Sexism In The Black Panther Party

1633 words - 7 pages

Guns in hand, more than two dozen Black Panthers promenaded into the California State Legislature to rebel against a gun-control bill. This excessive stunt increased the recognition of the Black Panther Political Party making them the new leaders and image of the Black Power Movement and from this they have gained many supporters, worldwide, for their ideology of black nationalism (Joseph 210). In the midst of a non-violent movement, the panthers propagated their aggressive rhetoric in order to shed light on the stagnant pace of the civil rights movement and the continued mistreatment of blacks by whites. By using rhetoric, the Black Panther Party strongly encouraged self-defense for African American if need be. Together the men and women of the party took dynamic actions to combat racial discrimination. Although both genders collaborated on diminishing racial inequalities, another inequality unfolded within the party (“The Black Panthers”). One of the visions for the Black Panther was to protect all oppressed minorities, but ironically the oppressed a minority which were African American women. Because of sexism within the Black Panther Party, the infrastructure has been damaged due to the recurring conflict between both genders.

The Black Panther Political Party was the conception of Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, political activists, in 1966. The Panthers was built upon the foundation of Malcolm X’s ideology of self respect and revolution for the oppressed while contributing positively in communities (“Black Panther Party”).The Black Panthers was composed of black nationalist and unconventional Marxist eager to become respected revolutionaries on behalf of black Americans (Joseph 177). This group was constantly harassed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and local police officers. Initially, the group began as a self defense organization to conserve blacks from white brutality (“Huey P. Newton”). However, their objectives began to expand from self-defense to the growth of the African American economic and political equalities. In result, they devised the “Ten-Point Plan” which accomplished their aspirations of education, housing, employment, and civil rights within the black community.With the “Ten-Point Plan” as a guide, many community based programs were established by the Black Panthers. One major program started by the Black Panthers was The Free Breakfast Program that began small but spreaded in areas where other Black Panther chapters existed. This program was so impressive that the government enacted similar programs in public schools (“Rise of”). Some other programs that were organized by the panthers were educating youth, free medical clinics, and an emergency-response medical program (“The Black Panthers”). They even provided legal aid to prisoner, hosted grocery giveaways, and held community dances for the youth in which the youth would most times imitate their iconic colors of black and blue (Jennings 149).

The Black...

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