British Black Panthers exhibition comes to Brixton to mark Black History Month in October

panthers1

An exhibition presenting the legacy of the British Black Panther movement will be coming to Brixton in October.

Taking place at the Photofusion Gallery during Black History Month, the show will feature current portraits of Panther members and archive photographs shot by Neil Kenlock, the official photographer of the British Black Panther Movement.  A documentary film will also accompany the exhibition.

LintonTeamsmall

The show has been curated by The Organised Youth project, a group  of 13-25 year olds who were inspired by the youthful activism of the British Panthers and hoped to present their history to a new generation.

Lizzy King, Photofusion Community Programme Manager, said: “This important project has proven to everyone that young people are more than capable of working with living history. The group have worked together and across generational, social and racial boundaries to produce a sensitive and informative body of work that will stand as an educational and creative resource for their own and future generations. The archived recordings and images will ensure that we are able to appreciate the stories of the racial and social struggle that went before.”

blackpanther

The young photographers, filmmakers, historians  worked with experienced facilitators to capture the untold stories of the British Black Power Movement through interviews with Panther members and Black Power activists.

Interviewees include Darcus Howe, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Danny Da Costa, Leila Howe, Neil Kenlock, Liz Obi, Kenrick Goppy and Farouk Dhondy with other interviews taking place in the run up to the exhibition. All transcripts of the interviews will be donated to a local public archive, so that the legacy of this project will be free and accessible for future generations.

BHM

A limited edition book of the transcripts and images will also be available. This project has been organised by Photofusion with funding from the Heritage Lottery’s Young Roots Fund.

The Photofusion Gallery is at 17a Electric Lane, Brixton, SW9 8LA There will be a private viewing  from 6pm -10pm on Tuesday 15th October followed by the  public exhibition from 10am -5.30pm on Wednesday 16th October to Saturday 26th October 26th (8.30 Thursdays, closed Sundays).

 

*******************************************************************************

The Amazing Lost Legacy of the British Black Panthers

By Photos: Neil Kenlock, Words: Bruno Bayley

0         
 
    

    

While, in the mid-1960s, the Black Panthers – the famous, American, shotgun-toting ones – were scaring the crap out of white America, the British Black Panthers (BBP) were educating their communities and fighting discrimination. Outrightly racist laws that threatened to repatriate entire swathes of the black population were being pushed into place, and sections of the white middle classes were resentful towards the black community. But the BBP – based in Brixton, south London – helped to change all that, educating British black people about their history and giving them a voice to speak out against prejudice.  

However, despite their successes and influence on black communities in the UK, very little is known about the British Black Panthers. Knowledge of the group – which included figures such as Darcus Howe, Linton Kwesi Johnson and the late Olive Morris – and its aims and achievements isn't aided by the fact that they only officially existed from 1968 till 1972. Luckily, Neil Kenlock – one of the group's core members – took it upon himself to become their official in-house photographer, capturing images of their meetings, campaigns, marches and presence in local communities.

This month, a new exhibition put together by Organised Youth – a group of 13-25-year-olds who were inspired by the activism of the British Black Panthers – will profile Neil's work at a gallery in Brixton, alongside contemporary photos, interviews and a documentary film (click here for more information). I had a talk with Neil ahead of that about the Panthers and their legacy in Britain. 

VICE: So, first off, how did you become involved in the the British Black Panther movement? Neil Kenlock: Well, I encountered racism when I was quite young – maybe 16 or 17. I went to a club in Streatham, and when I arrived I was told it was full and that I should come back next week. Which I did, and I was then told they wouldn't let me in because they didn't want "my type" in there. I protested that I didn't see why I shouldn't be let in. There were, of course, no discrimination laws in those days, so there was no one to tell about this. 

And you were never let in?  My friend and I pointed out that we were well dressed, weren't there to make trouble and just wanted to enjoy ourselves like other people, so what was the problem? We were told to go or the police would be called. We wouldn't go, so they called the police, who then told us that we weren't wanted in the club and that we should go home. I pointed out we weren't breaking any laws and the police told us they would arrest us if we didn't leave. I really didn't want my parents to have to come to Streatham police station and bail me out, so I left. But, on my way home, I decided that I was going to fight against unfairness and discrimination in this country.

Neil Kenlock self-portrait. 1970.

How did you come across the Panthers, then?  Well, some weeks later, I saw a Panther in Brixton giving out leaflets about police brutality and discrimination. I joined them then.

Had you already been exposed to the American Black Panthers prior to that? I'd seen them on TV and things, but I hadn't taken much notice. It might have flashed across my mind, but it wasn't really in my consciousness. It was all more to do with what had happened to me, personally, and that I felt it was wrong. I saw them giving out those leaflets and thought, 'This is what I want to be – I want to fight against discrimination and racism and all the bad things that happen to us.' So I joined. 

When was that? About 1968, just after I left school.

And at that time how well organised was the movement? Was it a unified group or more ad hoc?  It was fairly organised. They had a building they were working from in Shakespeare Road, Brixton and a house in north London. They were having meetings, talking about history and all the societal systems – capitalism, socialism and all that stuff. They were teaching us things we weren't taught at school. Back then, we weren't taught any black history – we knew we'd been slaves, but there was no information about the struggles we had faced to get our freedom. We were taught to be proud of our history and colour. Black people then weren't clear about themselves; they weren't strong, they were submissive. They believed in the establishment, society and the system.

Was the link between the British Black Panthers and the Black Panthers an official one? Or was the name informally adopted? I know, for instance, that you guys didn't condone gun use at all. It was just an adoption of the name. There was informal contact, but nothing on an official basis. They were a political, radical and revolutionary party. We were a movement – we were never interested in gaining seats in Parliament or behaving like a political party. We were a movement aiming to educate our communities and to fight injustice and discrimination. That was our mantra. America was just coming out of segregation then, while we never had it. So there was a huge difference between our problems and theirs. 

What were the issues that the British Black Panthers were combating, specifically? While we were another large black population, we had no segregation here. But it was difficult for us to get adjusted to this country, and there were cultural clashes for us, too. Our parents weren't given good jobs, only menial tasks, factory jobs – there were no real black professionals in Britian. The challenge here was to get a fair deal, to climb that ladder. 

