To My People | Assata Shakur [July 4, 1973]
"Black brothers, Black sisters, i want you to know that i love you and i hope that somewhere in your hearts you have love for me. My name is Assata Shakur (slave name joanne chesimard), and i am a revolutionary. A Black revolutionary. By that i mean that i have declared war on all forces that have raped our women, castrated our men, and kept our babies empty-bellied.I have declared war on the rich who prosper on our poverty, the politicians who lie to us with smiling faces, and all the mindless, heart-less robots who protect them and their property.I am a Black revolutionary, and, as such, i am a victim of all the wrath, hatred, and slander that amerika is capable of. Like all other Black revolutionaries, amerika is trying to lynch me.I am a Black revolutionary woman, and because of this i have been charged with and accused of every alleged crime in which a woman was believed to have participated. The alleged crimes in which only men were supposedly involved, i have been accused of planning. They have plastered pictures alleged to be me in post offices, airports, hotels, police cars, subways, banks, television, and newspapers. They have offered over fifty thousand dollars in rewards for my capture and they have issued orders to shoot on sight and shoot to kill.I am a Black revolutionary, and, by definition, that makes me a part of the Black Liberation Army. The pigs have used their newspapers and TVs to paint the Black Liberation Army as vicious, brutal, mad-dog criminals. They have called us gangsters and gun molls and have compared us to such characters as john dillinger and ma barker. It should be clear, it must be clear to anyone who can think, see, or hear, that we are the victims. The victims and not the criminals.It should also be clear to us by now who the real criminals are. Nixon and his crime partners have murdered hundreds of Third World brothers and sisters in Vietnam, Cambodia, Mozambique, Angola, and South Africa. As was proved by Watergate, the top law enforcement officials in this country are a lying bunch of criminals. The president, two attorney generals, the head of the fbi, the head of the cia, and half the white house staff have been implicated in the Watergate crimes.They call us murderers, but we did not murder over two hundred fifty unarmed Black men, women, and children, or wound thousands of others in the riots they provoked during the sixties. The rulers of this country have always considered their property more important than our lives. They call us murderers, but we were not responsible for the twenty-eight brother inmates and nine hostages murdered at attica. They call us murderers, but we did not murder and wound over thirty unarmed Black students at Jackson State—or Southern State, either.They call us murderers, but we did not murder Martin Luther King, Jr., Emmett Till, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, George Jackson, Nat Turner, James Chaney, and countless others. We did not murder, by shooting in the back, sixteen-year-old Rita Lloyd, eleven-year-old Rickie Bodden, or ten-year-old Clifford Glover. They call us murderers, but we do not control or enforce a system of racism and oppression that systematically murders Black and Third World people. Although Black people supposedly comprise about fifteen percent of the total amerikkkan population, at least sixty percent of murder victims are Black. For every pig that is killed in the so-called line of duty, there are at least fifty Black people murdered by the police.Black life expectancy is much lower than white and they do their best to kill us before we are even born. We are burned alive in fire-trap tenements. Our brothers and sisters OD daily from heroin and methadone. Our babies die from lead poisoning. Millions of Black people have died as a result of indecent medical care. This is murder. But they have got the gall to call us murderers.They call us kidnappers, yet Brother Clark Squires (who is accused, along with me, of murdering a new jersey state trooper) was kidnapped on April z, 1969, from our Black community and held on one million dollars’ ransom in the New York Panther 21 conspiracy case. He was acquitted on May 13, 1971, along with all the others, of 156 counts of conspiracy by a jury that took less than two hours to deliberate. Brother Squires was innocent. Yet he was kidnapped from his community and family. Over two years of his life was stolen, but they call us kidnappers. We did not kidnap the thousands of Brothers and Sisters held captive in amerika’s concentration camps. Ninety percent of the prison population in this country are Black and Third World people who can afford neither bail nor lawyers.They call us thieves and bandits. They say we steal. But it was not we who stole millions of Black people from the continent of Africa. We were robbed of our language, of our Gods, of our culture, of our human dignity, of our labor, and of our lives. They call us thieves, yet it is notwe who rip off billions of dollars every year through tax evasions, illegal price fixing, embezzlement, consumer fraud, bribes, kickbacks, and swindles. They call us bandits, yet every time most Black people pick up our paychecks we are being robbed. Every time we walk into a store in our neighborhood we are being held up. And every time we pay our rent the landlord sticks a gun into our ribs.They call us thieves, but we did not rob and murder millions of Indians by ripping off their homeland, then call ourselves pioneers. They call us bandits, but it is not we who are robbing Africa, Asia, and Latin America of their natural resources and freedom while the people who live there are sick and starving. The rulers of this country and their flunkies have committed some of the most brutal, vicious crimes in history. They are the bandits. They are the murderers. And they should be treated as such. These maniacs are not fit to judge me, Clark, or any other Black person on trial in amerika. Black people should and, inevitably, must determine our destinies.Every revolution in history has been accomplished by actions, al-though words are necessary. We must create shields that protect us and spears that penetrate our enemies. Black people must learn how to struggle by struggling. We must learn by our mistakes.I want to apologize to you, my Black brothers and sisters, for being on the new jersey turnpike. I should have known better. The turnpike is a checkpoint where Black people are stopped, searched, harassed, and assaulted. Revolutionaries must never be in too much of a hurry or make careless decisions. He who runs when the sun is sleeping will stumble many times.Every time a Black Freedom Fighter is murdered or captured, the pigs try to create the impression that they have quashed the movement, destroyed our forces, and put down the Black Revolution. The pigs also try to give the impression that five or ten guerrillas are responsible for every revolutionary action carried out in amerika. That is nonsense. That is absurd. Black revolutionaries do not drop from the moon. We are created by our conditions. Shaped by our oppression. We are being manufactured in droves in the ghetto streets, places like attica, san quentin, bedford hills, leavenworth, and sing sing. They are turning out thousands of us. Many jobless Black veterans and welfare mothers are joining our ranks. Brothers and sisters from all walks of life, who are tired of suffering passively, make up the BLA.There is, and always will be, until every Black man, woman, and child is free, a Black Liberation Army. The main function of the BlackLiberation Army at this time is to create good examples, to struggle for Black freedom, and to prepare for the future. We must defend ourselves and let no one disrespect us. We must gain our liberation by any means necessary.It is our duty to fight for our freedom.It is our duty to win.We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.
In the spirit of:

Ronald Carter
William Christmas
Mark Clark
Mark Essex
Frank “Heavy” Fields
Woodie Changa Olugbala Green
Fred Hampton
Lil’ Bobby Hutton
George Jackson
Jonathan Jackson
James McClain
Harold Russel
Zayd Malik Shakur
Anthony Kumu Olugbala White

We must fight on.”

To My People | Assata Shakur [July 4, 1973]

"Black brothers, Black sisters, i want you to know that i love you and i hope that somewhere in your hearts you have love for me. My name is Assata Shakur (slave name joanne chesimard), and i am a revolutionary. A Black revolutionary. By that i mean that i have declared war on all forces that have raped our women, castrated our men, and kept our babies empty-bellied.

I have declared war on the rich who prosper on our poverty, the politicians who lie to us with smiling faces, and all the mindless, heart-less robots who protect them and their property.

I am a Black revolutionary, and, as such, i am a victim of all the wrath, hatred, and slander that amerika is capable of. Like all other Black revolutionaries, amerika is trying to lynch me.

I am a Black revolutionary woman, and because of this i have been charged with and accused of every alleged crime in which a woman was believed to have participated. The alleged crimes in which only men were supposedly involved, i have been accused of planning. They have plastered pictures alleged to be me in post offices, airports, hotels, police cars, subways, banks, television, and newspapers. They have offered over fifty thousand dollars in rewards for my capture and they have issued orders to shoot on sight and shoot to kill.

I am a Black revolutionary, and, by definition, that makes me a part of the Black Liberation Army. The pigs have used their newspapers and TVs to paint the Black Liberation Army as vicious, brutal, mad-dog criminals. They have called us gangsters and gun molls and have compared us to such characters as john dillinger and ma barker. It should be clear, it must be clear to anyone who can think, see, or hear, that we are the victims. The victims and not the criminals.

It should also be clear to us by now who the real criminals are. Nixon and his crime partners have murdered hundreds of Third World brothers and sisters in Vietnam, Cambodia, Mozambique, Angola, and South Africa. As was proved by Watergate, the top law enforcement officials in this country are a lying bunch of criminals. The president, two attorney generals, the head of the fbi, the head of the cia, and half the white house staff have been implicated in the Watergate crimes.

They call us murderers, but we did not murder over two hundred fifty unarmed Black men, women, and children, or wound thousands of others in the riots they provoked during the sixties. The rulers of this country have always considered their property more important than our lives. They call us murderers, but we were not responsible for the twenty-eight brother inmates and nine hostages murdered at attica. They call us murderers, but we did not murder and wound over thirty unarmed Black students at Jackson State—or Southern State, either.

They call us murderers, but we did not murder Martin Luther King, Jr., Emmett Till, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, George Jackson, Nat Turner, James Chaney, and countless others. We did not murder, by shooting in the back, sixteen-year-old Rita Lloyd, eleven-year-old Rickie Bodden, or ten-year-old Clifford Glover. They call us murderers, but we do not control or enforce a system of racism and oppression that systematically murders Black and Third World people. Although Black people supposedly comprise about fifteen percent of the total amerikkkan population, at least sixty percent of murder victims are Black. For every pig that is killed in the so-called line of duty, there are at least fifty Black people murdered by the police.

Black life expectancy is much lower than white and they do their best to kill us before we are even born. We are burned alive in fire-trap tenements. Our brothers and sisters OD daily from heroin and methadone. Our babies die from lead poisoning. Millions of Black people have died as a result of indecent medical care. This is murder. But they have got the gall to call us murderers.

They call us kidnappers, yet Brother Clark Squires (who is accused, along with me, of murdering a new jersey state trooper) was kidnapped on April z, 1969, from our Black community and held on one million dollars’ ransom in the New York Panther 21 conspiracy case. He was acquitted on May 13, 1971, along with all the others, of 156 counts of conspiracy by a jury that took less than two hours to deliberate. Brother Squires was innocent. Yet he was kidnapped from his community and family. Over two years of his life was stolen, but they call us kidnappers. We did not kidnap the thousands of Brothers and Sisters held captive in amerika’s concentration camps. Ninety percent of the prison population in this country are Black and Third World people who can afford neither bail nor lawyers.

