Updated: Feb 19

By 1966, the United States had experienced numerous rebellions in major urban centers with heavy Black populations - Harlem, Watts, Chicago, Detroit - which were being led by many different organizations - SCLC [Martin Luther King Jr.], the NAACP [Roy Wilkins], the Black Muslims [Elijah Muhammad & Malcolm X] amongst others. The messages across these organizations were the same: high unemployment, bad housing, police brutality, poor health care, and inferior educational opportunities within the Black community. These various groups were in agreement on the symptoms but not on how to solve the problems. Against this backdrop, Huey P. Newton & Bobby Seale formed the Black Panther Party for Self Defense in 1966.

The BPP differed from other groups with its message of "revolutionary intercommunalism" - essentially a socialist way of approaching issues within a community, where all shared in the responsibility of building the community. They also developed survival programs, where social institutions were developed within the community itself to benefit the community without seeking relief from outside organizations or agencies. The Ten-Point Program formed the foundation of ideology for the Black Panther Party; it became the list of demands of the party and the goals of the struggle to regain their Black communities.


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