Essay on Black Panther Party

2252 Words 10 Pages
Founded on October 15th 1966 in Oakland, California, the Black Panther Party for Self Defense was an organization opposed to police brutality against the black community. The Party’s political origins were in Maoism, Marxism, and the radical militant ideals of Malcolm X and Che Guevara. From the doctrines of Maoism they saw the role of their Party as the frontline of the revolution and worked to establish a unified alliance, while from Marxism they addressed the capitalist economic system, and exemplified the need for all workers to forcefully take over means of production (Baggins, Brian). Mao was important to the Black Panthers because of his different stance on Marxism-Leninism when applied to Chinese peasants. The founders of the Black …show more content…
In the mid-1960s, Newton attended Merritt College, where he met Bobby Seale. The two radical thinkers were ready to spread their message with a show of force. They began by making national news through protesting a gun bill on April 25th, 1967 by entering the California Legislature fully armed. Newton emerged as a leading figure in the black militant movement and The Panthers were instantly notorious. By the end of 1968 seventeen Panther chapters had opened across the country and thousands of members joined (Wasserman, Steve). Later that year Newton was arrested for allegedly killing an Oakland police officer, he was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to two to 15 years in prison. Growing support from across the nation of Black Panthers sparked a “Free Huey” movement which helped Newton’s cause. The case was eventually dismissed after two retrials ended with a hung jury. Newton was greeted by thousands who came to show support outside of the prison. By 1968, Bobby Seale was arrested while protesting at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago; he was tried for conspiracy to incite riots that resulted in him being sentenced to four years in prison. During Seale’s imprisonment, Fred Hampton, another crucial player, became the deputy chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party. Using his NAACP experience, he established a community service program which included the provision of free breakfasts
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