Power to the People!
Even though the Black Panther Party was founded over 50 years ago, its legacy still lives on today. Their contributions to society have been told in the form of stories from advocates and activists in the black community, as well as entertainers.
Tupac was known for always recognizing the work of the BPP, mainly because he had a direct connection to it. His mother, Afeni Shakur, and his father, Billy Garland, were active members of the party. In fact, he was born a month after his mother was acquitted of all 150 charges of “Conspiracy against the United States government and New York landmarks,” according to the rapper’s wikipedia page.
“The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution” is a documentary originally aired on PBS, shines light on the struggles and contributions of the party. The special also shut down the perception of the movement given by police and the government, showcasing the deep truth behind it.
The BPP was bBased on a specific principle
Established by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, the movement was carried out on one principle that guided their moves: “Undying love for the people.” After seeing their people, black people, suffer at the hands of white police officers and those who didn’t want to see the black man rise, the organization was created to white oppression.
They monitored the community
Police violence was heavily performed in L.A. during the late 60s. The BPP made sure to show up armed when police were arresting black women and men to make sure that things didn’t go left. People were allowed to openly carry guns in California at the time. In an old interview, Newton explained that they monitored these arrests “to make sure there was no brutality.”
Their membership grew
In 1967, the BPP, armed with guns, stormed the state capitol in Sacramento. When black people across the nation saw the efforts of the BPP and what they stood for, men and women wanted to join. They welcomed those who faced everyday issues of being black, like police brutality. They also combatted housing, health, and welfare issues.