They call us thieves and bandits. They say we steal. But it was not we who stole millions of Black people from the continent of Africa. We were robbed of our language, of our Gods, of our culture, of our human dignity, of our labor, and of our lives. They call us thieves, yet it is not

we who rip off billions of dollars every year through tax evasions, illegal price fixing, embezzlement, consumer fraud, bribes, kickbacks, and swindles. They call us bandits, yet every time most Black people pick up our paychecks we are being robbed. Every time we walk into a store in our neighborhood we are being held up. And every time we pay our rent the landlord sticks a gun into our ribs.

They call us thieves, but we did not rob and murder millions of Indians by ripping off their homeland, then call ourselves pioneers. They call us bandits, but it is not we who are robbing Africa, Asia, and Latin America of their natural resources and freedom while the people who live there are sick and starving. The rulers of this country and their flunkies have committed some of the most brutal, vicious crimes in history. They are the bandits. They are the murderers. And they should be treated as such. These maniacs are not fit to judge me, Clark, or any other Black person on trial in amerika. Black people should and, inevitably, must determine our destinies.

Every revolution in history has been accomplished by actions, al-though words are necessary. We must create shields that protect us and spears that penetrate our enemies. Black people must learn how to struggle by struggling. We must learn by our mistakes.

I want to apologize to you, my Black brothers and sisters, for being on the new jersey turnpike. I should have known better. The turnpike is a checkpoint where Black people are stopped, searched, harassed, and assaulted. Revolutionaries must never be in too much of a hurry or make careless decisions. He who runs when the sun is sleeping will stumble many times.

Every time a Black Freedom Fighter is murdered or captured, the pigs try to create the impression that they have quashed the movement, destroyed our forces, and put down the Black Revolution. The pigs also try to give the impression that five or ten guerrillas are responsible for every revolutionary action carried out in amerika. That is nonsense. That is absurd. Black revolutionaries do not drop from the moon. We are created by our conditions. Shaped by our oppression. We are being manufactured in droves in the ghetto streets, places like attica, san quentin, bedford hills, leavenworth, and sing sing. They are turning out thousands of us. Many jobless Black veterans and welfare mothers are joining our ranks. Brothers and sisters from all walks of life, who are tired of suffering passively, make up the BLA.

There is, and always will be, until every Black man, woman, and child is free, a Black Liberation Army. The main function of the Black

Liberation Army at this time is to create good examples, to struggle for Black freedom, and to prepare for the future. We must defend ourselves and let no one disrespect us. We must gain our liberation by any means necessary.

It is our duty to fight for our freedom.
It is our duty to win.
We must love each other and support each other. 
We have nothing to lose but our chains.

In the spirit of:

Ronald Carter

William Christmas

Mark Clark

Mark Essex

Frank “Heavy” Fields

Woodie Changa Olugbala Green

Fred Hampton

Lil’ Bobby Hutton

George Jackson

Jonathan Jackson

James McClain

Harold Russel

Zayd Malik Shakur

Anthony Kumu Olugbala White

We must fight on.”

A Taste of Power: A Black Woman’s Story | Elaine Brown
Notes:
Elaine Brown started out in LA with the Black Congress, which was headed by Karenga. She first came into contact with the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense by means of Earl Anthony, in November 1968.she became the Protege of Sandra Scott, and close with Ron Wilkins “Brother Crook”Harry Truly (sociology professor) was trying to organize the Black Student Alliance in LA of all the Black Student Unions across the country

“I also came here to let you know that it is the position of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense that we are the vanguard of revolution in the United States. We are the vanguard party. And the vanguard party is declaring all-out-war on the pig. We are declaring war, and we are declaring that from this point forward, nobody will speak about Black Power or revolution unless he’s willing to follow the example of the vanguard, willing to pick up the gun, ready to die for the people.” — Bunchy Carter (page 124)

It seems that once the Black Panther Party came to LA, the time for talking was officially over and there was no room for it. Space was only cleared for action, and anything else was considered counterrevolutionary or reactionary.
Nonviolence died with Martin Luther King, Jr.Before the end of April 1968, spurred by the assassination of MLK Jr and Bobby Hutton, Elaine Brown joined the Black Panther Party, and first met Ericka Huggins.

“Our job was to encourage the revolution that would bring true freedom to black people. The goal of the revolution was to overthrow the racist U.S. government and to institute socialism in the United States of America.” (page 135)
“As women our role was not very different from that of the men, except in certain particulars. Ericka told us point-blank that as women we might have to have sexual encounters with “the enemy” at night and slit his throat in the morning” (page 136)
“Our gender was but another weapon, another tool of the revolution. We also had the task of producing children, progeny of revolution who would carry the flame when we fell, knowing that generations after us would prevail.” (page 137)

Panther slogan: “The spirit of the People is greater than the Man’s technology.” (page 137)

“There were no part-time revolutionaries. We were full-time revolutionaries, full-time Panthers.” (page 138)

Bunchy Carter was adamant that the enemy is never black. tore into the Panther members after one of them defaced a picture of Karenga, and he and the US organization surrounded his house threatening his life. (page 144)Father Eugene Boyle at Sacred Heart Church in San Francisco was the first to open his doors to the free breakfast program (page 156)LAPD got enough funding to create a Panther-specific unit called the “metro squad” — they tortured, beat, and pulled over Black Panther members for no reason at all. threatening and openly talking about killing them. (page 182-183)after the anniversary of Bobby Hutton’s assassination (April 4, 1969), Elaine learned and realized the chauvinism going on with the North Californian chapter of the BPP. The LA Panther’s agreed that they were the real Panthers. 

“Black men were our Brothers in the struggle for black liberation. We had no intention, however, of allowing Panther men to assign us an inferior role in our revolution.” (page 192)

The Clique — Joan, Ericka Huggins, Evon Carter, Gwen Goodloe, and Elaine Brown.
clique of women Black Panthers who would not be deemed inferior by the men in the Party. A collective of women who stood in the face of male chauvinism in the Party. (page 192)
Eldridge Cleaver, when Elaine went to Moscow to see him, seemed to be disconnected from the reality happening in the US. He was sold on the fact that the Oakland BPP branch was turning into a reformist Party and he was questioning where the vanguard had gone.when Elaine would not deliver the message to David Hilliard about Eldridge being the true leader of the vanguard and choosing Eldridge over the Central Committee, Eldridge threatens her life.Huey P. Newton talking about the subjective nature of revolution, and how in order to adapt with the people, an objective stance must be taken to understand the objective reality of the People. The Party must adapt to the People, not the other way around. (pages 246-247)
then goes on to say that the march on Sacramento was not to protest a bill, but to organize; it was a call to the People, to join.

“The gun is not necessarily revolutionary… It’s the motivation behind the gun that determines the validity of its use.” — Huey P. Newton (page 248)
“As i see it, the next step in that process is to deemphasize the gun and emphasize the social programs, to widen the people’s horizon. If we stayed on the pigs and the gun, per se, not only would the party go down, the people’s spirit would be crushed as they watched, and they might remain blind to the forest for the trees. Not only that, they’d come dead on arrival at the door of revolution. It’s the people who ave to survive to the point of revolution.” — Huey P. Newton (page 248)

When Huey was released from prison, his title had been changed to “Supreme Commander” even though he did not want to be called that. (page 257)
David also pushed him to get the penthouse on the 25th level for security purposes. (page 258)
used to secure the last remaining leadership of the Party, Huey P. Newton, because of David Hilliard’s impending incarceration.
punishment in the Party was always an act of violence — Elaine receiving ten lashes for being an hour late with the paper, as the main editor. (page 275)Pages 277-281 — Huey Outlines the ideas of reactionary intercommunalism and revolutionary intercommunalism When Huey met Samora Machal, leader of FRELIMO, in Beijing, he solidified the need to elevate the Survival Programs to be alternative institutions that would attract many more of the People to the programs and their Party.Huey and the Panthers began strong-arming the drug game and the after-hours spots in Oakland to take a percentage for the part, and the community. (page 332-333)Elaine Brown was a huge power to be reckoned with in getting Lionel Wilson elected as the Democrat elected mayor of Oakland since WWII and the first Black mayor of Oakland ever. She became a gatekeeper to Oakland, one which large corporations had to speak with, in order to get the Grove-Shafter Freeway, which would connect Oakland to the middle-class white suburbs. This was also connected to the building of the Oakland City Center which would provide 10,000 jobs to Oakland Black people.When Huey returned from exile from Cuba, to face murder charges, the machismo rifts once again surfaced. This was apparent with BigBob breaking many rules in the Party and being jailed out of prison with little discipline attached, while Regina Davis, who worked endlessly as the head of the Oakland Community School had been beaten by Huey’s men for a mere verbal indiscretion.At the end of the day, it seems that the People had made a god out of a man (Huey). He did not want to be seen as such, but when he was, he did not utilize the influence he had to support the actual people—the women in his Party. He did not put his foot down to do what he always could have done. He did not take it upon himself to step up and recognize the countless hours, money, lives that are the Black Panther Party. All he wanted to be was Huey, not realizing the damage and harm he was causing by neglecting the people who actually believe in him.Patriarchy and gender violence curtailed the upswing of the Black Panther Party, as Elaine Brown left..

A Taste of Power: A Black Woman’s Story | Elaine Brown

Notes:

Elaine Brown started out in LA with the Black Congress, which was headed by Karenga. She first came into contact with the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense by means of Earl Anthony, in November 1968.

she became the Protege of Sandra Scott, and close with Ron Wilkins “Brother Crook”

Harry Truly (sociology professor) was trying to organize the Black Student Alliance in LA of all the Black Student Unions across the country

“I also came here to let you know that it is the position of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense that we are the vanguard of revolution in the United States. We are the vanguard party. And the vanguard party is declaring all-out-war on the pig. We are declaring war, and we are declaring that from this point forward, nobody will speak about Black Power or revolution unless he’s willing to follow the example of the vanguard, willing to pick up the gun, ready to die for the people.” — Bunchy Carter (page 124)

It seems that once the Black Panther Party came to LA, the time for talking was officially over and there was no room for it. Space was only cleared for action, and anything else was considered counterrevolutionary or reactionary.

