Black Panther Essay

1170 words - 5 pages

There was no question that the end of several centuries of the institution of slavery of Blacks had not resulted in the assimilation of Blacks into American society. Indeed, there was a violent, post-emancipation white backlash manifested in the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, which was endorsed by the benign neglect of the president and Congress and was codified in the so-called Black Codes. The rampant lynching of Blacks became a way of life in America, along with the de facto denial to Blacks of every civil right, including the rights to vote, to worship, and to use public facilities

It was too little too late. As the images of nonviolent Blacks and other civil rights
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These radicals ideals, at least from the standpoint of the government would be too much to deal with which caused major tension.

Huey Newton was born on February 17th, 1942, in Monroe, Louisiana. In 1945, the family moved to Oakland, California, in an effort to take advantage of job opportunities there. Newton found school difficult as he felt that he was made to be ashamed of his colour. He frequently got into trouble with school authorities and was suspended on a number of occasions.

Newton left high school barely literate but wanted to prove to those who classed him as a failure, that they were wrong. He taught himself to read by studying poetry and he went to college where he gained an Associate of Arts degree. Newton also studied law at Oakland City College and at the San Francisco Law School. While at Oakland City College, Newton became politicised. He read the writings of Mao Zedong, Ché Guevara and Malcolm X. With no party around Oakland to represent the black community there, Newton, along with Bobby Seale, started the Black Panther Party for Self-Defence in October 1966, which would represent the black community.

Immediately, Newton and Seale set out to put together a 10 point platform and program which articulated the fundamental wants and needs, and called for a redress of the longstanding grievances, of the black masses in America, still alienated from society and oppressed despite the abolition of slavery at the end of the Civil War.

Moreover, this Platform & Program was a manifesto that demanded the express needs be met and oppression of blacks be ended immediately, a demand for the right to self defense, by a revolutionary ideology and by the commitment of the membership of the Black Panther Party to promote its agenda for fundamental change in America.

What was most "dangerous" about this was that young blacks, the same urban youth throwing molotov cocktails on America, were listening.

This message was amplified when a small group of Black Panther Party members, led by Bobby Seale, designated chairman of the Party, marched into the California legislature, in May 1967, fully armed. Defined as protest against a pending guncontrol bill (which became the Mulford Act) aimed at the Party with the position that blacks had a Constitutional right to bear arms. Bobby Seale reads a statement of protest; while the police respond by immediately arresting him and all 30 armed Panthers.

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Not only did this send a message to...

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