The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (BPP) was founded in Oakland in 1966 by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale who met in 1962 while they were both students at Merritt College.

They had a Free Breakfast for Children program.

The BPP provided legal aid.

Then FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover called the BPP “ . . . the greatest domestic threat to American National security.”

They were the first crossing guards to carry shot guns.

They had a house band called Lumpen (according to the Urban Dictionary,: “Short for lumpenproletariat. A catch-all term used primarily by self-styled Marxists to describe people “below” the proletariat. The lumpen include all people who might belong to the working class if the worked. The unemployed, disabled, prisoners, and homeless are all part of the lumpen.”

They provided community health clinics.

Their Ten Point Program: What we want now included employment, housing, education, exemption from military service, end to police brutality, trial by a jury of peers, justice and peace.

They were influenced by Mao Tse-tung’s The Little Red Book which they sold copies of to buy guns.

Elaine Brown was the first chairwoman of the BPP.


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ARISE 2.0 is a multi-media online news, politics, entertainment, sports, spirituality, tech, arts, and opinion publication by LGBTQ folks of color and our allies and for everyone. Co-Founded and co-published by Rev. MacArthur Flournoy and Kiki.

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