Nonviolence died with Martin Luther King, Jr.

Before the end of April 1968, spurred by the assassination of MLK Jr and Bobby Hutton, Elaine Brown joined the Black Panther Party, and first met Ericka Huggins.

“Our job was to encourage the revolution that would bring true freedom to black people. The goal of the revolution was to overthrow the racist U.S. government and to institute socialism in the United States of America.” (page 135)

“As women our role was not very different from that of the men, except in certain particulars. Ericka told us point-blank that as women we might have to have sexual encounters with “the enemy” at night and slit his throat in the morning” (page 136)

“Our gender was but another weapon, another tool of the revolution. We also had the task of producing children, progeny of revolution who would carry the flame when we fell, knowing that generations after us would prevail.” (page 137)

Panther slogan: “The spirit of the People is greater than the Man’s technology.” (page 137)

“There were no part-time revolutionaries. We were full-time revolutionaries, full-time Panthers.” (page 138)

Bunchy Carter was adamant that the enemy is never black. 
tore into the Panther members after one of them defaced a picture of Karenga, and he and the US organization surrounded his house threatening his life. (page 144)
Father Eugene Boyle at Sacred Heart Church in San Francisco was the first to open his doors to the free breakfast program (page 156)

LAPD got enough funding to create a Panther-specific unit called the “metro squad” — they tortured, beat, and pulled over Black Panther members for no reason at all. threatening and openly talking about killing them. (page 182-183)

after the anniversary of Bobby Hutton’s assassination (April 4, 1969), Elaine learned and realized the chauvinism going on with the North Californian chapter of the BPP. The LA Panther’s agreed that they were the real Panthers. 

“Black men were our Brothers in the struggle for black liberation. We had no intention, however, of allowing Panther men to assign us an inferior role in our revolution.” (page 192)

The Clique — Joan, Ericka Huggins, Evon Carter, Gwen Goodloe, and Elaine Brown.

  • clique of women Black Panthers who would not be deemed inferior by the men in the Party. A collective of women who stood in the face of male chauvinism in the Party. (page 192)

Eldridge Cleaver, when Elaine went to Moscow to see him, seemed to be disconnected from the reality happening in the US. He was sold on the fact that the Oakland BPP branch was turning into a reformist Party and he was questioning where the vanguard had gone.

when Elaine would not deliver the message to David Hilliard about Eldridge being the true leader of the vanguard and choosing Eldridge over the Central Committee, Eldridge threatens her life.

Huey P. Newton talking about the subjective nature of revolution, and how in order to adapt with the people, an objective stance must be taken to understand the objective reality of the People. The Party must adapt to the People, not the other way around. (pages 246-247)

then goes on to say that the march on Sacramento was not to protest a bill, but to organize; it was a call to the People, to join.

“The gun is not necessarily revolutionary… It’s the motivation behind the gun that determines the validity of its use.” — Huey P. Newton (page 248)

“As i see it, the next step in that process is to deemphasize the gun and emphasize the social programs, to widen the people’s horizon. If we stayed on the pigs and the gun, per se, not only would the party go down, the people’s spirit would be crushed as they watched, and they might remain blind to the forest for the trees. Not only that, they’d come dead on arrival at the door of revolution. It’s the people who ave to survive to the point of revolution.” — Huey P. Newton (page 248)

When Huey was released from prison, his title had been changed to “Supreme Commander” even though he did not want to be called that. (page 257)

David also pushed him to get the penthouse on the 25th level for security purposes. (page 258)

used to secure the last remaining leadership of the Party, Huey P. Newton, because of David Hilliard’s impending incarceration.

punishment in the Party was always an act of violence — Elaine receiving ten lashes for being an hour late with the paper, as the main editor. (page 275)

Pages 277-281 — Huey Outlines the ideas of reactionary intercommunalism and revolutionary intercommunalism 

When Huey met Samora Machal, leader of FRELIMO, in Beijing, he solidified the need to elevate the Survival Programs to be alternative institutions that would attract many more of the People to the programs and their Party.

Huey and the Panthers began strong-arming the drug game and the after-hours spots in Oakland to take a percentage for the part, and the community. (page 332-333)

Elaine Brown was a huge power to be reckoned with in getting Lionel Wilson elected as the Democrat elected mayor of Oakland since WWII and the first Black mayor of Oakland ever. She became a gatekeeper to Oakland, one which large corporations had to speak with, in order to get the Grove-Shafter Freeway, which would connect Oakland to the middle-class white suburbs. This was also connected to the building of the Oakland City Center which would provide 10,000 jobs to Oakland Black people.

When Huey returned from exile from Cuba, to face murder charges, the machismo rifts once again surfaced. This was apparent with BigBob breaking many rules in the Party and being jailed out of prison with little discipline attached, while Regina Davis, who worked endlessly as the head of the Oakland Community School had been beaten by Huey’s men for a mere verbal indiscretion.

At the end of the day, it seems that the People had made a god out of a man (Huey). He did not want to be seen as such, but when he was, he did not utilize the influence he had to support the actual people—the women in his Party. He did not put his foot down to do what he always could have done. He did not take it upon himself to step up and recognize the countless hours, money, lives that are the Black Panther Party. All he wanted to be was Huey, not realizing the damage and harm he was causing by neglecting the people who actually believe in him.

Patriarchy and gender violence curtailed the upswing of the Black Panther Party, as Elaine Brown left..

“I also came here to let you know that it is the position of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense that we are the vanguard of revolution in the United States. We are the vanguard party. And the vanguard party is declaring all-out-war on the pig. We are declaring war, and we are declaring that from this point forward, nobody will speak about Black Power or revolution unless he’s willing to follow the example of the vanguard, willing to pick up the gun, ready to die for the people.” 
— Bunchy Carter

“I also came here to let you know that it is the position of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense that we are the vanguard of revolution in the United States. We are the vanguard party. And the vanguard party is declaring all-out-war on the pig. We are declaring war, and we are declaring that from this point forward, nobody will speak about Black Power or revolution unless he’s willing to follow the example of the vanguard, willing to pick up the gun, ready to die for the people.”

Bunchy Carter

Global influences on the Ideological Praxis of the Black Panther Party

Mikhail Bakunin

Conspiratorial revolutionary action by small groups

Major text — The Catechism of Revolutionist

Fidel Castro, Régis Debray, and Che Guevara

Foco theory and guerrilla warfare tactics

Major texts — “Revolution in the Revolution?” and “Guerrilla Warfare”

Frantz Fanon

Revolutionary violence and colonial analogy; revolutionary potential of the lumpen proletariat

Major text — Wretched of the Earth

V. I. Lenin

Vanguard Party and anti-imperialist struggle

Major text — What is to be done?

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

Class Struggle; Dialectical Materialism; Proletarian Internationalism

Major text — Communist Manifesto

Kwame Nkrumah

Neocolonialism and guerrilla warfare tactics

Major texts — “Neo-Colonialism” and “Class Struggle in Africa”

Kim Il Sung

juche = “self-reliance”

Mao Tse-Tung

Revolutionary organizing principles (internal and external); Serving the People programs

Major text — Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung (The Little Red Book)

The Panther Dead: Police Induced Fatalities, 1968 - 1971

(not exhaustive)

1968

March 14: Arthur Morris, age 28, Los Angeles

April 6: Bobby Hutton, age 17, Oakland (pictured above)

August 25: Steven Bartholomew, age 21, Los Angeles

August 25: Robert Lawrence, age 22, Los Angeles

August 25: Tommy Lewis, age 18, Los Angeles

October 15: Welton Armstead, age 17, Seattle

December 30: Frank Diggs, age 40, Los Angeles

1969

January 17: Alprentice Carter, age 26, Los Angeles (pictured above)

January 17: John Huggins, age 23, Los Angeles (pictured above)

May 21: Alex Rackley, age 24, New Haven

May 23: John Savage, age 21, Los Angeles

August 15: Sylvester Bell, age 34, San Diego

September 4: Larry Roberson, age 20, Chicago

September 12: Nathaniel Clark, age 19, Los Angeles

October 10: Walter Touré Pope, age 20, Los Angeles

November 13: Spurgeon Winters, age 19, Chicago

December 4: Fred Hampton, age 21, Chicago (pictured above)

December 4: Mark Clark, age 22, Chicago

December 25: Sterling Jones, age 17, Chicago

December ?: Eugene Anderson, age 20, Baltimore

1970

July 27: Babatunde X Omarwali, age 26, Chicago

July 28: Carl Hampton, age 23, Houston

August 7: Jonathan Jackson, age 17, San Raphael, CA

1971

January ?: Fred Bennett, age 29, Santa Cruz, CA

January 13: Sandra Lane Pratt, age 23, Los Angeles

March 8: Robert Webb, age 22, New York

April 17: Samuel Napier, age 30, New York

April 17: Harold Russell, age 23, New York

August 21: George Jackson, age 29, San Quentin (pictured  above)

Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party | Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Martin, Jr.
Notes:
Part One. Organizing Rage
Middle to late 1960s, Black people started to become aware of the limits of the early 1960s Civil Rights Movement.
Black Panther Executive Mandate #1:

“The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense calls upon the America people in general and the Black people in particular to take careful note of the racist California Legislature which is now considering legislation aimed at keeping the Black people disarmed and powerless at the very same time that racist police agencies throughout the country are intensifying the terror, brutality, murder, and repression of Black people… . The enslavement of Black people from the very beginning of this country, the genocide practiced on the American Indians and the confining of the survivors on reservations, the savage lynching of thousands of Black men and women, the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and now the cowardly massacre in Vietnam, all testify to the fact that toward people of color the racist power structure of America has but one policy: repression, genocide, terror, and the big stick… . The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense believes that the time has come for Black people to arm themselves against this terror before it is too late. The pending Mulford Act brings the hour of doom one step nearer. A people who have suffered so much for so long at the hands of a racist society, must draw the line somewhere. We believe tat the Black communities of America must rise up as one man to halt the progression of a trend that leads inevitably to their total destruction.” — Bobby Seale, May 2, 1967 (page 59-60)

Part Two. Baptism in Blood
Huey developed a politic to organize the “brothers on the block”: (page 66)
“first applying Frantz Fanon’s theory of the psychology of colonization and liberation struggle  to the ghettos of the United States”
“then extending the analogy to identify the police as an occupying force”
“interpreting U.S. urban riots as protopolitical resistance to this occupation,”
“and asserting the role of the Black Panther Party as the legitimate representation of the black community—the vanguard party—in the struggle for Black Power.”
The foundation of the BPPSD was an all-male group which makes me think about the difficulties of adapting the foundations of anything. As women began to join the ranks more and more, it was clear that Black men were the forefront of the party, seen in leader roles and that Black women were seen in supportive roles. (page 97)
"Free Huey!" became more than whether or not Huey Newton had killed Officer Frey, and became a way to “use Huey’s trial as a forum to put America on trial, to expose its inherent racism and injustice.” (page 104)
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed on April 4, 1968. two days later:

April 6, 1968 — a group of Panthers are out and about (three carloads). They pulled over because Eldridge Cleaver had to urinate and then several police cars pulled up on Cleaver and shined a light on him Words were exchanged then gunfire. Cleaver and Bobby Hutton ran into a nearby building. Hour and a half later, Cleaver emerged, naked, and was taken into custody. Bobby Hutton emerged from the baseman and the police shot him dead. (page 118-119)
Many people attended the funeral of Bobby Hutton on April 12th, likening his murder to that of Dr. King.

