Photo credits: David Fenton/Getty Images
On Oct. 15, 1966, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was co-founded by civil rights activists Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale in Oakland, California.
Later known as the Black Panther Party, the paramilitary-style political organization aimed to create social programs for African-Americans; an American ethnic group that has been oppressed by racial discrimination for hundreds of years.
Its empowering rhetoric of Black self-determination, anti-capitalism, and the securing of equal rights and protections “by any means necessary” was deemed controversial for promoting separatism among the races.
Deadly clashes between police and armed party members would make the black nationalist group a subject of intense surveillance by the FBI in the 1960s. In 1969, at its height of influence, party membership was estimated at 10,000 internationally, although support steadily declined into the 1970s and early 1980s.
In 1995, a cinematic adaptation was released in theaters, which surrounded the story of the Black Panther Panther Party. The film was titled “Panther” and was directed by Mario Van Peebles.
Reference: Middleton, B. (2014 October 15) This Day in Black History: Oct. 15, 1966. Retrieved from https://www.bet.com/news/national/2012/10/15/this-day-in-black-history-oct-15-1966.html.
*BlackThen.com writer and historian Victor Trammell edited and contributed to this report.