The Black Panther Party

550 Words3 Pages
The Black Panther Party was the manifestation of the vision of Huey P. Newton. In October of 1966, in the wake of the assassination of black leader Malcolm X and on the heels of the massive black, urban uprising in Watts, California, Newton gathered a few of his longtime friends, including Bobby Seale and David Hilliard, and developed a skeletal outline for this organization. It was originally named the “Black Panther Party for Self Defense.” The black panther was used as the symbol because it was a powerful image, --one that had been used effectively by the short-lived voting rights group, the Lowndes County (Alabama) Freedom Organization. The term “self-defense” was employed to distinguish the Party’s philosophy from the dominant non-violent theme of the civil rights movement, and in homage to another civil rights group, the Louisiana-based “Deacons for Defense.” These two symbolic references were, however, where all similarity between the Black Panther Party and other black organizations of the time ended. The Black Panther was a political organization that stood as one of the most powerful movements for social change in America since the abolition of slavery. It represented the last extreme force by a majority of black people for equal rights, justice, and freedom. The party’s ideals and…show more content…
Support groups began to arise internationally, as well. At the street level, the Party created a series of social programs to provide services to black and poor people under the slogan “Survival Pending Revolution”. One such program was called Free Breakfast for Children. Thousands of poor and hungry children in public schools across the country were fed free breakfast every day by the Party. To outsiders, the Black Panthers symbolized the aggressiveness of black power, but their programs had greater impact within the black community than their hostile
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