“The murder of King changed the whole dynamic of the country. That is probably the single most significant event in terms of how the Panthers were perceived by the Black community.” — Kathleen Cleaver (page 159)
“By framing this practice of armed self-defense as part of a global anti-imperialist struggle, the Panthers were able to draw broad support both from other black political organizations and from many nonblacks. These allies provided crucial financial, political, and legal support that enabled the Panthers to mount top-notch, unprecedented legal defenses against many charges they faced, and they often won their cases in court…” (page 160)
Part Three. Resilience
The Breakfast program not only fed kids, they shed light upon the government’s lack of action surrounding feeding children. This is true of a lot of the Black Panther Party service programs; shedding light on the lack of care the government has for the Black community.
“The Party’s advocacy for health care for blacks revealed the group’s deep commitment to a holistic view of health that was both environmental and physical. For the Party, the well-being of individual black bodies and the collective black community reflected the overall welfare of the larger black body politic. Improving the health status of blacks thus went hand in hand with improving their political activism and black public health activism were interwoven.” (page 189)
“The gendering of the Party’s community programs as female and the public face of the Party as male became entrenched for two major reasons.” (page 194)
“First, the Party’s continuing masculinism and the society’s deeply ingrained gender norms undercut women’s serious battles against sexism within the Party.”
“Second, even as women’s participation became increasingly central to the operation of the Party and questions of gender equity loomed large, the Party had no formal and effective mechanisms to root out sexism and misogyny.”
Panther pads or Panther cribs — Panthers tried to reflect their communal living and make it possible for all people to live a freer life; but often these communal living arrangements perpetuated the same gender inequity and patriarchy that it was said to extinguish. (page 194-195)
“A revolutionary program is one set forth by revolutionaries, by those who want to change the existing system to a better one” whereas “a reform program is set up by the existing exploitative system as an appeasing handout, to fool people and to keep them quiet. Examples of these programs are poverty programs, youth work programs, and things like that.” — Bobby Seale (page 195)
Through direct service to the community: (page 196-197)
“the services provided concrete aid to an impressive number and cross-section of folk…materializing the notion of service to the community.”
“these programs accomplished crucial educational and political work within communities, conveying the insufficiency of the capitalist welfare state to meet eve the most basic needs of its citizens, especially its black citizens.”
“the Panthers’ programs expanded communities’ understanding of the process of grassroots institutional development—how to create and sustain their own much-needed institutions from the ground up.”
“these programs not only kept the Party alive in the face of awesome state repression, they also initially enabled it to grow during these trying times.”
November 5, 1968 — Nixon was elected the 37th president of the united states. This led to a law and order stance by Nixon. He set his eyes on repression of the Black Panther Party and the year to come (1969) was filled with raids on Black Panther establishments.
The Murder of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark:
Fred Hampton was trying to merge with the largest and most powerful gang in the Chicago area, the Blackstone Rangers, with leader Jeff Fort. However, Fort wanted the BPP to become Rangers, not the other way around (page 228 - 230)

The FBI tried to exploit this disagreement by sending a letter to Jeff Fort, hoping he would turn violence, but neither Hampton nor Fort took the bait. 

Black nationalist groups and other Black groups came to the aid of the BPP because they saw the repression they faced, and believed what could happen to the BPP, could happen to the rest of the Black community.Coalition Rally on November 3 1969 — united protest against the government repression of the BPP (page 235)
P. Stone Nation
Conservative Vice Lords
Black Liberation Alliance
Jesse Jackson
Many more…
After the killing of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, Bobby Rush gave tours of the apartment to reporters and community members. No bullet hole marks in either of the doorways the SPU entered through. (page 239)
Before May Day (May 1, 1970) had arrived, the Panthers had won the support of Yale, in New Haven, CT. (page 262)

Yale students striking, and the president of Yale, Kingman Brewster, Jr. saying he is “skeptical of the ability of black revolutionaries to achieve a fair trial anywhere in the United States.” (page 261)

“Officers instructed soldiers, “You will not be successfully prosecuted if you shoot someone whole performing a duty… . there is nothing to fear concerning your individual actions.” (page 262)May 2nd creation of the National Student Strike Committee; students across the country should boycott classes until three demands were met: (page 264)
“The United States must end its “systematic oppression” of all political dissidents, such as Bobby Seale, and all other Black Panthers.”
“The United States must cease “aggression” in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, and unilaterally and immediately withdraw its force.”
“Universities must end their “complicity” in war by ending was-related research and eliminating Reserve Officer Training Corps activities.”
May 1970 — “more than four million students at 1,300 colleges across participated in campus protests that month. One and a half million went on strike, shutting down at least 536 college campuses—many for the remained of the academic year” (page 266)
Part Four. Revolution Has Come!
Out of the Black Panther-sponsored United Front Against Fascism Conference in Oakland, California (July 18-21, 1969) came the creation of National Committees to Combat Fascism (NCCFs) (resource #3, page 301)
The NCCFs would work under a BPP umbrella but would allow nonblack membership
Originally focused on two issues: “local campaigns for community control of police and the development of legal teams to defend political prisoners” (page 302)
The formation of revolutionary motherhood around having babies. This is not only for the revolutionary nation, but for the revolutionary men, constructing firm patriarchal norms and heteronormativity. (page 305)

“Our men need, want and will love the beautiful children, that come from our fruitful wombs… . We are mothers of revolutionaries, with us is the further of our people.” — Candi Robinson (page 305)
“I had three babies because I thought that it was my revolutionary duty to do that. I … wasn’t thinking of what I wanted for me.” — Malika Adams (page 305)

Part Five. Concessions and Unraveling
“In noninsurgent organizations, established laws and customs are assumed and largely respected. Maintaining organizational coherence may be challenging, but transgressions of law and custom are generally outside of organizational responsibility. Within insurgent organizations like the Black Panther Party, law and custom are viewed as oppressive and illegitimate. Insurgents view their movement as above the law and custom, the embodiment of a greater morality. As a result, defining acceptable types of transgression of law and custom, and maintaining discipline within these constraints, often poses a serious challenge for insurgent organizations like the Black Panther Party. What sorts of violation of law and custom are consistent with the vision and aims of the insurgency?” (page 342)“The survival of the Party depended on its political coherence and organizational discipline.” (page 344)

One of the major tools to maintain this discipline was the threat of expulsion from the Party.

“The resilience of the Black Panthers politics depended heavily on support from three broad constituencies: blacks, opponents of the Vietnam War, and revolutionary governments internationally.” (page 346)

The deescalation of the Vietnam War and the draft caused those who supported the Black Panthers because of this to view the Black Panthers revolutionary tactics as unnecessary because they no longer had a stake in the actions.(page 348)
“Increasing access to mainstream institutions undercut the basis for blacks’ support of the Panthers’ politics.” (page 349)The international support for the BPP started to deteriorate as these nations began to come to better negotiations and started doing more business with the United States. (page 350-351)

“Tensions developed between the necessarily independent activities of the local chapters, some of which bordered on open insurrection, and the Central Committee’s efforts to maintain allied support.” (resource #3, page 365)“Between 1968 through 1970, three factors exacerbated these tensions. 
"First, counterintelligence activities by the federal government worked to vilify the Party.”
“Second, the success of the Party created a conflict between promoting insurrection and maintaining the Party’s image.”
“The third factor that made Black Panther politics unsustainable was the establishment’s decision to offer political concessions to Panther allies, thereby shifting the political context and cutting into the Panthers’ ability to maintain allied support.” (page 366)
By 1970, the Party had opened offices in 68 cities, annual budget reaching $1.2 million, and circulation of the Black Panther reached 150,000.
Conclusion
classic sociological perspective:

“When repression is light, people tend to cooperate with established political authorities and take less disruptive action; when repression is heavy, the costs of insurgency are too large, causing people to shy away from radical acts. But, according to this view, it is when authorities are moderately repressive—too repressive to steer dissenters toward institutional channels  of political participation but not repressive enough to quell dissent—that people widely mobilize disruptive challenges to authorities.” (page 396)
Relationship shaped like an “inverse U”
The Black Panthers defy this perspective

 for the BPP: “potential allies’ political reception of the Panther insurgent practices determined the effects of repression on mobilization.” (page 397)“We have found that the political context, rather than independently determining the extent of mobilization, determines the efficacy of particular insurgent practices.” (page 397)
—
“any revolutionary theory consciously separates the world into two camps: those who seek to reproduce the existing social arrangements and those who seek to overthrow them.” 

Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party | Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Martin, Jr.

Notes:

Part One. Organizing Rage

Middle to late 1960s, Black people started to become aware of the limits of the early 1960s Civil Rights Movement.

