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. Member Fred Hampton’s “Power Anywhere Where There’s People” speech was delivered in 1969, and was given when BPP founder Huey P. Newton was in jail and member Eldridge Cleaver had to go underground because of the FBI’s continuing mission against Black Liberation groups, COINTELPRO. The speech was intended to be motivational and to aid in continuing to garner support.
“You know a lot of us go around and joke ourselves and believe that the masses have PhD’s, but that’s not true. And even if they did, it wouldn’t make any difference. Because with some things, you have to learn by seeing it or either participating in it. And you know yourselves that there are people walking around your community today that have all types of degrees that should be at this meeting but are not here. Right? Because you can have as many degrees as a thermometer. If you don’t have any practice, they you can’t walk across the street and chew gum at the same time.”