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Historic Marker Commemorating the Organization of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense
In November of 1966, Huey Lewis, Bobby Seale, Elbert Howard, Reggie Forte, Sherman Forte, and Bobby Hutton came together in Oakland, California, to form the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, later known only as the Black Panther Party, changing the face of civil rights forever. Pulling from Malcolm X's philosophies, the Black Panther Party started with a strong sense of militant force, believing that self-defense, mass organization of protests, and resistance, would set African Americans equally free. In October 1967, Huey Newton was arrested for killing an Oakland police officer and his fellow Panthers initiated the "free Huey" movement. This gave them notoriety and spread the word of their organization nationwide, creating more Black Panther chapters. Eventually, the Black Panthers were most notably known for, and set their Party towards, the fight for releasing African Americans from being forced into the draft and the compensation of every African American for the unjust way they were treated throughout history.
At the height of their fame, The Black Panther Party existed of about 2,000 members, with different chapters in several different cities throughout the United States. The Black Panther Party still exists today and is often now more than ever met with apprehension because of the so-called 'street' way of thinking and behavior they are believed to represent. In 2007, eight people linked with the Black Panthers, infamously brought their name back into the media when they were arrested for the murder of a California police officer. Four of the eight were eventually acquitted, the other four were charged with various crimes linked to the murder, including manslaughter.
SourcesBlack Panther History Marker. Tactical Magic. Accessed April 23, 2017. http://www.tacticalmagic.org/CTM/project%20pages/BPP.htm.
Brown, Camille. Black Panther Traffic Light. Street Stories Oakland. Accessed April 23, 2017. http://www.streetstoriesoakland.com/items/show/57.
Abcarian, Robin. Decades before Black Lives Matter, there were the Black Panthers in Oakland. LA Times. December 02, 2016. Accessed April 23, 2017. http://www.latimes.com/local/abcarian/la-me-abcarian-black-panthers-20161202-story.html.
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