Huey Newton and Bobby Seale were two African-American men growing up in the ghetto of California where they saw and experienced racism and police brutality. There voices were not heard when it came to their communities. It took three young children to die by car crashes, and a peaceful candlelight vigil that turned into a fight between a neighborhood and the police (in which the police covered up their badges so that no one could report them to the police department) for them to want to make a change to free themselves from control and oppression. It was because of this that 25 year old Huey Newton and 30 year old Bobby Seale founded The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense in October 1966, in Oakland, California.
The party was inspired by revolutionaries such as Mao Tse-tung and Malcolm X. Malcolm had represented a militant revolutionary, with the dignity and self-respect to stand up and fight to win equality for all oppressed minorities. Influenced by the teachings of Mao's Red Book the organization became more of a Marxist-Communist group that favored violent revolution, if necessary, to bring about changes in society. Equipped with rifles and the knowledge from many law books the Black Panther Party fed the hungry, protected the weak from racist police, and presented a Ten Point Platform and Program of Black political and social activism. The platform is stated as follows: 1.) We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our Black Community. 2.) We want full employment of our people. 3.) We want an end to the robbery by the CAPITALIST of our Black community. 4.) We want decent housing, fit for shelter of human beings. 5.) We want education for our people that exposes the true nature of this decadent American society. We want education that teaches us our true history and our role in the present-day society. 6.) We want all black men to be exempt from military
service. 7.) We want an immediate end to POLICE BRUTALITY and MURDER of black people. 8.) We want freedom for all black men held in federal, state, county and city prisons and jails. 9.) We want all black people when brought to trial to be tried in court by a jury of their peer group or people from their black communities, as defined by the Constitution of the United States. 10.) We want land, bread, housing, clothing, justice, and peace. And as our major political objective, a United Nation-supervised plebiscite to be held throughout the black colony in which only black colonial subjects will be allowed to participate, for the purpose of determining the will of black people as to their national destiny (Freed 96-98). Their platform and its ideals intrigued blacks across the country, especially in the inner cities of the north. The Panthers were able to organize and unite these blacks; this alarmed the federal government.
The Black Panthers eliminated the "Self-Defense" label from their name near the end of the1960's and became The Black Panthers in order...