There was also a cultural issue, and if I was to blame anyone for that it would be the British middle class and the political class, because they didn't educate the working-class British about the history of black people. They weren't told that we were taken from Africa, that we were actually slaves for this country for over 300 years. And at the end of slavery, plantation owners were compensated, while we got nothing, not even an apology. So, in those days, we believed we had a right to be in this country – we had helped build this country and we deserved some benefits from that. We felt we had a right to share in the profits, while British people felt, 'Why are they here taking our jobs?' 

A protester is arrested by police.

So the Panthers were there to educate people about all that? Yeah, the middle and political classes did nothing to explain the situation. That was what we were trying to get across – that we deserved to be here and we needed laws that reflected that. At the time, they were trying to repatriate us. It was outrageous – you can't take us from Africa, enslave us, and after we've built the country up after the war, tell us to go back. No. That's not on. 

How much did you interact with other rights groups? Anti-fascists, for example? Or were you fairly insular at the time?  We had some links with the Socialist Workers and other left-wing groups, and there were many intellectuals who were funding the Panthers – as well as actors and actresses and the like. Left-leaning people were supporting us. We weren't "racist" as such, but we decided that all our members should be black because we were there to educate and advance black people. We felt we needed to be able to sit together and talk about our situation and our history, and to do so in confidence without interruption.

The British Black Panthers eventually dissolved into numerous other groups – what caused that? Was it planned? The British Black Panthers, in my opinion, came into being as a result of the discrimination that many students from the Commonwealth faced. Back then, the best students from the Commonwealth were sent to Britain to be educated. Many of those who associated with the Panthers were those sorts of people; they had never encountered discrimination in their own countries, where they were the sons or daughters of the middle classes. So when they got here for university, they discovered this inequality and decided to fight against that, but they needed support in our communities, so they came to Brixton and met people like me who shared these challenges, and we worked together.

After we'd educated these students and our communities, lots of the students returned to their countries – in many cases to positions of leadership. We were left with lots of the things we'd been campaigning for actually being achieved. The repatriation bill was quashed, the idea of deportation was gone and the movement just dissolved – not in an organised way, but people just stopped coming around and stopped doing things.

So the dissolving of the BBP was a reflection of its success, to an extent? Yes. I think we helped to change the way we were perceived in this country. And many of those students who were set to return to the Commonwealth had good jobs waiting for them back home, in government, legal practice and so on – they no longer wanted to risk their future careers by being involved with us.

What do you think the core legacy of the Panthers in Britain was?  The Black Panther movement was a secretive movement, yet it had a great impact on discrimination in this country. The legacy is in all the proposed laws regarding deportation being quashed. We made sure the government were properly educating our children. Lots of black children back then were educated in subnormal schools – those things were quashed, too. There were a lot of successes, but they weren't really attributed to the Black Panthers, even though they were the work of the Panthers. It's a hidden story – that's why it's important that these photos exist. Without them, it would have been difficult to tell this story, especially to young people. The legacy of the photos themselves is important.

Were you aware when taking these photos that they would become an important document in Britain's social history?  It was very conscious. When I joined the Panthers, it was a reaction to how I was treated. I felt that this was what I could do for the Panthers. I could record their meetings, their marches, their efforts. Many of the photos were used in our meetings and so on. It was a conscious contribution to the movement. 

Great, thanks Neil.

Neil Kenlock's photos of the British Black Panther movement will be exhibited at the Photofusion Gallery at 17a Electric Lane, Brixton, SW9 8LA. The public exhibition will run from Wednesday, October 16th to Saturday, October 26th. (Regular opening hours are 10AM till 5.30PM, although you'll be allowed in till 8.30PM on Thursdays. It's closed Sundays.) Click here for more details.

Additionally, 100 copies of a book by Organised Youth – The British Black Panthers and Black Power Movement – will also be available for £20.

Click through to see more of Neil Kenlock's amazing photos of the British Black Panthers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I'm just trying to make a way out of no way, for my people" -Modejeska Monteith Simpkins

 

AFRICAN AMERICA IS AT WAR

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICA

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICANS

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

AMERICA'S RACISTS HAVE INFILTRATED AMERICAN POLICE FORCES TO WAGE A RACE WAR AGAINST BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

THE BLACK RACE IS AT WAR

FIRST WORLD WAR:  THE APPROXIMATELY 6,000 YEAR WORLD WAR ON AFRICA AND THE BLACK RACE

Original Post

Wow!  My memories of the black panthers in America...in my neighborhood back in the day is NOT good.  I never saw them as the heroes for the black community.  It was about power and women.  In that order.   And my question is again.  Where are they NOW?  And where were they during the explosion of crack cocaine and gangs?  How come they didn't come to our rescue then?  Why alllllll know why.    But!

  Yes I'm serious.  I didn't stuttter when I said it.  I don't have to google anything....I was THERE!!!!  What about YOU?  Were you there?  You're so busy trying to throw me under the bus....ANSWER THE QUESTIONS.  Where are the Black Panthers now and where were they DURING the crack cocaine and gang banging explosion in the black community?  Don't fillabuster me. I am very CLEAR on the questions I'm asking.  Got any answers?  Didn't think so. But!  

Last edited by Kocolicious
Originally Posted by Adrian:

Are you serious? Go google COINTELPRO. They were systematically persecuted, jailed and murdered by the State.

 

The is what I know to have happened to them.  

Contact them.

 

 I don't NEED to contact them.  As I said earlier?  I was there.  So any other stuff to ME? Is hearsay.

