Black Panthers Essay

778 words - 4 pages

Next, the Black Panther Party provided a variety of social services and programs designed to meet the needs of the black community. Often times overlooked, these services have been virtually absent in the mainstream media’s coverage of the Panthers. Often times “the government’s myopic perception of the party as a glorified street gang, clouded substantial analysis of their social programs by outside observers” (Kirby). The Panthers were known to offer a “wide range of health and social services as part of its survival programs, including free breakfast programs for school children and food aid for families; schools, adult education, and childcare; medical care, medical research, and ...view middle of the document...

When consciousness and understanding is raised to a high level then the community will seize the time and deliver themselves from the boot of their oppressors”
Through these community activities, the Black Panthers developed into a kind of unique example which displayed their own utopian socialist vision. The Panther’s community services and programs illustrated how they sought to addressed the immediate concerns of the Black community, whether in human sustenance, health care, education, or criminal justice, their vision for the community was clear (Kirby). “No Black protest group from the 1960s so concretely addressed the needs and desires of the African American polity as the Black Panther Party. Their visibility in the community, as well as their thirst for bold action at a time when Blacks were taught to be meek and subservient, made them heroes to their people”(Kirby). However, it was this” unwavering commitment to raising the consciousness of the people through effective community activism that was, in effect, what made the Black Panther Party such a threatening "organization. No one understood this better than J. Edgar Hoover” (Kirby).
Ryan Kirby asserts that in1969; Hoover publically labeled the Panthers a threat to the security of the United States. Interestingly, Hoover’s declaration of the Panthers as a threat to the US came during the same year that Bobby Seal...

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