Black Panthers

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Black Panthers,

U.S. African-American militant party, founded (1966) in Oakland, Calif., by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. Originally aimed at armed self-defense against the local police, the party grew to espouse violent revolution as the only means of achieving black liberation. The Black Panthers called on African Americans to arm themselves for the liberation struggle. In the late 1960s party members became involved in a series of violent confrontations with the police (resulting in deaths on both sides) and in a series of court cases, some resulting from direct shoot-outs with the police and some from independent charges.

Among the most notable of the trials was that of Huey Newton for killing a policeman in 1967, which resulted in three mistrials, the last in 1971. Bobby Seale, one of the "Chicago Eight" convicted of conspiracy to violently disrupt the Democratic National Convention of 1968 (later overturned), was a codefendant in a Connecticut case charging murder of an alleged informer on the party. He was acquitted in 1971. A third major trial was of 13 Panthers in New York City accused of conspiring to bomb public places. They were also acquitted in 1971. The results of these trials were taken by many observers as confirmation of their suspicions that the Black Panthers were being subjected to extreme police harassment. Another incident that supported this view was the killing in a raid by Chicago police of Illinois party leader Fred Hampton and another Panther in 1969; review of this incident revealed that the two had been shot in their beds without any provocation.

While controversy raged over the civil liberties issue, the Panthers themselves were riven with internal disputes. A major split took place, with Newton and Seale (who in 1972 announced their intention of abandoning violent methods) on the one side and Eldridge CleaverCleaver, Eldridge
(Leroy Eldridge Cleaver), 1935–98, African-American social activist, b. Wabbaseka, Ark. Growing up in Los Angeles, he spent much of 1954–66 in prison for various crimes including rape.
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 (formerly the chief publicist for the party, who continued to preach violent revolution) on the other. Cleaver headed the so-called international headquarters of the party (until 1973) in Algeria. In 1974 both Seale and Newton left the party; the former resigned, and the latter fled to Cuba to avoid drug charges. During the late 1970s the party gradually lost most of its influence, ceasing to be an important force within the black community. The New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, founded in Dallas, Tex., in 1989, is not related to the old group.

Bibliography

See H. Pearson, The Shadow of the Panther: Huey Newton and the Price of Black Power in America (1994); J. Bloom and W. E. Martin, Jr., Black against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party (2013).

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Black Panthers

militant black revolutionists and civil-rightists. [Am. Hist.: Flexner, 46]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Like this: "Well other than you, were there women in the Black Panther Party?" I know why they don't know.
In 1969, for example, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) published a letter in The Black Panther in which it articulated solidarity with the Black Panther Party. The PFLP viewed the United States as complicit with Israeli occupation of the West Bank because, "The technically advanced USA supplies Israel the modern tools of destruction to be used against us." The PFLP addressed the BPP reader directly, "after getting to know what you aim for and fight for, the PFLP announced that it supports you morally.
(19) When asked to report on the Polynesian Panthers' relations with the larger community in New Zealand, a member answered that 'generally [they felt] that some Pakehas [were] against [them] because they [did] not understand what [they were] doing' but that 'the relations with the Polynesian community [were] pretty good' (Black Panther Party 1974).
In 2012, the New Black Panther Party offered a $10,000 reward for the "capture" of George Zimmerman with a wanted poster with a photo of Zimmerman's face in the crosshairs.
"Radical Chic: Affiliation, Identification, and the Black Panther Party," the book's next chapter, opens with Tom Wolfe's famous 1970 "Radical Chic" essay that claims to depict a fundraising party for the Panthers at composer Leonard Bernstein's Park Avenue duplex.
Divided into four parts, this book examines certain ideals of the Black Panther Party in an effort to provide a model for establishing social-service programs for the benefit of the people.
4, voters outside a Philadelphia polling place were greeted by two men wearing the paramilitary-style uniform of the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense.
Other jazz musicians at the festivaI included the singer Nina Simone and the drummer Max Roach, but in terms of the Afro-American connection, most excitement was generated by the Black Panther Party.
At the forefront of this struggle was the Black Panther party, a grass roots self-defence movement that epitomised the growing civil unrest in 1960s America.
In Search of the Black Panther Party: New Perspectives on a Revolutionary Movement.
(1) There have been few scholarly studies on the subject, most of which tend to examine the Black Panther Party. The publication of Peniel Joseph's Waiting 'Til the Midnight Hour in 2006 added to a minuscule collection of scholarly studies on the Black Power Movement that included Clayborne Carson's In Simple: SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960s, Jeffrey O.G.
--Jamarhl Crawford, chairman of the New Black Panther Party in Roxbury, on "consent" searches by Boston police looking for illegal guns, quoted in The Boston Globe, March 25