The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (via Socialist Alternative)

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‘Formed in 1966, the Black Panther Party for Self Defense was the largest Black revolutionary organization that has ever existed.

Famous for taking up guns in defense against police brutality, the Panthers had many other little-known sides to their work. They organized dozens of community programs such as free breakfast for children, health clinics and shoes for children.

Such was their success that they rapidly grew to a size of 5,000 full time party workers, organized in 45 chapters (branches) across America. At their peak, they sold 250,000 papers every week. Opinion polls of the day showed the Panthers to have 90% support amongst Blacks in the major cities. Their impact on Black America can be measured by the response of the state. J. Edgar Hoover, then head of the FBI described them as “the number one threat to the internal security of the United States”.

In this chapter, we will be looking at the formation of the Panthers, their program and activities, but more importantly, what marked the Panthers out to be different from all other organizations, what led them to be the inspiration to generations around the world to join the struggle against oppression.’

Read the full article at Socialist Alternative