 

Where I was or wasn't is irrelevant

 

Nope.  That's where you are wrong!  It is VERY relevant.  Don't believe me?  Talk to those who were apart of it...thinking in some small way that they were contributing and protecting their community.  But what it really was where I was?  Was total and complete contamination...well the beginning of contamination in our community.  They weren't there to HELP!  They were there to FLEX their empty power and get women.  Bottom line.  And as kneegrows do....they thought they could challenge massa with their plastic guns and leather coats while massa had his bombs, deadly arsenals that were DESIGNED to wipe black folks out.  And guess what?  It DID!!!  Black panthers think just cuz they FED their OWN children BREAKFAST in their OWN community[they didn't have to do that if there were no absentee fathers]....and they thought doing that deed made them HEROES!  Well I'm here to tell ya that it didn't.  What it did was create a dangerous and long term prelude to crack cocaine and gang banging which by the way?  QUICKLY followed.  So unless you were there to see the fatal collapse in the black community[as we were slowing rising up economically, socially and educationally]....everything you're saying is merely conjecture.  But! 

Last edited by Kocolicious
Originally Posted by Kocolicious:

  Yes I'm serious.  I didn't stuttter when I said it.  I don't have to google anything....I was THERE!!!!  What about YOU?  Were you there?  You're so busy trying to throw me under the bus....ANSWER THE QUESTIONS.  Where are the Black Panthers now and where were they DURING the crack cocaine and gang banging explosion in the black community?  Don't fillabuster me. I am very CLEAR on the questions I'm asking.  Got any answers?  Didn't think so. But!  

 

Crack Epidemic happened in the late 80s. Black Panthers were disbanded by 1982. The Black Panthers were a flash in the pan by the mid 70s they were on the downhill, due to COINTELPRO, infighting, and outrageous violence.

 

Black Panthers no longer existed by the time the invention of crack.

 

What you have is various offshoots of the Black Panthers and various attempts of revival. 

 

The Crips and Bloods were an attempt to revive the Black Panthers but they descended into a street gang. Crips and Bloods was created to combat White gangs and police brutality. 

 

The Black Guerrilla Family, a prison gang that became compromised of Black Panthers in prison. The Black Liberation Army was a paramilitary organization created by Black Panthers and full of former Black Panthers.

 

 The Black Panthers are important because it was the first attempt by Africans in the USA, to establish a nation state. It has public relations, defense, a form of welfare, and etc. People of African descent in Brazil had us beat by almost a 300 years with their slave republics. 

 

The Black Panther Party experiment didn't work out but at least they were brave enough to try while everybody else sang Cumbaya or was simply talking about a nation state (Nation of Islam), the Panthers attempted to create one. 

 

Last edited by GoodMan

 

Crack Epidemic happened in the late 80s. Black Panthers were disbanded by 1982. The Black Panthers were a flash in the pan by the mid 70s they were on the downhill, due to COINTELPRO, Infighting, outrageous violence.

 

Black Panthers no longer existed by the time the invention of crack.

 

What you have is various offshoots of the Black Panthers and various attempts of revival. 

 

The Crips and Bloods were an attempt to revive the Black Panthers but they descended into a street gang. Crips and Bloods was created to combat White gangs and police brutality. 

 

The Black Guerrilla Family, a prison gang that became compromised of Black Panthers in prison. The Black Liberation Army was a paramilitary organization created by Black Panthers and full of former Black Panthers.

 

  Not where I come from.  The crack epidemic began in the EARLY 80s in conjunction with the gang banging crisis.  The Panthers were having trouble publically in the late 70s and early 80s WHERE I COME FROM.  While they were here?  Didn't do a DAMN thang but make the black community from WHERE I COME FROM...miserable...and created the fear of black on black EYE contact.  So!  As I said before without STUTTERING a word....where I come from?  The Black Panther Party did NOTHING but CONTAMINATE the black community....and we HAVEN'T been the SAME since.  But!

Last edited by Kocolicious
Originally Posted by Kocolicious:

  Not where I come from.  The crack epidemic began in the EARLY 80s in conjunction with the gang banging crisis.  The Panthers were having trouble publically in the late 70s and early 80s WHERE I COME FROM.  While they were here?  Didn't do a DAMN thang but make the black community from WHERE I COME FROM...miserable...and created the fear of black on black EYE contact.  So!  As I said before without STUTTERING a word....where I come from?  The Black Panther Party did NOTHING but CONTAMINATE the black community....and we HAVEN'T been the SAME since.  But!

Panthers were dead by '82. Crack was around '84. Like I said, Huey Newton led Black Panthers died with him. 

 

What you most likely experienced were offshoots and revivals or street gangs affiliated with the Black Panther Party.

 

For the most part, the Black Panthers came from the lowest form of Black life, it wouldn't surprise me if some of their members were in the drug trade or pimping. Or if they were affiliated with those types. 

 

But the BP was dead officially dead in 82. 

Exactly as I was trying to say GoodMan. The Black Panthers were gone by the mid 70s even if unofficially they weren't disbanded till 1982. There were a lot of good people in the early carnations and they did a lot of good in promoting black pride and with breakfast clubs etc. The reasons for drugs and gangs in all communities and especially the black ones are complicated and stem mainly from poverty and desperation which the Black Panthers were attempting, perhaps naively, to end. They were an interesting phenomenon and the real issue is why were the authorities so keen to destroy them? COINTELPRO and the allegation (backed up with some evidence) that the CIA/authorities helped flood the ghetto with drugs to stop them organising. How much truth is in that we will probably never know though they did find it to be partly true (blaming rogue agents). 

 

Also the above article was actually about the British Black Panthers who were a completely different organisation if you read the article.

I live in the UK and went to the exhibition which was marvellous.

Last edited by Adrian

It also has to be taken into consideration that the Black Panther Party had so many "wanna bees" and had been thoroughly infiltrated by traitors, snitches and government spies, to divide and conquer, cause dissension and commit counter-production acts in the Black community to begin with.  

 

 

Last edited by sunnubian

That was part of the COINTELPRO plan/policy. That isn't conspiracy theory either it's well documented now.

 

Also we can speak about the FBI collusion in the assassination of the very eloquent Fred Hampton in 1960 in Chicago.

 

The Black Panther Party was a broad church with many good and many bad people associated with it.

 

To blanket condemn them or blame them for the problems in black communities of the 80s and 90s (as was done by Kokolicious is very lazy and ignorant thinking which is why I felt the need to counter it). There is amble research out there to draw on that would refute that almost entirely. There have always been severe problems in 'ghetto' communities, and they are to do with lack of opportunity which come from poverty and racism, poor education, bad housing, etc. etc. You find that in the UK also, where I am from, which never had the Black Panther Party (certainly not in the form of the US version anyway).

