The Black Panthers was a group organized in the 1960’s in order to gain respect for the whole African American population in the United States. The start of this vision and foundation of the Black Panthers was made from two individuals, Huey Percy Newton and Bobby Seale . In 1966 these two co-founded the Black Panther Party in Oakland, California and was one of the greatest establishment to get rid of the ongoing struggle for Black freedom and equality. African Americans at the time were being intimidated, disrespected, and felt a sense of hopelessness simply because of their race . At the time, “Niggerization” was happening which promoted white greed and hatred towards African Americans. They used this as a form to make Black individuals feel inferior to the white supremacy by degrading Black people and using racist violence towards them in order to make them feel terrorized . As these issues kept growing, Huey Newton stepped up and wanted to change that by creating a revolutionary group that would contribute to the abolishment of the inequality that had a negative impact onto many of these individual’s life.
The Black Panther’s had been one of the biggest threat to a new awakening that would fight back and repress the actions caused by racist white individuals. In 1966, Newton gathered his close friends and developed a skeletal outline for the organization that was originally named “The Black Panther Party for Self Defense” . They Black Panther was used as a primary symbol since it represented a powerful image to the organization and was also used by a voting rights group in Alabama named “Lowndes County Freedom Organization” . This image made them appear as fierce individuals but also a threat to others in society. To the average white Americans, the Black Panther Party was seen as a group of thugs that were formed to cause trouble to others. The Panthers were often described as a “black extremist organization” that consisted mainly of “hoodlum-type revolutionaries” . They were seen as a group that committed destructive and illegal acts since they participated in may violent movements throughout the era.
Their primary goal was to obtain equality for all, but since they participated in many events that disturbed the public, many created a whole controversial issue that led white individuals to disapprove them. They were disliked by many because of the impact and reputation that they had with the involvement in the black power movement and politics during the year 1960’s and 1970’s. A professor named Robert Self argues that these individuals were actually creating a positive impact rather a negative one. He mentions that white people did not like them because of their actions, but rather their race. Robert states, “Let's be honest. One of the reasons that most white Americans, and not a few black ones, are eager to minimize the importance of the Panthers is race” . It was unfair for the group to have so much hatred towards them since they were in search for a better society that made things more accessible for everyone and not just white Americans. The positive aspects of the Black Panthers were always overshadowed instead of being given the respect and equal opportunity that they searched of.
Throughout their movement, others also agreed to their mission statement and began supporting them. Since they were often threatened by police brutality and fought against that, many began gathering research about them. This eventually initiated others to follow them and expand to other states across the United States. It is stated that “By 1968, the party had expanded into many cities throughout the United States, including New Orleans, Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit, San Diego, Denver, Newark, New York City, Boston, Dallas, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Seattle, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Omaha” . They slowly began to grow and be known throughout the entire country. Their actions, beliefs and statements created an impact and gave them power to create a change for all African Americans that struggled for black equality and opportunity at the time.
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