the 'traditional' civil rights movement, would take too long to be implemented or simply not introduced. The Black Panther Party believed they could offer the black community a political organization that would serve their needs and interests at a time when “black people were moving away from the philosophy and strategy of non violent action toward sterner actions” Newton and Seale formalized the party with a uniform of blue shirts, black pants, black leather jackets, black berets and openly carried loaded shotguns. They developed the Ten Point Platform (appendix 1) detailing the objectives of the party. Newton and Seale believed the Black Panther Party for self-defense, aimed to end oppression of blacks and voiced the idea that black people in America were waging a war against the US government. The Black Panther Party was seen as a militant group responsible for
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