In the 1960s, the African-American community in the United States was going through a difficult time. Civil rights were not recognized and there was racial segregation in everyday life and institutions. Faced with this situation, blacks in the United States had two options: resignedly accepting their social status or else rebelling. The Black Panther Party, more popularly known as the Black Panthers, is an example of the second way. They called themselves this name because the panther is an animal that initially does not attack, but when it feels threatened it reacts energetically.
This organization was founded by a group of university students in 1966
In their first actions of self-defense, the students took to the streets of the city of Oakland to fight the police who repressed blacks. Soon black panthers became very popular for their unique appearance: leather jacket, beret and a weapon to protect themselves.
With this attitude towards repression, they wanted to demonstrate their pride in being black. Instead of running or hiding, they decided to take to the streets and fight injustices. Black Panther Party
Its political proposals consisted of a ten-item program, which included social rights, equality before the law, and an end to police violence .
Its ideology was a combination of the different currents of the time: anti-racism, the pride of African-American culture and revolutionary socialism. At the same time, they organized assistance programs for black children from the poorest neighborhoods. Some of its members have been involved in illegal activities and terrorist attacks.
There are two competing versions of this movement: some claim that its members were the true protagonists of racial emancipation, while others consider that they were in fact a group of well – organized criminals.
His claims were world – famous when two African-American athletes (Tommie Smith and John Carlos) raised his fist on the podium of the Olympic Games in Mexico in 1968. This act them out very expensive for the United States Olympic Committee withdrew their medals and the two athletes were accused of being anti-patriotic and radical extremists. Black Panther Party
Malcolm X and Luther King as sources of inspiration for the black community
Many young black people from the poorest neighborhoods were attracted by the ideals of the Black Panthers. These young people were also inspired by a legendary figure, Malcolm X. They saw in him a combative leader who did not conform to oppression . On the contrary, for the radicalized black community , Luther King’s pacifist discourse did not seem interesting to them, as they believed it was a way of turning the other face in the face of the white man’s repression. Black Panther Party