Last edited by Adrian

To blanket condemn them or blame them for the problems in black communities of the 80s and 90s (as was done by Kokolicious is very lazy and ignorant thinking which is why I felt the need to counter it). There is amble research out there to draw on that would refute that almost entirely. There have always been severe problems in 'ghetto' communities, and they are to do with lack of opportunity which come from poverty and racism, poor eduication, bad housing, etc. etc. You find that in the UK also, where I am from, which never had the Black Panther Party (certainly not in the form of the US version anyway).

 

First of all.  My name is spelled. K. O. C. O. L. I. C, I. O. U. S.  Since you are soooooo smart that won't be DIFFICULT for you to remember.  Secondly....Excuse me sir!  Don't minimize my EXPERIENCE with the black panthers in my neck of the WOODS. Who are YOU?    Don't give a fock about RESEARCH by academic scholars who were tooo scared to step foot in BLACK NEIGHORHOODS that the black panthers contaminated.  I was THERE!  Were YOU?    

 

Additionally, I don't NEED documented HEARSAY to justify what I'm saying.  All one has to do is look at what HAPPENED to my community-which was up and rising before the civic interference of the so-called black panthers.  Yes there were poverty, housing problems etc....but!  The civil rights movement just occurred less than a decade before.  So how long do you think it would take to move forward from the Jim Crow era? Maybe you don't know but black LIFE is not a five minute commercial.  It takes TIME to evolve out of HELL.  And no matter what YOU say the black panthers didn't have what it TOOK to get us out that by funding breakfast.  All they did?  Was inspire gangs and drugs that was mandated by massa.   .

 

But my main QUESTION.  Who ARE you?  To step to me and call me LAZY and ignorant?  You don't KNOW me.  I can easily CALL you an arrogant steppin fetchin asshole with no REAL balls to protect your OWN community and only responded to the black community AFTER the fact.Were there first hand?  . Were you?  And by what I read here?  It's clear you were NO WHERE near it when it was occurring.  You are going by what others are saying[from books videos etc].  It just the polar opposite of how there are those who wasn't there believe it wasn't a holocaust-even though there were pictures and films.  But the empathy level regarding the both events were at a low level sprinkled with the "stinking thinking" syndrome which says "I believe what I wanna believe and not believe what may or may not be true."  .   

 

But the bottom line my friend....I don't give a sweet fock what YOU think about I say about my EXPERIENCE and KNOWLEDGE.  You come here on board and insult me and you DON'T EVEN KNOW ME.  We have NEVER engage in a convo.  So you aint gonna come in here and wipe your focking BOOTS on me with YOUR side show bullshyte.  And by the way, don't care if you believe me or not-wasn't talking to you in the first place....AND most importantly YOU ARE NOT THE LEADER IN MY LIFE...so I really care less what you think about what I've said.  But I had to let you know....ONE: how to spell my name cuz apparently you think you can MISSPELL IT while attempting to dismiss what I said about the black panthers at the same time-NOT and TWO you have the GAUL to try to MAXIMIZE what you say as if you have some BIG BRAIN that knows everything while corralling to minimize and dismantle what I say as if you are an AUTHORITY of black panthers 101-which you are NOT!  

 

So don't get it twisted my brotha.  I ain't the ONE!   As a matter of fact, it is REAL apparent what kind of person YOU ARE!!!!  A disrespectful below the curb FOOL!!  That's you.  .   By the way, you can FEEL the need whenever you want.... JUST know I have a voice...and will USE it anytime you feel the sensation to disrespect ME and talk out the side of your focking mouth about anything I say here on this board. It's MY experience.  Not yourn.  So let's be clear so you won't EVER get it twisted...your opinions about my commentaries means zero to me cuz the fact is?  You are nothing to me and will NEVER be anything to me but mere words on a message board.  Just so you know.  But! 

I said it was lazy and ignorant thinking. Nothing you say there makes me think I am wrong. Proper research is not hearsay. The fact all you will believe is your own experience shows you are not open to reasoned debate on the subject. First off the article you add your comments to has nothing to do with the US Black Panther Party. So it's not relevant. Then you write condemnation of an organisation it appears you know little about. Perhaps some elements of the BBP were involved in wrong doing. That does not condemn the whole. They are an important part of black history. To dismiss them in this way was lazy. I am not the only person pointing that out. Go find out for yourself by reading up on the subject. 

 

Who are these Black Panthers from your neck of the Woods? They disbanded in 1982. So to who to you refer?

 

 

Last edited by Adrian

Huey Newton led Black Panthers died with him. 

 

 

  Huey newton died in 1989.  If the black panthers dismantled in 1982 how could they have collapsed seven years later?  Can't be both, my brotha.  Get it right...now.    Or...do you mean it collapsed with Huey started smoking his own crack?    If so?  That's completely DIFFERENT scenario.  But!

Last edited by Kocolicious

. Nothing you say there makes me think I am wrong

 

  Not going back and forth to PROVE anything. I've said what I wanted to say to you.  I'm tooooooo done.  

How many emoticons can one person put in a post? To answer the above question. Yes Huey died in 1989. What I presume they meant was by the end of the 70s the leadership of the Panthers was not what it had been. The original earlier carnation did achieve a lot. The whole thing died in the mid 70s when that leadership was killed, put in prison or fled abroad. By 1982 it was officially dead, but it was dying from the early 70s onwards.
 
They achieved a lot. To overthrow 500 years of oppression won't take 10 years. And whilst the economic system stays the same most of the problems will remain.  
 
I notice you don't posit any remedies yourself? They at least did something. They gave pride to some who never felt it previously.

  Check this out!  Just cuz you say it's so?  Doesn't mean that it is.  You can SAY whatever the hell you want.  It will NOT however CHANGE my perceptive.  Not one bit.  So go kick rocks whydontcha.  Cuz I see you don't KNOW the first THING about RESPECT. And to answer your question as to how many emoticons one can put in a post?  As MANY AS ONE  WANTS!!!

