Front cover image for Up against the wall : violence in the making and unmaking of the Black Panther Party

Up against the wall : violence in the making and unmaking of the Black Panther Party

This work 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, including Eldridge Cleaver, Fred Hampton, Alex Rackley, left the party, was killed, or was imprisoned. The author 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. The author 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. A number of party members who had heretofore remained silent. were interviewed. With the help of these stories, the auhtor 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
Print Book, English, [2008], ©2006
University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville, [2008], ©2006
xxix, 456 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
9781557288752, 1557288755
Chronology of the Black Panther Party
Civil wrongs and the rise of Black power
The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense
Speaking of violence
Publicizing the party
Growth and transformation
Unjustifiable homicides
Southern discomfort
To the East
and back
The rift
Ten Point Program: What We Want, What We Believe
Rules of the Black Panther Party
Partial Listing of BPP Chapters and Affiliates