Emmett Till

Mississippi Trial 1955
Chris Crowe

Civil Rights Post 1955
Jim Crow

Black Panther Party
By Kayla

The Black Panther Party (BPP) was created in Oakland, California in 1966 by Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton. This group was dedicated to improving the treatment and rights of African Americans. The BPP was influenced by Malcolm X and the Black Power Movement. They believed that black people had the right to defend themselves against racist authority using anything, even violence, to do this. The BPP were always at odds with the police and FBI because of this.

Once the activities of the BPP were brought to the attention of the government, the FBI was ordered to employ “hard-hitting counter-intelligence measures to cripple the Black Panthers.” To do this, the FBI launched a team called COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program). Some parts of the BPP offices were broken into and raided by local police and COINTELPRO. This caused many problems between the BPP and police. There many shoot-outs between the two groups in Chicago, New York and California. These shoot-outs left many of the members from both groups dead. In 1967, Huey Newton was sent to prison for killing a policeman in Oakland during a shoot-out. His conviction was reversed in 1971. After he was released, he tried to steer the BPP away from violent confrontations like shoot-outs with the police and towards programs to build support for the party.

By the end of the 1960’s, over 20 Panthers had been killed, some were in prison, and a few had to flee the US to avoid arrest. By the mid-1970’s, the BPP had declined as a political force. Most of the founding members were gone, kicked out of the party or had left on their own due to differences or problems with the police.

While it is debated whether or not the group still exists today, the Black Panther Party will be remembered for the mark they left on history.





Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton

"Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton." The Many Meanings of Revolutionary Suicide. Web. 11-22-11. http://jonestown.sdsu.edu/AboutJonestown/JonestownReport/Volume10/Yates1.htm

This page was last updated on: Thursday, January 19, 2012