October 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party’s formation.
The Black Panther Party was an important part of civil protest in the 1960s and continuing into the 1980s. This group formed as a response to the injustice and violence toward African Americans, especially with the common police violence against African American people. Members of the group based their ideas from the teachings of Malcolm X, which included a Marxist militant response to creating social change. Huey Newton and Bobby Seale became powerful leaders and organized the Black Panther Party’s actions to challenge the oppression. The group gained national attention in 1967 and pursued their vision for a changed society. As we think about civil protest, the articles and books in the NMBCC Library’s display contain information that emphasize the importance of men and women joining together to push for a civil transformation in the United States.
The sources in this display reflect multiple views and pieces of the Black Panther Party and other reflections on civil protest. An essay found in the Black Panther Party publication demonstrates the group’s perspective on fighting for a revolution even with opposition from the U.S. government. Book titles from the NMBCC library include: The War Before: The True Life Story of a Black Panther, Keeping the Faith in Prison, and Fighting for Those Left Behind by Safiya Bukhari, Down to the Crossroads: Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Meredith March Against Fear by Aram Goudsouzian, Speaking Truth to Power: Essays on Race, Resistance, and Radicalism by Manning Marable, and many other additions regarding civil protest. One particular book, From the Bullet to the Ballot: The Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party and Racial Coalition Politics in Chicago, was written by Jakobi Williams, a professor here at Indiana University. Other materials in the display reiterate the stories of race and resistance. These noteworthy sources contribute to the literature on civil protests.