The original Black Panther Party was founded in Oakland, California by Bobby Seale & Huey Newton in Oct. of 1966. Membership reached a peak of 10,000 by early 1969, acquiring 90% support from Black people in major cities in America. The party advocated self-defense of the black community against the racist murder & brutality of the Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond & San Francisco Police through armed patrols of police activities. The purpose was to capture the imagination of the people for broader community electoral purposes as I & Huey observe the police making arrest of black people.
The original Black Panther Party also fought to establish greater peoples’ empowerment via community control politics, through mass organizing of more than twenty different community based survival programs. The party was one of the first organizations in U.S. history to militantly struggle for ethnic minority & working class emancipation – a party whose political electoral agenda was the revolutionary establishment of real economic, social, & political equality across gender & color lines, aligning with other organizations including Cesar Chavez’s Farm Workers Movement, AIM, The Young Lords Movement & The Peace & Freedom Party, SDS, Young Patriots, etc.
The Party’s effectiveness as an organizing vehicle lead it to grow quickly when I lead an armed delegation of Black Panther Party members to the California state capitol building on May 2nd 1967 to read Executive Mandate No. 1: Protesting the state legislatures passing of the Mulford Act, a new law that was designed to keep the Party from legally patrolling the police in the streets of Oakland CA.
Black Panther Party, was an “All Power To All The People!” organization. The Black Panther Party worked for self-determination & social justice for all people. The Panthers also organized dozens of community programs such as free breakfast for children, health clinics & shoes for children.
The party developed a series of social programs to provide needed services to the people. Their intent was to promote “a model for an alternative, more humane social scheme.” These programs, of which there came to be more than 60, were eventually referred to as Survival Programs, & were operated by members under the slogan “survival pending revolution.”
The first such program was the Free Breakfast for Children Program, which began in January 1969 at one small Catholic church in the Fillmore district of San Francisco, & spread to many cities in America where there were Party chapters.
Thousands of poor & hungry children were fed free breakfasts every day under this program. The Program became so popular that by the end of the year, the party set up kitchens in cities across the nation, feeding over 10,000 children every day before they went to school.
All Power To All The People!
In the speeches and articles collected in this book, the black activist, organizer, and freedom fighter Stokely Carmichael traces the dramatic changes in his own consciousness and that of black Americans that took place during the evolving movements of Civil Rights, Black Power, and Pan-Africanism. Unique in his belief that the destiny of African Americans could not be separated from that of oppressed people the world over, Carmichael’s Black Power principles insisted that blacks resist white brainwashing and redefine themselves. He was concerned not only with racism and exploitation, but with cultural integrity and the colonization of Africans in America. In these essays on racism, Black Power, the pitfalls of conventional liberalism, and solidarity with the oppressed masses and freedom fighters of all races and creeds, Carmichael addresses questions that still confront the black world and points to a need for an ideology of black and African liberation, unification, and transformation.
Replete with insights of brilliance. –Julius Lester, The New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Stokely Carmichael (1941-1998) began working with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1960 and became chairman in 1966. His “Black Power” speech reignited the movement of that name, and in 1967 he and Charles Hamilton wrote the book Black Power. In 1968 and 1969, he served as the honorary Prime Minister of the Black Panther Party and also became a student of, and aide to, presidents Kwame Nkrumah and Sekou Toure of Guinea, helping to organize the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party. In 1978 he changed his name to Kwame Ture. Mumia Abu-Jamal, a jailed journalist and political activist, is the author of five books, including Live from Death Row, and is a frequent radio commentator. The campaign to free him from a Pennsylvania prison since he was sentenced to death for allegedly killing a police officer has garnered international attention.