Black Panther Movement Response

Black Panther Movement Response - The Party began to...

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After reading about the Black Panther Movement the thing that surprised me the most was how much the movement evolved from its beginnings in 1966 as an organization to protect blacks in Oakland from abuse at the hands of police to a nationwide socialist movement advocating for the poor working class regardless of race. As the movement grew more prominent as a result of their political actions in California such as an armed march on the state capitol it expanded to include 4000 members nationwide. As a result of the movement’s militant policies, it became a prime target for covert, anti-subversive actions by local and state police agencies, and the FBI. Many of these actions were illegal, such as planting evidence, warrantless searches, and unprovoked police shootings. J Edgar Hoover even went so far as to call the movement “the greatest threat to the internal security of the country.”
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Unformatted text preview: The Party began to decline in the late 60s as a result of internal divisions over policy, and its leaders’ legal battles. When reading the Black Panther’s “Ten Point Plan” I was struck by how radical some of their proposals were. Although it is completely reasonable to demand an end to police brutality, and a good education, some of the Panthers’ other demands seem totally excessive. The best example of this is the demand for the immediate release of all prisoners held in jails. There is no denying that the legal system was very flawed in those days, however most people being held in jails had committed a crime, and a blanket amnesty would cause chaos. I can understand demanding an honest review of any conviction that had the appearance of racial impropriety, but releasing all prisoners is totally impractical....
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This note was uploaded on 04/13/2010 for the course HIST 095 taught by Professor J.moore during the Summer '09 term at Vermont.

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