Black Panther Executive Mandate #1:

“The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense calls upon the America people in general and the Black people in particular to take careful note of the racist California Legislature which is now considering legislation aimed at keeping the Black people disarmed and powerless at the very same time that racist police agencies throughout the country are intensifying the terror, brutality, murder, and repression of Black people… . The enslavement of Black people from the very beginning of this country, the genocide practiced on the American Indians and the confining of the survivors on reservations, the savage lynching of thousands of Black men and women, the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and now the cowardly massacre in Vietnam, all testify to the fact that toward people of color the racist power structure of America has but one policy: repression, genocide, terror, and the big stick… . The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense believes that the time has come for Black people to arm themselves against this terror before it is too late. The pending Mulford Act brings the hour of doom one step nearer. A people who have suffered so much for so long at the hands of a racist society, must draw the line somewhere. We believe tat the Black communities of America must rise up as one man to halt the progression of a trend that leads inevitably to their total destruction.” — Bobby Seale, May 2, 1967 (page 59-60)

Part Two. Baptism in Blood

Huey developed a politic to organize the “brothers on the block”: (page 66)

  • “first applying Frantz Fanon’s theory of the psychology of colonization and liberation struggle  to the ghettos of the United States”
  • “then extending the analogy to identify the police as an occupying force”
  • “interpreting U.S. urban riots as protopolitical resistance to this occupation,”
  • “and asserting the role of the Black Panther Party as the legitimate representation of the black community—the vanguard party—in the struggle for Black Power.”

The foundation of the BPPSD was an all-male group which makes me think about the difficulties of adapting the foundations of anything. As women began to join the ranks more and more, it was clear that Black men were the forefront of the party, seen in leader roles and that Black women were seen in supportive roles. (page 97)

"Free Huey!" became more than whether or not Huey Newton had killed Officer Frey, and became a way to “use Huey’s trial as a forum to put America on trial, to expose its inherent racism and injustice.” (page 104)

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed on April 4, 1968. two days later:

April 6, 1968 — a group of Panthers are out and about (three carloads). They pulled over because Eldridge Cleaver had to urinate and then several police cars pulled up on Cleaver and shined a light on him Words were exchanged then gunfire. Cleaver and Bobby Hutton ran into a nearby building. Hour and a half later, Cleaver emerged, naked, and was taken into custody. Bobby Hutton emerged from the baseman and the police shot him dead. (page 118-119)

Many people attended the funeral of Bobby Hutton on April 12th, likening his murder to that of Dr. King.

“The murder of King changed the whole dynamic of the country. That is probably the single most significant event in terms of how the Panthers were perceived by the Black community.” — Kathleen Cleaver (page 159)

“By framing this practice of armed self-defense as part of a global anti-imperialist struggle, the Panthers were able to draw broad support both from other black political organizations and from many nonblacks. These allies provided crucial financial, political, and legal support that enabled the Panthers to mount top-notch, unprecedented legal defenses against many charges they faced, and they often won their cases in court…” (page 160)

Part Three. Resilience

The Breakfast program not only fed kids, they shed light upon the government’s lack of action surrounding feeding children. This is true of a lot of the Black Panther Party service programs; shedding light on the lack of care the government has for the Black community.

“The Party’s advocacy for health care for blacks revealed the group’s deep commitment to a holistic view of health that was both environmental and physical. For the Party, the well-being of individual black bodies and the collective black community reflected the overall welfare of the larger black body politic. Improving the health status of blacks thus went hand in hand with improving their political activism and black public health activism were interwoven.” (page 189)

“The gendering of the Party’s community programs as female and the public face of the Party as male became entrenched for two major reasons.” (page 194)

  1. “First, the Party’s continuing masculinism and the society’s deeply ingrained gender norms undercut women’s serious battles against sexism within the Party.”
  2. “Second, even as women’s participation became increasingly central to the operation of the Party and questions of gender equity loomed large, the Party had no formal and effective mechanisms to root out sexism and misogyny.”

Panther pads or Panther cribs — Panthers tried to reflect their communal living and make it possible for all people to live a freer life; but often these communal living arrangements perpetuated the same gender inequity and patriarchy that it was said to extinguish. (page 194-195)

“A revolutionary program is one set forth by revolutionaries, by those who want to change the existing system to a better one” whereas “a reform program is set up by the existing exploitative system as an appeasing handout, to fool people and to keep them quiet. Examples of these programs are poverty programs, youth work programs, and things like that.” — Bobby Seale (page 195)

Through direct service to the community: (page 196-197)

  • “the services provided concrete aid to an impressive number and cross-section of folk…materializing the notion of service to the community.”
  • “these programs accomplished crucial educational and political work within communities, conveying the insufficiency of the capitalist welfare state to meet eve the most basic needs of its citizens, especially its black citizens.”
  • “the Panthers’ programs expanded communities’ understanding of the process of grassroots institutional development—how to create and sustain their own much-needed institutions from the ground up.”
  • “these programs not only kept the Party alive in the face of awesome state repression, they also initially enabled it to grow during these trying times.”

November 5, 1968 — Nixon was elected the 37th president of the united states. This led to a law and order stance by Nixon. He set his eyes on repression of the Black Panther Party and the year to come (1969) was filled with raids on Black Panther establishments.

The Murder of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark:

Fred Hampton was trying to merge with the largest and most powerful gang in the Chicago area, the Blackstone Rangers, with leader Jeff Fort. However, Fort wanted the BPP to become Rangers, not the other way around (page 228 - 230)

The FBI tried to exploit this disagreement by sending a letter to Jeff Fort, hoping he would turn violence, but neither Hampton nor Fort took the bait. 

Black nationalist groups and other Black groups came to the aid of the BPP because they saw the repression they faced, and believed what could happen to the BPP, could happen to the rest of the Black community.

Coalition Rally on November 3 1969 — united protest against the government repression of the BPP (page 235)

  • P. Stone Nation
  • Conservative Vice Lords
  • Black Liberation Alliance
  • Jesse Jackson
  • Many more…

After the killing of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, Bobby Rush gave tours of the apartment to reporters and community members. No bullet hole marks in either of the doorways the SPU entered through. (page 239)

Before May Day (May 1, 1970) had arrived, the Panthers had won the support of Yale, in New Haven, CT. (page 262)

Yale students striking, and the president of Yale, Kingman Brewster, Jr. saying he is “skeptical of the ability of black revolutionaries to achieve a fair trial anywhere in the United States.” (page 261)

“Officers instructed soldiers, “You will not be successfully prosecuted if you shoot someone whole performing a duty… . there is nothing to fear concerning your individual actions.” (page 262)

May 2nd creation of the National Student Strike Committee; students across the country should boycott classes until three demands were met: (page 264)

  1. “The United States must end its “systematic oppression” of all political dissidents, such as Bobby Seale, and all other Black Panthers.”
  2. “The United States must cease “aggression” in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, and unilaterally and immediately withdraw its force.”
  3. “Universities must end their “complicity” in war by ending was-related research and eliminating Reserve Officer Training Corps activities.”

May 1970 — “more than four million students at 1,300 colleges across participated in campus protests that month. One and a half million went on strike, shutting down at least 536 college campuses—many for the remained of the academic year” (page 266)

Part Four. Revolution Has Come!

Out of the Black Panther-sponsored United Front Against Fascism Conference in Oakland, California (July 18-21, 1969) came the creation of National Committees to Combat Fascism (NCCFs) (resource #3, page 301)

  • The NCCFs would work under a BPP umbrella but would allow nonblack membership
  • Originally focused on two issues: “local campaigns for community control of police and the development of legal teams to defend political prisoners” (page 302)

The formation of revolutionary motherhood around having babies. This is not only for the revolutionary nation, but for the revolutionary men, constructing firm patriarchal norms and heteronormativity. (page 305)

“Our men need, want and will love the beautiful children, that come from our fruitful wombs… . We are mothers of revolutionaries, with us is the further of our people.” — Candi Robinson (page 305)

“I had three babies because I thought that it was my revolutionary duty to do that. I … wasn’t thinking of what I wanted for me.” — Malika Adams (page 305)

Part Five. Concessions and Unraveling

“In noninsurgent organizations, established laws and customs are assumed and largely respected. Maintaining organizational coherence may be challenging, but transgressions of law and custom are generally outside of organizational responsibility. Within insurgent organizations like the Black Panther Party, law and custom are viewed as oppressive and illegitimate. Insurgents view their movement as above the law and custom, the embodiment of a greater morality. As a result, defining acceptable types of transgression of law and custom, and maintaining discipline within these constraints, often poses a serious challenge for insurgent organizations like the Black Panther Party. What sorts of violation of law and custom are consistent with the vision and aims of the insurgency?” (page 342)

“The survival of the Party depended on its political coherence and organizational discipline.” (page 344)

One of the major tools to maintain this discipline was the threat of expulsion from the Party.

“The resilience of the Black Panthers politics depended heavily on support from three broad constituencies: blacks, opponents of the Vietnam War, and revolutionary governments internationally.” (page 346)

The deescalation of the Vietnam War and the draft caused those who supported the Black Panthers because of this to view the Black Panthers revolutionary tactics as unnecessary because they no longer had a stake in the actions.(page 348)

“Increasing access to mainstream institutions undercut the basis for blacks’ support of the Panthers’ politics.” (page 349)

The international support for the BPP started to deteriorate as these nations began to come to better negotiations and started doing more business with the United States. (page 350-351)

“Tensions developed between the necessarily independent activities of the local chapters, some of which bordered on open insurrection, and the Central Committee’s efforts to maintain allied support.” (resource #3, page 365)

“Between 1968 through 1970, three factors exacerbated these tensions. 

  1. "First, counterintelligence activities by the federal government worked to vilify the Party.”
  2. “Second, the success of the Party created a conflict between promoting insurrection and maintaining the Party’s image.”
  3. “The third factor that made Black Panther politics unsustainable was the establishment’s decision to offer political concessions to Panther allies, thereby shifting the political context and cutting into the Panthers’ ability to maintain allied support.” (page 366)

By 1970, the Party had opened offices in 68 cities, annual budget reaching $1.2 million, and circulation of the Black Panther reached 150,000.

