The Black Panther Party Essay

5193 words - 21 pages

Remembering "The Black Panther Party""So the concept is this. Basically the whole Black Nation has to be put together into a single black army, and were gonna walk on this nation. Were gonna walk on this racists power structure and were gonna say to the whole damm government stick em up motherfucker! This is a hold up, and we've come for what's ours."-Bobby SealeRacial inequality ran rampant in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as in the South during the late 1960's. It was a different kind of racism though out west. The segregation in California differed in the fact that it was not printed on signs saying, "White only", moreover, it was fused into the system of society and became a part of everyday life. The racism out west and in the northern states was different from the legal segregation in the south but not any less repugnant or repressive to the African American communities. It was so ingrained into the culture and government agencies it became a form of institutionalized racism. It affected where African Americans could live, work, how much political clout they were able to attain within the law, and affected them on a very personal level as they felt the racial discrimination and dealt with the injustice of inner city police tactics. Many movements in the 1960's helped blow the winds of change for African Americans living in America. One of these movements was the "Black Panther Party for Self Defense". The Black Panther Party organized to try to fight against the racial segregation in California and to help achieve the equality that African Americans yearned for. They worked on fixing the problem on two levels. They helped politically by organizing the community through mobilization, education and protest, as well as making a huge difference on a personal level for African Americans, by taking back the streets and curbing police brutalities and organizing many events to help their communities with "survival programs".According to Curtis Stephen in the fall of 1966, even though ten years had passed since the desegregation efforts and the adoption of the civil rights act of 1964 and the voting rights act of 1965, African Americans were still subjected to racism and violence on an almost immeasurable scale. Stephen discusses how the Watts riots of 1965 played an intricate role on the influence of Newton and Seale. During the riots in Watts, a small group of organized and concerned citizens named "The Community Alert Patrol" emerged on the scene; their mission had been to observe and report police brutalities against the black community in Los Angeles. Eventually, this lead to the progressive community activists themselves being booked into the county jail, and being beaten by the Los Angeles Police Department. Newton argued that this was an infringement of their right to assemble granted by the first amendment. Newton "found a California state supreme court ruling that said all citizens have the right to observe officers carrying out their...

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