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The Black Panther Party For Self Defense (BPP) was part of the Black Power movement of the ’60’s. Just as the Civil Rights Movement was beginning to wane, the Panthers stood as a radical and vocal response to the growing concerns of Black America.

Huey Newton and Bobby Seale founded the Party on October 15, 1966 in Oakland, Calif. Former Merritt College students Newton and Seale were involved in several Black civil rights organizations in the early ’60’s before launching the Panthers.

The ideals of the BPP were simple; a blend of socialism, Marxism and Black self-determination were its hallmarks. Their motto was “All Power To The People.” Most striking and controversial was the BPP’s monitoring of police activity coupled with armed protection of Black communities.

Newton felt the Black Power movement didn’t do enough to hold authorities accountable, especially after the police shooting death of unarmed man Matthew Johnson. Newton studied California gun laws and Robert F. William’s Negroes With Guns book to defend his call for armed patrols.

Little Known Black History Fact: The Black Panther Party For Self-Defense  was originally published on

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