Conclusion

classic sociological perspective:

“When repression is light, people tend to cooperate with established political authorities and take less disruptive action; when repression is heavy, the costs of insurgency are too large, causing people to shy away from radical acts. But, according to this view, it is when authorities are moderately repressive—too repressive to steer dissenters toward institutional channels  of political participation but not repressive enough to quell dissent—that people widely mobilize disruptive challenges to authorities.” (page 396)

Relationship shaped like an “inverse U”

The Black Panthers defy this perspective

for the BPP: “potential allies’ political reception of the Panther insurgent practices determined the effects of repression on mobilization.” (page 397)

“We have found that the political context, rather than independently determining the extent of mobilization, determines the efficacy of particular insurgent practices.” (page 397)

“any revolutionary theory consciously separates the world into two camps: those who seek to reproduce the existing social arrangements and those who seek to overthrow them.” 

why Black Panther programs are revolutionary and not reformist:
"A revolutionary program is one set forth by revolutionaries, by those who want to change the existing system to a better one”
“a reform program is set up by the existing exploitative system as an appeasing handout, to fool people and to keep them quiet. Examples of these programs are poverty programs, youth work programs, and things like that.”
| Bobby Seale

why Black Panther programs are revolutionary and not reformist:

"A revolutionary program is one set forth by revolutionaries, by those who want to change the existing system to a better one”

“a reform program is set up by the existing exploitative system as an appeasing handout, to fool people and to keep them quiet. Examples of these programs are poverty programs, youth work programs, and things like that.”

| Bobby Seale

The Black Panther Party [Reconsidered] | Edited by Charles E. Jones
Chapter I: “Don’t Believe the Hype”: Debunking the Panther Mythology | Charles E. Jones and Judson L. James

Myth 1: The BPP was an anti-White organization
“we don’t hate white people; we hate the oppressor. And if the oppressor happens to be white then we hate him.” — Huey P. Newton (page 38)
Myth 2: The BPP was an “infantile leftist” organization
Myth 3: The BPP was a media-created organization
Myth 4: The BPP was a “lumpen-based” organization

Chapter II: The Black Panthers and the “Undeveloped Country” of the Left | Nikhil Pal Singh

“The “shadow of the gun,” moreover was far more important for the Panthers than actual guns could ever be.” (page 83)
The author mentions how the Panther’s represented a challenge of the State’s power; that if the State did not answer and did retaliate to the spectacle of the Panthers, the Panthers would be proven right in challenging the State, showing the State’s power is “a mask” (pages 83-84)
The Panthers challenged that state’s monopoly on violence. (page 84)

Chapter III: Once I Was a Panther | Melvin E. Lewis

Poem.

Chapter IV: Selections for a Panther Diary | Steve D. McCutchen
Chapter V: “I Got a Right to the Tree of Life”: Afrocentric Reflections of a Former Community Worker | Miriam Ma’at-Ka-Re Monges

“[O]ne of the most important rings the Party did was to make it really clear who the enemy was: not the white people, but the capitalistic, imperialistic oppressors [The Party] took the Black liberation struggle out of a national context and put it in an international context.” — Assata Shakur (page 138)
The author mentions the lack of recognition of the power of their African heritage. While the Party recognized it, they did not utilize it as a means of liberation, deeming those who did as “cultural nationalists.”

Chapter VI: “Talkin’ the Talk and Walkin’ the Walk”: An Interview with Panther Jimmy Slater | Charles E. Jones

Panther Jimmy Slater talks about how people had to be volunteers before they were invited to be Panthers.
He also mentions the different ways that COINTELPRO created divisions and friction within the Party by using informants and fabricated letters.
He then mentions the importance of bringing in new blood and at some point, that stopped. In addition, the importance of capital and lack there of within the Party.
“you need capital to function in a capitalistic society.” (page 152)

Chapter VII: “All Power to the People”: The Political Thought of Huey P. Newton and The Black Panther Party | Floyd W. Hayes, III, and Francis A. Kiene, III

The importance of organizing the lumpen proletariat or as Huey phrased it, “the street brothers,” because if you did not organize them first, then the system would organize them against you. (page 160-161)
Newton also considered that the increase in technology would lead to the “possibility that the working class could be transformed out of existence.” (page 161)
Went over the ideological development of the Black Panther Party:
Black Nationalism —
 the october 1966 platform and programs held a Black nationalism perspective (page 162) stressing racial solidarity and Black people having a unique identity (primary principle of Black Nationalism)
Revolutionary Nationalism — (page 164) nationalism and socialism
“a people’s revolution with the end goal being the people in power. Therefore, to be a revolutionary nationalist you would by necessity have to be a socialist.” — Huey P. Newton (page 164)
"their struggle centered on destroying the conditions that generated the twin evils of capitalism and racism.” (page 165)
Revolutionary Internationalism — (page 169)
“the only way we can combat an international enemy is through an international strategy, unity of all people who are exploited, who will overthrow the international bourgeoisie, and replace it with a dictatorship by the proletariat, the workers of the world.” — Huey P. Newton (page 169)
Had to do with the idea that nationhood was no longer an option because the United States was an empire that stretched globally, so Black people in the US had to align themselves with people around the world and start thinking on an international level.
Revolutionary Intercommunalism — (page 170)
Because of United States imperialism and its empire, there were no longer nations around the world, but oppressed and exploited global communities.
“We pledge ourselves to end imperialism and distribute the wealth of the world to all the people of the world. We foresee a system of true communism where all people produce according to their abilities and all receive according to their needs.” — The Panthers (page 171)
———
However, the Panthers practiced top-down ideology theorizing. Therefore, the rank and file members of the party were often disconnected from this change in ideology and the political education classes did not directly reflect this change in ideology.

Chapter VIII: “Serving the People”: The Survival Programs of The Black Panther Party | JoNina M. Abron

“A lot of people misunderstand the politics of these programs; some people have a tendency to call them reform programs. They’re not reform programs; they’re actually revolutionary community programs. A revolutionary program is set forth by revolutionaries, by those who want to change the existing system to a better system. A reform program is set up by the existing exploitative system as an appeasing handout to fool the people and keep them quiet.” — Bobby Seale (page 178)
The four social policy areas of the survival programs: human sustenance, health, education, and criminal justice.

Chapter IX: Reading the “Voice of the Vanguard”: A Content Analysis of the Black Panther Intercommunal News Service, 1969 - 1973 | Christian A. Davenport

characteristics of alternative modes of communication (The Black Panther): (page 195)
1. “they attempt to create an alternative evaluation of political, social, and economic reality that might provide insights or different solutions from those that are already current in the mainstream.”
2. “they advocate political positions not expressed within the more established media”
3. “they attempt to decrease the legitimacy of existing political and economic relations”
4. “they increase the visibility of the dissident individuals/groups they represent by promoting the group’s ideas in order to garner support and/or increase membership”
5. “they help provide an identity for the dissident individuals/groups they represent as well as their constituency”
6. “they generate revenue for other activities.”
———
Each Panther member was responsible for selling an allotted amount of papers for 25 cents each, of which they kept 10 cents for themselves.

Chapter X: Back to Africa: The Evolution of the International Section of the Black Panther Party (1969-1972) | Kathleen Neal Cleaver

Algeria allowed the BPP to be stationed there and become official, but did declined any concrete indications of this official status. (page 227)
The International Section of the BPP was made up of mainly fugitives and began to grow because of repression by the US government.

Chapter XI: Why I Joined the Party: An Africana Womanist Reflection | Regina Jennings

"Party discipline entailed a marathon of push-ups or pumping X number of laps around the corner." (page 261)"…I witnessed how hard some Whites worked on the Free Huey campaign. I always wondered and openly asked why they were not working as aggressively to solve the racism that existed within their own communities." (page 261)

Chapter XII: “No One Ever Asks, What a Man’s Place in the Revolution Is”: Gender and the Politics of The Black Panther Party 1966-1971 | Tracye Matthews

“The problem of male supremacy can’t be overcome unless it’s a two-way street. Men must struggle too.” — Panther Roberta Alexander (July 1969) (page 283)
Early on in the Party, there seems to be a often shared sentiment of Black Panther men that Black Panther women and Black women in general are in on emasculation of Black men because of the matriarchal role of Black women in many family spaces. It was also often stated that the BPP was there for the purpose of Black masculinity.
There was also an internal struggle going on with Black women in the Party about their own role in relation to the role of Black women both within and outside the Party. (page 287) It is important to consider the diverse amount of experiences within the Party in relation to gender and roles.

Chapter XIII: “The Most Qualified Person to Handle the Job”: Black Panther Party Women, 1966-1982 | Angela D. LeBlanc-Ernest

1966-1971 — Revolutionary Years
Elaine Brown, Ericka Huggins, Barbara Sankey, Ann Campbell, Afeni Shakur, Yvonne King, and Audrea Jones among many women who became leaders of their respective chapters during this revolutionary phase (page 310)
female comrades in the organization “would like to be regarded as Panthers not females (Pantherettes), just Panthers.” — June Colbertson (page 312)
Joan Bird and Afeni Shakur were members of the New York 21, who were arrested in April, 1969 “on conspiracy charges to bomb police stations, a city commuter train, the Bronx Botanical Gardens, and five department stores. Eventually they were acquitted in April 1971, after they faced brutal treatment during incarceration. “Put under 24-hour solitary lock-up, denied access to the library, medical and recreational facilities and were not allowed to meet jointly with council.” (page 313)
“we [members of the Black Panther Party] recognize the woman’s right to be free.” — Huey Newton, August 15, 1970 (page 315)
 1971-1974 — Period of Deradicalization
“Between October 1972 and May 1973, women represented approximately 45% of the total membership and more than 85% of the female members had some form of college education.” (page 318)
1972-1973 were the years that the BPP switched their efforts to becoming elected to as many political positions as possible all across the nation.
"having or not having a child, or having it not having an abortion, was left as an individual decision." — Elaine Brown (page 321)
 1974-1977 — leadership of Elaine Brown
1974 leadership vacuum because of the resignation of Bobby Seale and the exile of Huey Newton.
Elaine Brown appointed 4 other women to the Central Committee during her tenure: (page 322)
- Ericka Huggins: director of Oakland Community Schools
- Phyllis Jackson: coordinated campaign workers
- Joan Kelley: administer of activities such as the survival programs and legal matters.
- Norma Armour: coordinated organizational finances. 
 1977-1982 — final phase
By 1980, the BPP had 27 members according to organizational reports (page 324)

Chapter XIV: Lumpenization: A Critical Error of The Black Panther Party | Chris Booker