 

P S I don't have to  PROVE anything to YOU.  I am VERY....EXTREMELY comfortable with the contribution I gave my community!  What about YOU?  What have you DONE to mitigate the MESS the black militants brought to our ALREADY broken community?    I mean since you're throwing stones.  

Last edited by Kocolicious

Kocolicious

 

“Yes I'm serious. I didn't stuttter when I said it. I don't have to google anything....I was THERE!!!! What about YOU? Were you there? You're so busy trying to throw me under the bus....ANSWER THE QUESTIONS. Where are the Black Panthers now and where were they DURING the crack cocaine and gang banging explosion in the black community? Don't fillabuster me. I am very CLEAR on the questions I'm asking. Got any answers? Didn't think so.”

 

 

The Black Panther Party and what they stood for were long gone by the time of the crack epidemic and murderous gang proliferation in California. In fact, Huey Newton himself fell victim to crack cocaine. Today, the Black Panther Party is barely a shell of what they once were.

Brother Homie wrote:  The Black Panther Party and what they stood for were long gone by the time of the crack epidemic and murderous gang proliferation in California. In fact, Huey Newton himself fell victim to crack cocaine. Today, the Black Panther Party is barely a shell of what they once were.

 

  I understand where you're coming from my brotha.  But unfortunately I disagree with some of your assessment regarding the black panthers.  However I do agree that the black panther party is a shell of what was once men posturing to prove manhood while destroying their community and disrespecting the women who foolishly believed in them.  And cuz I have NOTHING but total respect for you?  That's all I'm gonna say in my response to you cuz I got NOTHING love for you my brotha!  But! Read below.    

Last edited by Kocolicious

  Since it appears there are few folks who think I don't KNOW what the HELL I'm talking about cuz I didn't cite works or use academic jargon.  I did a little research cuz that's all it takes.  So here we go.  Let's first start with HOW the black panthers treated the women.

 

BLACK PANTHERS AND WOMANISM OR SEXISM

 

At its beginnings, the Black Panther Party reclaimed black masculinity and traditional gender roles.[66]:6 Several scholars consider the Party's stance of armed resistance highly masculine, with the use of guns and violence affirming proof of manhood.  In 1968, the Black Panther Party newspaper stated in several articles that the role of female Panthers was to "stand behind black men" and be supportive.[66]:6

 

By 1969, the Black Panther Party newspaper officially stated that men and women are equal [66]:2 and instructed male Panthers to treat female Party members as equals,[66]:6  [however me talking THAT NEVER HAPPENED.]   a drastic change from the idea of the female Panther as subordinate. That same year, Deputy Chairman Fred Hampton of the Illinois chapter conducted a meeting condemning sexism.[66]:2 After 1969, the Party considered sexism counter-revolutionary.[66]:6

 

The Black Panthers adopted a womanist ideology in consideration of the unique experiences of African-American women,[68] affirming that racism is more oppressive than sexism.[69] Womanism was a mix of black nationalism and the vindication of women,[68]:20 putting race and community struggle before the gender issue.[68]:8 Womanism posited that traditional feminism failed to include race and class struggle in its denunciation of male sexism [68]:26 and was therefore part of white hegemony.[68]:21 In opposition to some feminist viewpoints, womanism promoted a gender role point of view that men are not above women, but hold a different position in the home and community,[68]:42 so men and women must work together for the preservation of African-American culture and community.[68]:27  

 

Me talking- Again this proclaim was strictly for the PUBLIC IMAGE-in reality black panthers were SEXISM...if they weren't...WHY DID THEY HAVE TO GO PUBLIC?

 

COLLAPSE OF THE BLACK PANTHERS


Black Panther Party membership reached a peak of several thousand by early 1969, then suffered a series of contractions due to legal troubles, incarcerations, internal splits, expulsions and defections. Popular support for the Party declined further after reports appeared detailing the group's involvement in illegal activities such as drug dealing and extortion schemes directed against Oakland merchants.[10] By 1972 most Panther activity centered on the national headquarters and a school in Oakland, where the party continued to influence local politics. Party contractions continued throughout the 1970s; by 1980 the Black Panther Party comprised just 27 members.[11]

 

 Me talking:  One year later 1981...the crack epidemic begun.   


GANG BANGING HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

 

[This is just ONE gang I pulled for clarity-however there are MANY more that developed during that time]


Stanley Tookie Williams met Raymond Lee Washington in 1969, and the two decided to unite their local gang members from the west and east sides of South Central Los Angeles in order to battle neighboring street gangs. Most of the members were 17 years old.[10] Williams discounted the sometimes cited founding date of 1969 in his memoir, Blue Rage, Black Redemption.[10] Gang activity in South Central Los Angeles has its roots in a variety of factors dating back to the 1950s and '60s, including post-World War II economic decline leading to joblessness and poverty, racial segregation leading to the formation of black "street clubs" by young African American men who were excluded from organizations such as the Boy Scouts, and the waning of black nationalist organizations such as the Black Panther Party and the Black Power Movement.[11][12][13][14]  

 

Me talking....They were excluded until these groups [black panthers, black power movement and other black based groups] REALIZED how much MONEY they could make.

 

 COCAINE EPIDEMIC

 

In the early 1980s, the majority of cocaine being shipped to the United States, landing in Miami, was coming through the Bahamas and Dominican Republic...... As early as 1981, reports of crack were appearing in Los Angeles, San Diego, Miami, Houston, and in the Caribbean.[1]

 

Me talking-Los Angeles is in Cali....right?  And as they say....the REST is history.  But!

