THE BLACK PANTHER Party for Self-Defense, later simply the Black Panther Party (BPP), was a radical left organization founded in Oakland, California, in 1966, by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, students at Merritt Junior College. The two student activists were influenced by the Black Power movement and the views of Malcolm X of the Black Muslims.

After the assassination of Malcolm X and the Watts, California, riots of 1965, Newton, Seale, and David Hilliard met together to sketch the outlines of their organization. They took the black panther from the Lowndes County, Alabama, Freedom Organization because the animal represented power. They added selfdefense to contrast themselves with the nonviolence of the mainstream civil rights movement.

The BPP platform called for social, economic, and political equality in ...

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