The Black Panther Party was founded in California in 1966 by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. The group was created to combat white oppression that was taking place in black communities and other minorities as well. After witnessing the uncontrollable amounts of police brutality carried out all over the nation, the two leaders felt it was time for confront the corrupt system of power. For minorities, they were acting as the police of police in terms of making sure things were kept in order in the communities. The Black Panthers viewed as a serious threat, especially since they believed in violent protests. The Black Panthers believed that the non-violent campaign of Martin Luther King Jr. had failed and any promised changes to their lifestyle through ‘traditional’ civil rights movements would take too long to be implemented. Though a predominantly black group, the Panthers opened up to all racial minorities and had white supporters as well.
They established a 10 point plan in which they would seek to accomplish their goals in bringing equality to all groups of people. Point one was freedom; the power to determine the destiny of the Black and oppressed communities. Point two was full employment; every person should be employed or have guaranteed income. Point three was ending robbery in black communities; the overdue debt of forty acres and two mules as promised to ex-slaves during the reconstruction period following the emancipation of slavery. Point four was housing fit for the shelter of human beings; the land should be made into cooperatives so that the people can build. Point five was education for the people; that teaches the true history of Blacks and their role in present day society. Point six was free health care; health facilities which will develop preventive medical programs. Point seven was to end police brutality, the murder of Black people and other people of color and any oppressed people. Point eight was to end to all wars of aggression; the various conflicts which exist stem directly from the United States ruling circle. Point nine was freedom for all political prisoners; trials by juries that represent our peers. Point ten was to gain land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice, peace and community control of modern industry.
Ultimately, I feel that the Black Panther movement was effective in helping minorities in need during the time to an extent. They were able to accomplish quite a bit before their collapse in 1982. Their downfall began in 1977 after FBI director Edgar Hoover created COINTEL, a program used to infiltrate groups seen as threats such as the Black Panther Party. People of color were hired to infiltrate the BBP and report back to the FBI about their next moves while also stirring up trouble between Black Panther members. Before their downfall, the Panthers were successful in achieving safety for some minorities and was very effective in influencing future groups seeking justice such as Black Lives Matter.
I believe that social groups are very meaningful and important because although people will oppose a stance on a certain issue, it brings attention to a cause that many are not aware of. I think there should be more social groups that protest for equal rights but I will admit that many times they are ignored and not taken seriously. This is a sociological issue in which people cannot come to terms with the perspective of protesters because it does not effect them the same way or not at all. Until justice truly prevails, I would encourage social programs and protesters continue to make noise until they are taken seriously and see legitimate change.