 

BTW:  IF THERE ARE THOSE OF YOU WHO DON'T BELIEVE THIS TEXT I RESEARCHED....GOOGLE IT LIKE I DID.  IT'S RIGHT THERE IN BLACK AND WHITE  

Last edited by Kocolicious

It is a fact that in the nineteen sixties and seventies the Black Panther Party faced many limitations within the black community at-large.  Black social organizations in the decades of the sixties and seventies, e.g., CORE (Congress of Racial Equality), SCLC, (Southern Christian Leadership Council), SNICC (Student Nonviolence Coordinating Committee) and The Nation of Islam, although all of them had the same goals as it related to racial justice and social change, - each operated independent of the other.  Aside from Malcolm X who was assassinated in 1965, only the Black Panther Party advocated social change through violence.  This isolated the Black Panther Party from other black organizations of the decade.  Although Dr King did correspond with Malcolm X and other leaders of the decade, e.g., Stokely Carmichael, Roy Innis et el, the SCLC did not want the Black Panther Party in the south advocating violence or Malcolm X radicalizing southern black youth, - all of which would have drastically interfered with Dr. King’s non-violent movement and approach to social change. 

 

For this reason as well as other factors, J. Edgar Hoover and the F.B.I consequently were able to gradually minimize the effectiveness of these social and political movements and ultimately destroy them.  Other factors that contributed to weakening these sixties and seventies black organizations involve regionalism.  Even though for example, Elijah Muhammad was born and raised in Georgia, The Nation of Islam in the decade of the sixties was nearly invisible in the south.  The same was true of Malcolm X.  Aside from his 1965 trip to Selma, Alabama, where Malcolm X spoke at Brown's Chapel AME Church and a previous speaking engagement at Brown University - no other history exist of Malcolm spreading his Muslim or radical social change ideology at any of the HBCU’s that existed in the sixties.  Nor did he speak at any southern white university as he had at white universities in the northeast and Europe, e.g., Columbia and Oxford Universities.  Today, although far less effective as social change agents than they were in their heyday, the SCLC, Nation of Islam and the black church at-large remain as the only lasting social and political change agents African Americans have been able to maintain.

  I hear ya.  But all I KNOW is as a teen growing up in Cali surrounded by these groups....that in the micro-social interaction of neighborhoods in my community....the black panthers were NOT the heroes that many are trying to portray them as today.  Now...I don't know what was going on in other cities and states...like San Francisco for example.  but what I do KNOW is my EXPERIENCE with them around our schools recruiting youths as young as 13 and 14 years old to join their group for protection and power status[which is what present gangs do]  at the horror and dismay of parents who just migrated from the sharecropping South..  

 

The panthers' purpose may have been the same across the country, however, I can only discuss on the EXPERIENCE I had with them in my area.  And I really don't care who believes me or not...cuz it's my experience and my memory of what happened during those times.  It's like delivery a baby and folks telling you didn't have any pain in the process.  Cuz every woman's pain is different. It's STILL pain nevertheless.   It's the same here.  .The black panthers in my area were bullies and mygnostics[sp]..hence the beginning of the pimp daddy days.  Now folks can perceived this era in our history  in any way they want-it won't change what ultimately occurred.  It's like the race riot in the 60s and the one in the 90s-every one who witnessed them have their OWN version as to what took place.  Even when you look it up in articles and documents and even books....the stories will be different within the frame of what actually happened.

 

So all I'm saying is as a young black impressionable teen during the height of the black panthers, the us organization , the black student union...I saw a lot of recruited youths [in my community] used these groups to hide behind as they both tormented the neighborhoods and communities they lived in to the point?  That VERY soon after the social collapse of these groups....here comes gangs and drugs to take their place.  To me?  It was planned.  Whether massa [FBI, etc] had their hand in it or not-probably.  But that doesn't TAKE away from the fact if these groups were so hell-bent on bringing social justice to their community and black people and that was truly their goal...where in the HELL were they when gangs began terrorizing the SAME community that they SAID they wanted to protect and serve?  Where in the HELL were they when drugs began poisoning what was LEFT of our already fragmented culture?  And this social deprevation[sp] HAPPENED in Cali....around the SAME time the black panthers were defeated.[take or add a couple of years]

 

And I notice when this is pointed out in terms of where oh where were the mighty panthers to come to the aid of our poor helpless poverty-stricken black community-no one has a VALID answer.  Just say you don't KNOW what happened to them [aside from many of them being killed, in prison or on drugs].  Cuz all I hear and see are fillabustering answers that make no sense to me, political distractions moving away from we are talking about and chest puffing. Trust and believe I may have been young and immature during those rebellious times in black history but ain't nothing wrong with my memory.[I don't need to pull up a link, or refer to a book or article]  I remember it like it happened yesterday.  But!.

Last edited by Kocolicious

Kocolicious 

 

You speak from your heart!  Like the Vietnam Veteran who was actually there as opposed to what a book says happened.  Given your experience with the Panther Party, - yes, you don’t need to research what you have already witnessed.  You are also correct about what happened to many of them and why they became invisible when it came to guns, gangs and drugs in the black community.  You have already answered the question.  As you pointed out, its because after the demise of the Black Panthers their guns whom they once advocated where intended to protect the black community from persistent police brutality perpetrated by white police officers, - transformed into protection for the former Black Panthers now nefarious drug business and by proxy a drug war in the black community.

People aggrandize and make mythology. This is maybe okay but seldom practical. Ego is everywhere. That is the problem.  The Panthers, on the E. Coast, liked to show the film, Battle of Algiers in Harlem, a good enough film. I was later in Algeria and met an Algerian revolutionary. He was captured by the French and tortured. Some of his fingernails had been pulled out. Ouch. I never forgot what he said to me; essentially, before the revolution he was a poor man and after the revolution he was still a poor man. That was his conclusion. Eldridge Cleaver was in Algiers at the time. When he finally came back to the US, he designed, no foolin’, “penis pants”. These were pants with a sock on the outside where a man could kind of show his junk. I remember reading about that and thought what an ignoble end. Sad. I knew an old guy who found in the Spanish Revolutionary War to defeat Franco. The Left idolized those people in the Lincoln Brigade. My deceased friend, who’d easily be 100 by now, told me it was all bull. They were not these mythological figures but ordinary folks on a mission. Admirable, okay, but ego is the problem. I always look at ego and so never get awestruck by political movements. That’s why political problems are ultimately spiritual problems. Ego and greed undermine politics. This may sound farfetched but think about how much black people affect the US and the world culture. If Africans could go beyond the ego shite, we could lead the world. Possible? It is a long shot since American blacks are probably the most afflicted African people on Earth. But! 

