Black Panthers
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The Black Panther Party was founded in 1966 by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Deale. The Black Panthers held firm to Leninism and refered to themselves as the 'vanguard.' Their initial purpose was to control the inner city ghettos. The first establishment was organized in Oakland California, where incidents of police brutality against blacks reached peak levels. Black Panthers sought to end police brutality by continuously patroling neighborhoods with unconcealed, loaded, automatic weapons, which was legal at the time. The Panthers would watch policemen from afar, and when an incident took place, they would rush to the scene and confront the police. The patroling of the Black Panthers resulted in many standoffs with the police, sometimes resulting in gunfire and death.

The murder of Martin Luther King Jr. marks one of the largest riots America has seen. "The assanation of Martin Luther King Jr. was an act of war," riots swept 168 ghettos after his death. "Sheer rage set off  the worst outburst of arson and looting in the nation's history, resulting in 46 deaths and 21,000 injuries. 24,000 federal troops and 35,000 National Guardsmen were deployed. 711 fires were recorded (Power on the Left, Lawrence Lader; W.W. Norton and Company, New York 1979: p. 244-245). The Black Panthers played the role of breaking up these riots, as they did not want to see any more bllodshed.

Primarily, the Black Panthers sought control of the ghettos. By the late sixties, they were seeking to improve black communities by providing breakfast houses and schooling for childerdn. As for the Civil rights movement, they concerned themselves with whoever was supressing them. In most cases it was the police, and the results of their confrontations were almost always violent.

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Last Update: 11 May 2000
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