Up Against the Wall: Violence in the Making and Unmaking of the Black Panther Party

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The story of the Black Panther Party's Pyrrhic victoryCurtis J. Austin's Up Against the Wall chronicles how violence brought about the founding of the Black Panther Party in 1966 by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, dominated its policies, and brought about the party's destruction as one member after another Eldridge Cleaver, Fred Hampton, Alex Rackley left the party, was killed, or was imprisoned. Austin shows how the party's early emphasis in the 1960s on self-defense, though sorely needed in black communities at...
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2006 Hard cover New in fine dust jacket. Hardcover, appears unread! No marks, clean and bright pages. Tight binding, hardly any shopwear marring on the dust jacket. Sewn ... binding. Cloth over boards. With dust jacket. 456 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade. Read more Show Less

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Overview

The story of the Black Panther Party's Pyrrhic victoryCurtis J. Austin's Up Against the Wall chronicles how violence brought about the founding of the Black Panther Party in 1966 by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, dominated its policies, and brought about the party's destruction as one member after another Eldridge Cleaver, Fred Hampton, Alex Rackley left the party, was killed, or was imprisoned. Austin shows how the party's early emphasis in the 1960s on self-defense, though sorely needed in black communities at the time, left it open to mischaracterization, infiltration, and devastation by local, state, and federal police forces and government agencies. Austin carefully highlights the internal tension between advocates of a more radical position than the Panthers took, who insisted on military confrontation with the state and those, such as Newton and David Hilliard, who believed in making community organizing and alliance building their first priorities.Austin interviewed a number of party members who had heretofore remained silent. With the help of these stories, Austin is able to put the violent history of the party in perspective and show that the "survival" programs such as the Free Breakfast for Children program and Free Health Clinics helped the black communities they served to recognize their own bases of power and ability to save themselves.CURTIS J. AUSTIN is an assistant professor of history and codirector of the Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage at the University of Southern Mississippi. ELBERT "BIG MAN" HOWARD was an original founding member of the Black Panther Party and the editor of the Black Panther Party newspaper.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Choice Outstanding Academic Book “[Austin’s] energetically researched, deeply passionate book will be indispensable for students and scholars of the era.” “We desperately need good historical scholarship about the Black Panther Party, and this strong history is a good place to start. Austin’s focus on violence is a shrewd decision.” —Tim Tyson, author of Blood Done Sign My Name and Radio Free Dixie “This book powerfully demonstrates the centrality of violence in the historical trajectory and our historical memory of the Party . . . a serious, sober, and probing contribution to the ongoing project of historicizing and understanding the Party and its importance.” —Waldo Martin, author of Civil Rights in the United States: An Encyclopedia and The Mind of Frederick Douglas
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557288271
  • Publisher: University of Arkansas Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/2006
  • Pages: 488
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Elbert “Big Man” Howard was a founding member of the Black Panther Party and the editor of the party's newspaper.

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Table of Contents

Foreword   Elbert "Big Man" Howard     ix
Introduction     xi
Chronology of the Black Panther Party     xxv
Civil Wrongs and the Rise of Black Power     1
The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense     49
Speaking of Violence     89
Publicizing the Party     113
Growth and Transformation     159
Unjustifiable Homicides     189
Southern Discomfort     249
To the East ... and Back     273
The Rift     297
Conclusion     335
Acknowledgments     349
Ten Point Program: What We Want, What We Believe     353
Rules of the Black Panther Party     356
Partial Listing of BPP Chapters and Affiliates     359
Notes     361
Bibliographical Essay     397
Bibliography     431
Index     439
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