Brotha Homie wrote:

 

You speak from your heart!  Like the Vietnam Veteran who was actually there as opposed to what a book says happened.  Given your experience with the Panther Party, - yes, you don’t need to research what you have already witnessed.  You are also correct about what happened to many of them and why they became invisible when it came to guns, gangs and drugs in the black community.  You have already answered the question.  As you pointed out, its because after the demise of the Black Panthers their guns whom they once advocated where intended to protect the black community from persistent police brutality perpetrated by white police officers, - transformed into protection for the former Black Panthers now nefarious drug business and by proxy a drug war in the black community.

 

  Exactly!    Thank you my brotha!  That's all I'm saying.  People who were affected by the wrath of black panthers didn't just disappear in the night as the black panthers did....people affected by them HAD to clean up the mess left behind.  So I'm not talking biography....I'm talking in this case autobiography But!

Brotha DK wrote:  This may sound farfetched but think about how much black people affect the US and the world culture. If Africans could go beyond the ego shite, we could lead the world.

 

  My brotha!  I've been telling my students that FOR YEARS!!!  Good to hear someone else say it too.  Cuz from my perspective...back in the day before all this religious crap....not only did we lead but....WE DID RULE THE WORLD to heights that appear to be unbelievable today.

 

 

Possible? It is a long shot since American blacks are probably the most afflicted African people on Earth. But!

 

  True they are.  However, being afflicted with the psychological tormented torture of massa DIDN'T stop black people from CREATING one of the MOST richest and structurally sound country in the world-and these folks weren't even EDUCATED-[by westerners standards].  So that tells you right there....our ability.  And I am one to believe that there are those in other solar systems LAUGHING at us right now...cuz at one time we communicated with them constantly.  But once the third EYE was SNATCHED from us removing the respect for women...we have been sliding down socially...intellectually....insightfully every....since to the point that until we as black people eradicate this barbaric way of thinking?  Foreigners from beyond the stars won't come near us.  And I don't blame 'em. .  But!

 

Last edited by Kocolicious

Kocolicious some final thoughts about the Black Panther Party

 

A review of black history spanning better than three centuries beginning from the Atlantic slave trade to the election of President Obama beckons the question:  In the election of the first black president of the United States, what significant role did the Black Panther Party play in advancing African Americans socially and politically?  What are the noted contributions attributed to the Black Panther Party that ushered in and facilitated in the election of Barrack Obama?  African Americans and Americans in general who view the election of Barrack Obama as the most important and significant progress African Americans have ever made in The America, raises questions about the Black Panther Party and how they are positioned historically. 

 

The Black Panther Party as well as their historical predecessors are all measured against the backdrop of the chronology of the Negro’s centuries long struggle in America for equal rights.  This brings to mind historical black figures such as, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jackie Robinson, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, Fredrick Douglas, Toussaint Louverture and so many others.  How will the Black Panther Party measure up historically against these and other former great crusaders and social change agents?  On a scale of 1 to 10, number one representing the most significant, where would the Black Panther Party rate?  

 

Those are very poignant questions my brotha. And I can only answer from my perceptive in terms on what long term affect did the black panthers have on the chain link from slavery to presidency. There are those who believe that the black panthers [small caps intentionally] made an impact after the civil rights movement by advocating an eye for an eye approach i.e. the use of guns to level the battle field with the establishment i.e. massa. Also during those times we had the vietnam war, womens rights flairing up and the [nonviolent]civil rights movement versus the [violent] revoluionary war against massa. I really think that once nationwide notoriety of panthers became apparent, super egos emerged causing conflict within the organization...which contributed to the downfall.

 

The America, raises questions about the Black Panther Party and how they are positioned historically.

 

I would say that the BPP were one of the main groups of radicals that threatened the psychological security of the FBI during the obvious protest of the vietnam war. They were unrelentful[sp] in their demands and made it absolutely clear they were willing to die for it[just as gangs are willing to die today for a street corner they have no ownership to] This threat inspired the FBI to dismantle the black panther party [ with unsuspecting raids and constant survelliance[sp]] by whatever means necessary. And they succeeded.

 

How will the Black Panther Party measure up historically against these and other former great crusaders and social change agents? 

 

For me the panthers were polar opposites to Marshall, King, Evers and even Malcolm-probably due to their open violent and angry position toward white people [they showed that they were not afraid of the klan or any other white supremacist]. And I think for the most part they will be remembered historically as the violent catalyst that fueled the frustrations of young black teens [at the foot of Jim Crow]who grew tired of being powerless victims of police racism, profiling targets and constantly brutalized in their broken-down make shift communities-which goes in line with other rebellious uprisings in our history first as slaves and then as noncitizens of the United States of America.

 

For me? I could NEVER see them as crusaders maybe social change agents. I say social agents only because their public activities and fearlessness did bring full exposure to the promises or demands mandated in the civil rights movement. I don't think that they had anything to do with creating the demands for equality per se but do believe that they had a hand in showing massa what will happen if those demands are not met. But it is the way panthers did their business within the community that rubbed me the wrong way. They were very abusive to their comrades and young recruits. Plus they had huge egos that wouldn't allow clear thinking in the ranks including competition with who had the most women which added to the social turmoil within the group that REALLY was one of the causes that destroyed the panthers' cohesiveness or for a better word unity. Couple that with their adversaries [other radical groups] that also wanted a piece of the political limelight and you have a explosion [between what may be considered gang rivaly] getting ready to happen. And in many cases it did. Therefore less than a decade their goals transited from revolutionary leadership to gang banging destruction.  But!

 

BTW:  I remember as a young recruit to the panther chapter..it was a sign of being cool and accepted in the community as part of the black power struggle...but! I learned very quickly  it was mainly about control.  This chapter used to use a stick to discipline their recruiters and new members.  I was a rebellious kid but when I saw that stick?  I became history.  I was gone so fast all one saw was a seat impression where I once sat.  But!.

Last edited by Kocolicious

My brother was in the Black Panthers but he didn't even tell me until the late 80s.  He wasn't around the family much in the 60s and 70s.

 

But he says he though the Panthers in California were crazy and the police were trying to get him to be a spy.