"The primary thesis of this essays is that the criminal element within the lumpen developed a modus operandi that created a sociopolitical milieu inimicable to a stable political organization." (page 338)  
Six key events adding to the prestige of the Black Panther Party:
1. Security for Betty Shabazz
2. Rallying around the murder of Denzil Dowell
3. Recruitment of Eldridge Cleaver
4. May 2, 1967 “invasion” it the California State Assembly during the debate of the Mumford Bill.
5. October 28, 1967 shoot-out between Huey Newton and two police officers. 
6. April 6, 1968 shoot-out with Oakland police that left Bobby Hutton dead.
———
 The BPP targeted three levels of oppressors:
- “”greedy, exploiting, rich, avaricious businessmen” who exploited the Black community.”
- “”the misleading, lying, tricky, demagogic politician” who played upon the community’s woes”
- “the atrocious, murdering brutalizing, intimidating, fascist, pig cops.”
———
Without political education, a gun is just a gun. A gun needs to be utilized with purpose and intention for the people. There must be no ego and self in this action.  Reading this makes me think of the importance of healing as revolutionary work.. Party members brought violence with them, especially as members of the lumpen. without the healing, they perpetuated these oppressive acts and systems within the party on other members and they became structures.
 (this article calls for the reformation of new members. I would challenge this use of the word “reform” and replace it with “heal”)
Because of this violence brought into the party, the means of discipline also tended to be physical forms of violence, such as slaps, or “mud holing” — person stands in the middle and everyone stomps them down. (page 355)

Chapter XV: The Black Panther Party: State Repression and Political Prisoners | Winston A. Grady-Willis

“This essay analyzes the systemic and comprehensive government assault by local, state, and federal police agencies against the Party.” (page 363)

Chapter XVI: Explaining the Demise of the Black Panther Party: The Role of Internal Factors | Ollie. A. Johnson, III

“the leadership contributed decisively to the eventual collapse of the organization in three ways:”
Intra-party Conflict
Strategic Organizational Mistakes
1972 Newton presents Central Committee with two ideas: (page 403)
1. “the Party should run Bobby Seale, leading a full slate of Panther candidates for local office, for mayor of Oakland”
2. “the Party should close all chapters outside of Oakland and redeploy all Panthers and heir resources (money, cars, office materials, etc.) to Oakland to work on the campaign and consolidate the Party at its birthplace.”
A New Authoritarianism by Huey P. Newton
After 1972, Newton required that all the money coming into the Oakland branch go straight to him and he would distribute it out to the programs. (page 406)
———
“all Party organizational entities were influenced by the founders’ organizing principles of democratic centralism and strict discipline.” (page 399)

Chapter XVII: Set Out Warriors Free: The Legacy of the Black Panther Party and Political Prisoners | Akinyele Omowale Umoja

More that 100 inmates in US prisons have been defined as political prisoners and a third of them were members or affiliates to the Black Panther Party.People have tried to claim prisoner of war (POW) status without any success. These political prisoners and prisoners of war get extended maximum sentences, time in solitary confinement, and sensory deprivation solely because of their political beliefs.
“Our daily existence is harsher than met other prisoners because the government does everything possible to break us. They send us to the harshest prisons … as far away from family, friends, and attorneys as possible. They lock us down for many years in isolation units while cutting off our communications with most of the outside world. They tamper with our food, try to break up out families, and treat them rudely when they visit, fail to provide adequate medical care, aggravate and provoke us. They try to set us up to be brutalized or killed by guards or preferably by other prisoners. All this, and more, to try to break our spirits and/or to make us proclaim to the world that we were wrong to struggle.” — New Afrikan P.O.W. Sundiata Acoli

Chapter XVIII: To Fight for the People: The Black Panther Party and Black Politics in the 1990s | Clarence Lusane

The Black Panther Party [Reconsidered] | Edited by Charles E. Jones

Chapter I: “Don’t Believe the Hype”: Debunking the Panther Mythology | Charles E. Jones and Judson L. James

Myth 1: The BPP was an anti-White organization

“we don’t hate white people; we hate the oppressor. And if the oppressor happens to be white then we hate him.” — Huey P. Newton (page 38)

Myth 2: The BPP was an “infantile leftist” organization

Myth 3: The BPP was a media-created organization

Myth 4: The BPP was a “lumpen-based” organization

Chapter II: The Black Panthers and the “Undeveloped Country” of the Left | Nikhil Pal Singh

“The “shadow of the gun,” moreover was far more important for the Panthers than actual guns could ever be.” (page 83)

The author mentions how the Panther’s represented a challenge of the State’s power; that if the State did not answer and did retaliate to the spectacle of the Panthers, the Panthers would be proven right in challenging the State, showing the State’s power is “a mask” (pages 83-84)

The Panthers challenged that state’s monopoly on violence. (page 84)

Chapter III: Once I Was a Panther | Melvin E. Lewis

Poem.

Chapter IV: Selections for a Panther Diary | Steve D. McCutchen


Chapter V: “I Got a Right to the Tree of Life”: Afrocentric Reflections of a Former Community Worker | Miriam Ma’at-Ka-Re Monges

“[O]ne of the most important rings the Party did was to make it really clear who the enemy was: not the white people, but the capitalistic, imperialistic oppressors [The Party] took the Black liberation struggle out of a national context and put it in an international context.” — Assata Shakur (page 138)

The author mentions the lack of recognition of the power of their African heritage. While the Party recognized it, they did not utilize it as a means of liberation, deeming those who did as “cultural nationalists.”

Chapter VI: “Talkin’ the Talk and Walkin’ the Walk”: An Interview with Panther Jimmy Slater | Charles E. Jones

Panther Jimmy Slater talks about how people had to be volunteers before they were invited to be Panthers.

He also mentions the different ways that COINTELPRO created divisions and friction within the Party by using informants and fabricated letters.

He then mentions the importance of bringing in new blood and at some point, that stopped. In addition, the importance of capital and lack there of within the Party.

“you need capital to function in a capitalistic society.” (page 152)

Chapter VII: “All Power to the People”: The Political Thought of Huey P. Newton and The Black Panther Party | Floyd W. Hayes, III, and Francis A. Kiene, III

The importance of organizing the lumpen proletariat or as Huey phrased it, “the street brothers,” because if you did not organize them first, then the system would organize them against you. (page 160-161)

Newton also considered that the increase in technology would lead to the “possibility that the working class could be transformed out of existence.” (page 161)

Went over the ideological development of the Black Panther Party:

Black Nationalism —

 the october 1966 platform and programs held a Black nationalism perspective (page 162) stressing racial solidarity and Black people having a unique identity (primary principle of Black Nationalism)

Revolutionary Nationalism — (page 164) nationalism and socialism

“a people’s revolution with the end goal being the people in power. Therefore, to be a revolutionary nationalist you would by necessity have to be a socialist.” — Huey P. Newton (page 164)

"their struggle centered on destroying the conditions that generated the twin evils of capitalism and racism.” (page 165)

Revolutionary Internationalism — (page 169)

“the only way we can combat an international enemy is through an international strategy, unity of all people who are exploited, who will overthrow the international bourgeoisie, and replace it with a dictatorship by the proletariat, the workers of the world.” — Huey P. Newton (page 169)

Had to do with the idea that nationhood was no longer an option because the United States was an empire that stretched globally, so Black people in the US had to align themselves with people around the world and start thinking on an international level.

Revolutionary Intercommunalism — (page 170)

Because of United States imperialism and its empire, there were no longer nations around the world, but oppressed and exploited global communities.

“We pledge ourselves to end imperialism and distribute the wealth of the world to all the people of the world. We foresee a system of true communism where all people produce according to their abilities and all receive according to their needs.” — The Panthers (page 171)

———

However, the Panthers practiced top-down ideology theorizing. Therefore, the rank and file members of the party were often disconnected from this change in ideology and the political education classes did not directly reflect this change in ideology.

Chapter VIII: “Serving the People”: The Survival Programs of The Black Panther Party | JoNina M. Abron

“A lot of people misunderstand the politics of these programs; some people have a tendency to call them reform programs. They’re not reform programs; they’re actually revolutionary community programs. A revolutionary program is set forth by revolutionaries, by those who want to change the existing system to a better system. A reform program is set up by the existing exploitative system as an appeasing handout to fool the people and keep them quiet.” — Bobby Seale (page 178)

The four social policy areas of the survival programs: human sustenance, health, education, and criminal justice.

Chapter IX: Reading the “Voice of the Vanguard”: A Content Analysis of the Black Panther Intercommunal News Service, 1969 - 1973 | Christian A. Davenport

characteristics of alternative modes of communication (The Black Panther): (page 195)

1. “they attempt to create an alternative evaluation of political, social, and economic reality that might provide insights or different solutions from those that are already current in the mainstream.”

2. “they advocate political positions not expressed within the more established media”

3. “they attempt to decrease the legitimacy of existing political and economic relations”

4. “they increase the visibility of the dissident individuals/groups they represent by promoting the group’s ideas in order to garner support and/or increase membership”

5. “they help provide an identity for the dissident individuals/groups they represent as well as their constituency”

6. “they generate revenue for other activities.”

———

Each Panther member was responsible for selling an allotted amount of papers for 25 cents each, of which they kept 10 cents for themselves.

Chapter X: Back to Africa: The Evolution of the International Section of the Black Panther Party (1969-1972) | Kathleen Neal Cleaver

Algeria allowed the BPP to be stationed there and become official, but did declined any concrete indications of this official status. (page 227)

The International Section of the BPP was made up of mainly fugitives and began to grow because of repression by the US government.

Chapter XI: Why I Joined the Party: An Africana Womanist Reflection | Regina Jennings

"Party discipline entailed a marathon of push-ups or pumping X number of laps around the corner." (page 261)

"…I witnessed how hard some Whites worked on the Free Huey campaign. I always wondered and openly asked why they were not working as aggressively to solve the racism that existed within their own communities." (page 261)

Chapter XII: “No One Ever Asks, What a Man’s Place in the Revolution Is”: Gender and the Politics of The Black Panther Party 1966-1971 | Tracye Matthews

“The problem of male supremacy can’t be overcome unless it’s a two-way street. Men must struggle too.” — Panther Roberta Alexander (July 1969) (page 283)

Early on in the Party, there seems to be a often shared sentiment of Black Panther men that Black Panther women and Black women in general are in on emasculation of Black men because of the matriarchal role of Black women in many family spaces. It was also often stated that the BPP was there for the purpose of Black masculinity.

