Black Panthers: Vanguards of the Revolution - Part 2
The Black Panthers had a lot in common with the liberation movements in Africa during the 1960’s, when many countries were freed from Colonial rule. The Black Panthers tried to do the same for African-Americans in the United States. VOA's Carolyn Turner has part-two of our highlights on the historical documentary “ Black Panthers; Vanguards of the Revolution.”
Stanley Nelson’s documentary tells the story of the Black Panther Party that grew out of the Civil Rights movement in America.By the late 1960’s, the Black Panthers were protecting their community from police brutality with armed citizen patrols.
Stanley Nelson, Director & Producer
“What they would do is follow the police.So the police would ride around in their cars with the Black Panthers right around behind him and if the police did a traffic stop or stop somebody on the street,Some would jump out with their guns drawn with proper legal standing of 10 or 20 feet back from the police but have their guns drawn.As they said try to make sure no brutality occurred on the part of the police.This was obviously a revolutionary act.”
The organization were increasingly perceived as a dangerous threat...
Jamal Joseph, Black Panther Party
“In other cities Panthers run from physical attack from Police Departments.New York City was going to handle it’s Panther problem differently. They created a conspiracy case that allowed them to arrest the entire leadership of the New York City Black Panther Party.”
“A New York Grand Jury has indicted 21 alleged Black Panthers on charges of plotting several bombings in the city tomorrow. “
“On April 2nd 1969in predawn raids 21, Black Panthers were charged with all kinds of terrorist activity.
“These are someof the men accused of being involved in the plot that could have wounded orkilled scores of busy New Yorkers.12 men were arrested today two more are in jail and two more are at large.And so the Panther 21 started.”
One of the founders of the Black Panthers, Huey Newton, claimed self defense for killing a policeman after a routine traffic stop.His arrest sparked outrage from sympathetic groups on the political left.
Donna Murch, Historian
“The image that was mobilized created the Free Huey Movement. It gave Huey almost mythic status in the party. He’d become an image and not a man and that gave him the ultimate power to become dangerous.”
Flores Forbes, Black Panther Party
“He came out, returning to the survival program, breakfast program, free health program, sickle cell anemia research program,I remember Huey Newton saying, the Black Panther Party was not going to last.He said the organization was going to be destroyed based on the way we were very aggressive and we kind of realized that this wasn’t going to last long.”
FILMSOT: I don’t agree with saying the Black Panther Party supports breakfast for children and that’s all we’re about.Don’t talk about those other things.The Black Panther Party is for overthrowing the United States Government.”
The history of the Party remains controversial.The internal conflicts between social programs and revolutionary programs led to infighting and divisiveness within the party.
Carolyn Turner, VOA News, Washington.