 

Xum

Brotha Xum wrote:  
But he says he though the Panthers in California were crazy and the police were trying to get him to be a spy.

 

  Your brother aint lying.  The black panthers in Cali were crazy.  I am testimony to that.  I saw it with my OWN eyes.  But!

As rebellious as I was in the nineteen sixties and seventies, I was never a Panther.  Even so, what you folks have stated here is powerful testimony from those who were actually there.

 

“Power to the People

Black Power!”

I visited the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis last week, on the site of where Martin Luther King was murdered. It has a large section on the Black Panthers and their legacy. It's one of the best museums I've ever visited actually.

 

It also tells of the progression in thinking of Stokely Carmichael, for instance, and SNCC etc to more radical positions. And enforces the point that at least these people did something, anything, they made a stand. Whether they succeeded is another thing but they stood up to prejudice.

 

Also on another point the Black Panthers were not anti white. They forged links with radical white and Latino groups.

Kocolicious: so you don't believe in research unless it tells you what you want to hear obviously? Research is more than reading one thing and rejecting the rest.

 

Are you are seriously trying to say it's the Black Panthers fault that there was a crack epidemic, or for guns and crime in the black community, of the US? There are various reasons for that and the Black Panthers aren't it. The reasons are varied, the US is full of guns, the FBI/COINTELPRO, poverty, racism etc. Also there is documented evidence of the CIA being involved in flooding the ghetto with crack up to and including helping to transport it into California. Several enquiries by the government themselves concluded this went on but blamed a few 'bad apples'.

 

Lets say I was mugged by a black man, then went on to state that because of my own experience black men are muggers, then quite rightly you'd say that isn't fair, it's more complicated than that, and it's a gross simplification. My experience does not allow me to draw that conclusion and generalize like that.

 

In the same way, just because you saw Panthers with guns, and some behaved badly, that does not mean they are to blame for gun crime and drugs. It's far too simplistic and lessens all the other good things they did. And to say they brought nothing to the table is clearly untrue. Someone like Fred Hampton for instance.

Last edited by Adrian

Brotha Adrian wrote:  

Kocolicious: so you don't believe in research unless it tells you what you want to hear obviously? Research is more than reading one thing and rejecting the rest.

 

Excuse me my brotha! I was talking about FACT based on MY experience with the panthers. What the HELL are YOU ...talking about?  Don't minimize my commentary....to maximize your bullshyte. Ain't happening with me.   Got that?


Are you are seriously trying to say it's the Black Panthers fault that there was a crack epidemic, or for guns and crime in the black community, of the US? There are various reasons for that and the Black Panthers aren't it. The reasons are varied, the US is full of guns, the FBI/COINTELPRO, poverty, racism etc. Also there is documented evidence of the CIA being involved in flooding the ghetto with crack up to and including helping to transport it into California. Several enquiries by the government themselves concluded this went on but blamed a few 'bad apples'.

 

Excuse me. Ah.  Did I stutter when I said what I said?  huh! no. 

Lets say I was mugged by a black man, then went on to state that because of my own experience black men are muggers, then quite rightly you'd say that isn't fair, it's more complicated than that, and it's a gross simplification. My experience does not allow we to draw that conclusion and generalize like that.

In the same way, just because you saw Panthers with guns, and some behaved badly, that does not mean they are to blame for gun crime and drugs. It's far too simplistic and lessens all the other good things they did. And to say they brought nothing to the table is clearly untrue. Someone like Fred Hampton for instance.

 

I was talking about what happened in MY LIFE on my SIDE of the fence during the black power days. Were you there with me? The answer. Helllllllllll no.  So step the fock back. I don't have to PROVE a damn thang to YOU or anybody else. It was my experience...not yourns. Just so know? I'm not GONNA waste my breathe attempting to CONVINCE you of anything about my life. Period.  But!

 

 

BTW:  You are NOT gonna get a rise out of me regarding this  issue.  We've been through this.  I'm done.

Last edited by Kocolicious

Well you seem to spend an awful lot of time replying to everyone for someone who doesn't care.

 

If you were there then why do you come across as a 12 year old in the way you type?

 

No I wasn't there. I seriously doubt you were there either to be honest. And I am white. No doubt that'll get your back up too. And from the UK, hence why I was reading an article on the Britsh Black Panthers. Did they start a crack epidmic or gun warfare there. Errrr no.

 

Go to the Civil Rights Museum. You might learn something. Or more likely you'll dismiss that too. Who are they to know anything either, eh?

 

Anyone that says something is FACT clearly does not realise how ridiculous a statement that is. Your facts are actually just opinions and as valid as anyone elses therefore. You could have benefitted from a Black Panthers Education programme.  

Last edited by Adrian

And I am white. 

 

  That EXPLAINS it all.  So everybody...let's pack it up.  The great white hope is now on board.  He can tell by his magic wand who is lying and who is telling the truth.  And if you don't know...go to his local museum or maybe even the human zoo to get all your answers and facts about the BLACK experience.  But!

Originally Posted by Adrian:

Well you seem to spend an awful lot of time replying to everyone for someone who doesn't care.

 

If you were there then why do you come across as a 12 year old in the way you type?

 

No I wasn't there. I seriously doubt you were there either to be honest. And I am white. No doubt that'll get your back up too. And from the UK, hence why I was reading an article on the Britsh Black Panthers. Did they start a crack epidmic or gun warfare there. Errrr no.

 

Go to the Civil Rights Museum. You might learn something. Or more likely you'll dismiss that too. Who are they to know anything either, eh?

 

Anyone that says something is FACT clearly does not realise how ridiculous a statement that is. Your facts are actually just opinions and as valid as anyone elses therefore. You could have benefitted from a Black Panthers Education programme.  

So  you’re white  . . .and….and…..and… so what?!

 

Does that give you a license to be an insulting spoiled brat? Son, you need to act like  a man. Show some courtesy and do not be so huffy about your “amble research” and middling debate skills. I spent some time on your island and marveled how such a small place was able to export small mindedness and prejudice around the globe. Amazing! You’re not like that, are you?

Add Reply

Post
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×