The Black Panther Party Is Organized (Great Events from History II: Human Rights Series)
Article abstract: Originally banded to protect the African American community from police brutality, the Black Panthers evolved into a communist group espousing violence to achieve social change.
Summary of Event
The Black Panther movement was born out of frustration. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, poor urban blacks led a treadmill existence in the United States. Without adequate education, they found it almost impossible to secure employment. Because the primary concern of many was surviving from one day to the next, most were not motivated or not able to get an education. Many became disillusioned with the reforms of Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society,” because few of the benefits filtered down to their level. In the mid-1960’s, the black protest movement became fragmented because of the leaders’ conflicting ideologies. Many poor urban blacks believed they were being denied the advantages of being Americans.
The seething discontent that was fostered in the ghettos made retaliatory violence appear to be the only option. This course of action was first espoused in the 1930’s by the Black Muslims, who encouraged blacks to end white domination by opposing the “slavemasters.” In the early 1960’s. small groups of Marxist-nationalists began to appear, the most notorious of which was the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM) founded by Robert F Williams. Even though these groups existed primarily on...
(The entire section is 2178 words.)
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