by Stephanie Goncalves, For Beginners
50 years ago at Merritt Junior College in Oakland, California two students named Huey Newton, and Bobby Seale expressed their detestation for the United States Government, and just like that the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was born. This compelling piece of literature captivates the struggles and discouragement that the young African American population felt with the civil rights movement, and their “out-of-touch old leaders who still counseled moderation and nonviolence after all those years of useless promises.”
Black Panthers For Beginners is interesting and exciting, and a compelling view into a major political revolution. Intriguing events such as the publishing of the BPP first mimeographed newsletter, the call to action to the American people at the Capitol Building, Huey Newton being charged with first-degree murder, creating the “Free Huey” movement, Free Breakfast for School Children Program, and many more historic events.
The Black Panthers outlined a Ten Point Program, number seven was “We want an immediate end to police brutality and murder of black people.” This point brings us to current events such as the Ferguson riots, the Baltimore Protests, the killing of Michael Brown, and the killing of Freddie Gray. The justice that the Panthers searched for is still heavily present and continues to be demanded in today’s society.
After reading this book and absorbing the history of the Panthers, readers will be able to effortlessly tie it to current events such as #BlackLivesMatter, and most recently, the Federal lawsuit against the city of Ferguson in the name of justice.