Black Panther Party Research Paper

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In Oakland, California 1966, college students Bobby Seale and Huey Newton took up arms and declared that they were part of a worldwide revolution against American imperialism. Unlike the previous civil rights activists like Martin Luther King Jr who advocated non-violence and full citizenship rights within the United States, their Black Panther Party believed that they had to arm themselves to achieve racial equality they also rejected the legitimacy of the U.S. government. The Black Panther Party was considered a militant group within the Black Power Movement that began in the 1960’s and was initially formed to protect local authorities from racism and police brutality. They were connected to numerous community projects in many cities in…show more content…
With their commitment to self-defence the BPP became role models to some people whereas others were afraid of them. The Seattle chapter of the BPP, like all of its chapters, made it clear that the struggle for racial justice had moved beyond the persuasion and nonviolent protests of the Civil Rights Movement to the radical ways of Black Power. As shown in source G, one of the main commitments of the BPP was to police the police. The BPP would patrol the ghettos with fire-arms to protect people from police brutality. The BPP would follow the police (who they called “pigs”) as they patrolled black neighbourhoods to ensure that they did not assault the people in the community. The BPP soon found themselves in deadly gun battles with police that left nine police officers dead between 1967 and 1968 and earned the BPP the reputation of being violent revolutionaries. As shown in sources F and B, the BPP carried guns as a statement and warning that they would not tolerate being messed around with or being ignored, and that they were prepared to use violence if necessary to bring about change. In these sources however the BPP members are not using their guns for violence but “peaceful” protest which shows that they were not always violent but would only use violence when they really needed to. As source B explains, the BPP felt that they needed to be armed to protect…show more content…
The defence minister of the Black Panther Party, Buddy Yates, was charged with at least three counts of robbery and resisting arrest. BPP minister of defence Curtis Harris was charged with making death threats to the detective assigned to investigate Yates’ case and was involved in a violence altercation with police in the courtroom that also involved other BPP members. Source M describes how the BPP were displaying two very different viewpoints in some cities; one of purportedly seeking to allay racial tensions and the other to use intimidation and scare tactics and cause trouble in the community. It blames the few members of the BPP for causing all the cities racial troubles. These sources shows that there were Black Panthers that were defiantly out to cause trouble, some that were even common criminals and who did not want racial equality but black supremacy. The fact that some of the BPP’s leaders were criminals might have meant that the organization that they were running was criminal in nature which suggests that the BPP might have been a front for organized crime. The fact that members of the BPP always supported their fellow members even if they were guilty of a crime such as murder, like Huey Newton was, suggests that they did believe that their actions (even those

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