Panther Sisters (Black Panther Party, 1969)

1946-1989, Black, Date, Defining the Enemy, History/Theory, Subjectives of Refusal, Tactics of Disruption, Theory, White Supremacy, Women

This is part of an interview where a group of women in the Black Panther Party discuss how the struggle for women’s rights intersected with their experiences in the Party. Many of them recall how they were expected to fill “women’s roles,” such as secretary positions. This pattern of misogyny and lack of awareness about women’s liberation was disrupted through efforts from women in the party. They assert that freedom can’t be achieved without the full and active participation of women.

“A revolution cannot be successful simply with the efforts of the men, because a woman plays such an integral role in society even though she is relegated to smaller, seemingly insignificant positions.”

Creation of the Malcolm X Center for Black Youth

1946-1989, Consciousness Raising, Date, Defining the Enemy, Subjectives of Refusal, Subjects Redefined, Tactics of Disruption, White Supremacy

The Black Panther Party created the Malcolm X Center to counter drug abuse, dropout, and illiteracy rates among Black teenagers. In a specific example, one teenager was ready to join ROTC until the Center taught this man about “the relationships of the US Armed forces to Black people.” After visiting the center, the young man rejected the military services and chose to change his name to an African name. The Center served as a place for consciousness-raising for young Black folks to collectively realize their potential outside of white supremacist institutions.

Blank Panther Self-Defense Campaign

1946-1989, Alternative Spaces, Authority, Date, Defining the Enemy, Disruptive Spaces, Tactics of Disruption

The Black Panther Party established the CATF committed to protecting Black folks as a way to “challenge both crime and pervasive police violence.” Black folks recognized that the police force was committed to “oppression, not protection” of Black bodies and communities. Therefore, they created their own alternative space and self-institutions where Black individuals learn to protect themselves and others from police violence.

Black Panther Party’s Free Medical Clinic

1946-1989, Authority, Black, Defining the Enemy, Disruptive Spaces, Subjectives of Refusal, Tactics of Disruption, White Supremacy

The Black Panther Party created the Mark Clark Free Medical Clinic to assist Black families with gaining access to proper medical facilities. The newspaper article argues Philadelphia’s state-provided medical care is haphazard at best, often resulting in the death and slaughter of Black folks. Those who work at the Clinic are volunteers dedicated to serving the people. The Free Medical Clinic is an example of space redefined- medical care created for Black folks by Black folks, intending to redefine the healthcare system on the terms of the Black Panther Party.

“The federal and local governments are long overdue in recognizing the needs of the people and moving to eliminate the problems. People in ameriKKKa have been sick and broken continuously”

Mark Clark

Building Resistance & Self-Reliance in Detroit

1946-1989, Alternative Spaces, Black, Disruptive Spaces, Subjectives of Refusal, Tactics of Disruption

The Black Panther Party organized a self-run, community-based institution to mitigate the devastating impacts of Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty,” where healthcare services previously provided to Black families became non-existent. The Malcom-X Center for Black Survival created Black-controlled institutions to improve living conditions and create new opportunities for Black folks to be reliant on their own communities rather than falling victim to the negligence of the white government.

Women, Power, and Revolution (1998)

1990-2010, Black, Date, Subjectives of Refusal, Women

This document by Kathleen Neal Cleaver explores the role of women and gender in the Black Panther Party and Black Power Movement.

“At times, during the question-and-answer session following a speech I’d given, someone would ask, “What is the woman’s role in the Black Panther Party?” I never liked that question. I’d give a short answer: “It’s the same as men.” We are revolutionaries, I’d explain… The assumption held that being part of a revolutionary movement was in conflict with what the questioner had been socialized to believe was appropriate conduct for a woman.”

In Defense of Self Defense (1967)

1946-1989, Authority, Black, Date, Defining the Enemy, Disruptive Spaces, Subjectives of Refusal, Urban Spaces, White Supremacy

The Black Panther Party was founded in Oakland, California, in 1966, and originally was called The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. It was a militant, leftist group in support of Black Liberation. Huey P. Newtown, one of the founders of the Black Panther Party, published “In Defense of Self-Defense” to justify the party’s main goal, which was “copwatching”, in which members would open carry weapons and patrol neighborhoods and police brutality.