Releasing this post a little early, (ignore the time reference)
On this, the last day of “Black History Month” in 2016 I want to ask you a question. How much do you know about the Black Panthers? What exactly do you know about the group of ‘black men’ who dress in all black? To be honest, my answer is very not much … until I watched a special that aired on PBS last week (you can watch the full film online here). The show was wildly popular, trending #1 on Twitter.
I don’t want to get into all the details here about what the Black Panthers are or why they are needed or why they do x, y and z – you can form your own opinion. What I do I want to do is share a very short summary of the 10-point plan put forth by the group way back in 1966. The last point of the plan, number 10, is summarized this way:
WE WANT LAND, BREAD, HOUSING, EDUCATION, CLOTHING. I know you want, a black leather jacket; don’t worry we gonna get you one. LAND, BREAD, HOUSING, EDUCATION, CLOTHING, JUSTICE? Always looking for justice. Went to death row looking for justice, and that’s just what I found, just us. LAND, BREAD, HOUSING, EDUCATION, CLOTHING, JUSTICE, AND WE WANT SOME PEACE. Yeah, I got your peace; rest in peace.
Surely you saw Beyonce’s Super Bowl performance, 111 million people did (WSJ). A football field full of women, black women, dressed in all black with their afro puffs, strutting their stuff, dancing, singing, positioning themselves to form the letter “X”. The PBS film confirms indeed that by the early 70s, the majority of the panthers were women. The people are mad, the police are mad, everybody is mad. But why? WATCH the two videos below.
BTW: You’re still safe. Reading this post does not automatically make you a “Black Panther”.