Power to the People: The Rise and Fall of the Black Panther Party

Overview

In 1967, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense had established themselves as one of the foremost civil rights groups in the nation. Here, in this comprehensive, straightforward book, award-winning author Jim Haskins outlines the causes and conditions that set the stage for the Party's founding and their part in the multifaceted fabric of American politics and history. Photos. Young Adult.

Chronicles the history of the Black Panther Party, a radical political ...

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Overview

In 1967, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense had established themselves as one of the foremost civil rights groups in the nation. Here, in this comprehensive, straightforward book, award-winning author Jim Haskins outlines the causes and conditions that set the stage for the Party's founding and their part in the multifaceted fabric of American politics and history. Photos. Young Adult.

Chronicles the history of the Black Panther Party, a radical political organization founded in 1966 by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, which promoted armed revolution against racist law enforcement authorities.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Ann Sparanese
Founded by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale in 1966 as the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, the Black Panthers made an unforgettable impact on the U. S. political scene and black politics nationwide. Today, the party has reached mythical status. From its initial role as an armed self-defense unit in Oakland's black community and its innovative urban Survival Programs (such as the Free Breakfast Program for Children, free sickle-cell anemia testing, and free health clinics), to its key role in electing Oakland's first African-American mayor in 1977, the Panthers were center stage during the turbulent movements for social change during the sixties and seventies. Haskins has captured the drama and impact of this revolutionary black organization in a cogent, objective, and appealing narrative. His tone is respectful and balanced. Much material is drawn from the recent memoirs of Panther leaders, as Haskins explores their personalities, ideals, political goals, and weaknesses that contributed to their undoing. He succinctly describes the Panthers's differences with other black organizations of the time; it might surprise many to know that the Panthers were severely criticized by other black nationalist groups for their strategy of forming alliances with progressive whites. Although the role of the FBI's infamous COINTELPRO (Counterintelligence Program) is somewhat underplayed, Haskins does describe how the Panthers became a primary target for government crackdowns. By 1970 many of the leading male members would be dead, imprisoned, or in exile, a situation that paved the way for the women leaders who would change the character of the party. The Panthers wrote a resonant page in contemporary American history and politics. This book will spur interested readers to seek out Panther memoirs and other sources and should find a home in the YA collections of school and public libraries. Index. Photos. Biblio. Source Notes. Chronology. VOYA Codes: 3Q 3P M J (Readable without serious defects, Will appeal with pushing, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8 and Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9).
Children's Literature - Gisela Jernigan
A comprehensive history of the rise, development and decline of the politically and socially influential Black Panther Party is presented in this objective non-fiction book. It does not gloss over the more violent, problematic aspects of the era and organization. The eleven chapters include information on the founder, Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, the role of women like Elaine Brown and Ericka Huggins, and party splits. Black and white photos, an index, chronology, bibliography and notes are included.
School Library Journal
Gr 10 UpA thorough and objective history of the Black Panther Party, a group that embodied so many people's hopes at the end of the 1960s, but fell apart under pressure from without and from within. After the opening chapter, covering the headline-grabbing demonstration at the California State Capitol, Haskins shows how the party originated in reaction to violent suppression of civil rights demonstrations by police. In a lively style, the author describes the founders writing their statement of principles and organizing their supporters, then the various shifts of program and clashes among individuals and groups. The FBI's program of disinformation and destruction is covered, as are the police raids and murders and the Panthers' own violent acts. Most enlightening is the account of the power struggles in Los Angeles between the local Panthers and a group called US, led by Ron Karenga. Also notable is the description of how female leaders almost saved the party but saw their social programs sabotaged by the men returning from exile abroad. This title will fit well into high school curriculum dealing with recent history. It will be of particular interest to students researching the social movements of the 1960s, and those whose parents were involved in them. Black-and-white photos are primarily portraits of Panther activists. A unique source of information on an important period of our history.Jonathan Betz-Zall, Sno-Isle Regional Library System, Edmonds, WA
Kirkus Reviews
Comparing the brief career of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense to a "burst of radiation, searing American race relations," Haskins (see review above) shows how that tough stance—which struck a chord in African-Americans radicalized by the violent white response to the Civil Rights Movement—later collapsed under the weight of drugs, ego, and internecine conflicts. While acknowledging that, in its bid for legitimacy, the party made solid gains in local elections and founded several short-lived but visionary social programs, the author is more detailed as he recounts its higher profile struggles with other civil rights organizations and the police. He quotes the original ten-point platform in full but otherwise gives readers only hints of the nature of Black Panther rhetoric, the obligations membership entailed, and the size and growth of the organization. The result is less a study of the Black Panthers' philosophy, methods, and enduring influence than a cautionary tale about the hazards and misuse of sudden power.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689800856
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 1/1/1997
  • Pages: 144
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Lexile: 1340L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 9.33 (h) x 0.69 (d)

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