There was also an internal struggle going on with Black women in the Party about their own role in relation to the role of Black women both within and outside the Party. (page 287) It is important to consider the diverse amount of experiences within the Party in relation to gender and roles.

Chapter XIII: “The Most Qualified Person to Handle the Job”: Black Panther Party Women, 1966-1982 | Angela D. LeBlanc-Ernest

1966-1971 — Revolutionary Years

Elaine Brown, Ericka Huggins, Barbara Sankey, Ann Campbell, Afeni Shakur, Yvonne King, and Audrea Jones among many women who became leaders of their respective chapters during this revolutionary phase (page 310)

female comrades in the organization “would like to be regarded as Panthers not females (Pantherettes), just Panthers.” — June Colbertson (page 312)

Joan Bird and Afeni Shakur were members of the New York 21, who were arrested in April, 1969 “on conspiracy charges to bomb police stations, a city commuter train, the Bronx Botanical Gardens, and five department stores. Eventually they were acquitted in April 1971, after they faced brutal treatment during incarceration. “Put under 24-hour solitary lock-up, denied access to the library, medical and recreational facilities and were not allowed to meet jointly with council.” (page 313)

“we [members of the Black Panther Party] recognize the woman’s right to be free.” — Huey Newton, August 15, 1970 (page 315)

1971-1974 — Period of Deradicalization

“Between October 1972 and May 1973, women represented approximately 45% of the total membership and more than 85% of the female members had some form of college education.” (page 318)

1972-1973 were the years that the BPP switched their efforts to becoming elected to as many political positions as possible all across the nation.

"having or not having a child, or having it not having an abortion, was left as an individual decision." — Elaine Brown (page 321)

1974-1977 — leadership of Elaine Brown

1974 leadership vacuum because of the resignation of Bobby Seale and the exile of Huey Newton.

Elaine Brown appointed 4 other women to the Central Committee during her tenure: (page 322)

- Ericka Huggins: director of Oakland Community Schools

- Phyllis Jackson: coordinated campaign workers

- Joan Kelley: administer of activities such as the survival programs and legal matters.

- Norma Armour: coordinated organizational finances. 

1977-1982 — final phase

By 1980, the BPP had 27 members according to organizational reports (page 324)

Chapter XIV: Lumpenization: A Critical Error of The Black Panther Party | Chris Booker

"The primary thesis of this essays is that the criminal element within the lumpen developed a modus operandi that created a sociopolitical milieu inimicable to a stable political organization." (page 338)  

Six key events adding to the prestige of the Black Panther Party:

1. Security for Betty Shabazz

2. Rallying around the murder of Denzil Dowell

3. Recruitment of Eldridge Cleaver

4. May 2, 1967 “invasion” it the California State Assembly during the debate of the Mumford Bill.

5. October 28, 1967 shoot-out between Huey Newton and two police officers. 

6. April 6, 1968 shoot-out with Oakland police that left Bobby Hutton dead.

———

The BPP targeted three levels of oppressors:

- “”greedy, exploiting, rich, avaricious businessmen” who exploited the Black community.”

- “”the misleading, lying, tricky, demagogic politician” who played upon the community’s woes”

- “the atrocious, murdering brutalizing, intimidating, fascist, pig cops.”

———

Without political education, a gun is just a gun. A gun needs to be utilized with purpose and intention for the people. There must be no ego and self in this action. 

Reading this makes me think of the importance of healing as revolutionary work.. Party members brought violence with them, especially as members of the lumpen. without the healing, they perpetuated these oppressive acts and systems within the party on other members and they became structures.

(this article calls for the reformation of new members. I would challenge this use of the word “reform” and replace it with “heal”)

Because of this violence brought into the party, the means of discipline also tended to be physical forms of violence, such as slaps, or “mud holing” — person stands in the middle and everyone stomps them down. (page 355)

Chapter XV: The Black Panther Party: State Repression and Political Prisoners | Winston A. Grady-Willis

“This essay analyzes the systemic and comprehensive government assault by local, state, and federal police agencies against the Party.” (page 363)

Chapter XVI: Explaining the Demise of the Black Panther Party: The Role of Internal Factors | Ollie. A. Johnson, III

“the leadership contributed decisively to the eventual collapse of the organization in three ways:”

Intra-party Conflict

Strategic Organizational Mistakes

1972 Newton presents Central Committee with two ideas: (page 403)

1. “the Party should run Bobby Seale, leading a full slate of Panther candidates for local office, for mayor of Oakland”

2. “the Party should close all chapters outside of Oakland and redeploy all Panthers and heir resources (money, cars, office materials, etc.) to Oakland to work on the campaign and consolidate the Party at its birthplace.”

A New Authoritarianism by Huey P. Newton

After 1972, Newton required that all the money coming into the Oakland branch go straight to him and he would distribute it out to the programs. (page 406)

———

“all Party organizational entities were influenced by the founders’ organizing principles of democratic centralism and strict discipline.” (page 399)

Chapter XVII: Set Out Warriors Free: The Legacy of the Black Panther Party and Political Prisoners | Akinyele Omowale Umoja

More that 100 inmates in US prisons have been defined as political prisoners and a third of them were members or affiliates to the Black Panther Party.

People have tried to claim prisoner of war (POW) status without any success. These political prisoners and prisoners of war get extended maximum sentences, time in solitary confinement, and sensory deprivation solely because of their political beliefs.

“Our daily existence is harsher than met other prisoners because the government does everything possible to break us. They send us to the harshest prisons … as far away from family, friends, and attorneys as possible. They lock us down for many years in isolation units while cutting off our communications with most of the outside world. They tamper with our food, try to break up out families, and treat them rudely when they visit, fail to provide adequate medical care, aggravate and provoke us. They try to set us up to be brutalized or killed by guards or preferably by other prisoners. All this, and more, to try to break our spirits and/or to make us proclaim to the world that we were wrong to struggle.” — New Afrikan P.O.W. Sundiata Acoli

Chapter XVIII: To Fight for the People: The Black Panther Party and Black Politics in the 1990s | Clarence Lusane

Selected Political Prisoners Who Were Former Members of the Black Panther Party (Name, BPP Branch, Imprisoned)

  • Mumia Abu-Jamal — New York — 1982 (Death Row)
  • Sundiata Acoli (Clark Squire) — New York — 1973
  • Herman Bell — Oakland — 1973
  • Marshall Eddie Conway — Baltimore — 1970
  • Mark Cook — Walla Walla — 1976 (no photograph above)
  • Bashir Hameed (James York) — New York — 1981 (no photograph above)
  • Robert Seth Hayes — New York — 1973
  • Teddy Jah Heath — New York — 1973 (no photograph above)
  • Mundo We Langa (David Rice — Omaha — 1970 (no photograph above)
  • Abdul Majid (Anthony LeBorde) — New York — 1981
  • Maroon (Russel Shoats) — Philadelphia — 1972 (no photograph above)
  • Jalil Abdul Muntaqin (Anthony Bottom) — San Francisco — 1973
  • Baba Odinga (Elmore Johnson) — New York — 1973 (no photograph above)
  • Sekou M. A. Odinga (Nathaniel Burns) — New York — 1981
  • Ed Poindexter — Omaha — 1970
  • Albert Nuh Washington — San Francisco — 1971

State Political Repression of the Black Panther Party (Tactic, Target, Impact)

  • HarassmentAll Party Members — Disrupted daily organizing
  • Arrest and DetentionAll Party Members — Drained bail funds; removed activist from needed organizing; provided police agencies with surveillance opportunities; harassment and political imprisonment
  • SurveillanceAll Party Members and Activities — Intelligence gathering by both physical and electronic means
  • Snitch-JacketingParty Leaders, Allies, and Supporters — Discredited the targeted individual by suggesting he/she was an informant or agent provocateur; provided general disinformation
  • Forged LettersParty Leaders — provided recipient with disinformation regarding a potential threat to his/her position or life; discredited others
  • Paid Informants and Undercover FBI/Police AgentsAll Party Members — Provided the FBI and local police with physical surveillance and gathered intelligence; provided testimony, often perjured, in Panther trials
  • Agents/ProvocateursAll Party Members — Exacerbated both existing internal and external problems with other groups; created new problems
  • AssassinationParty Leaders — Eliminated key activists through state murder
"[A] lot of us [women] adopted that kind of macho type style in order to survive in the Black Panther Party. It was very difficult to say "well listen brother, I think that … we should do this and this." [I]n order to be listened to, you had to just say, "look mothafucka." you know. You had to develop this whole arrogant kind of macho style in order to be heard … We were just involved in those day to day battles for respect in the Black Panther Party."
— Assata Shakur

"[A] lot of us [women] adopted that kind of macho type style in order to survive in the Black Panther Party. It was very difficult to say "well listen brother, I think that … we should do this and this." [I]n order to be listened to, you had to just say, "look mothafucka." you know. You had to develop this whole arrogant kind of macho style in order to be heard … We were just involved in those day to day battles for respect in the Black Panther Party."

— Assata Shakur

“[i]n theory, the Panther party was for equality of the sexes … On a day-to-day struggle with rank-and-file brothers, you got a lot of disrespect, you know … Because, I mean, it’s one thing to get up and talk about ideologically you believe this. But you’re asking people to change attitudes and lifestyles overnight, which is not just possible. So I would say that there was a lot of struggle and there was a lot of male chauvinism… .But I would say all in all, in terms of equality … that women had very, very strong leadership roles and were respected as such. It didn’t mean it came automatically.” 
— Connie Matthews [worked in the International Section and Oakland Chapter of the BPP]

“[i]n theory, the Panther party was for equality of the sexes … On a day-to-day struggle with rank-and-file brothers, you got a lot of disrespect, you know … Because, I mean, it’s one thing to get up and talk about ideologically you believe this. But you’re asking people to change attitudes and lifestyles overnight, which is not just possible. So I would say that there was a lot of struggle and there was a lot of male chauvinism… .But I would say all in all, in terms of equality … that women had very, very strong leadership roles and were respected as such. It didn’t mean it came automatically.”

Connie Matthews [worked in the International Section and Oakland Chapter of the BPP]