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Black Lives Matter vs. The Black Panther Party for Self Defense

Updated on October 22, 2016

BLM and BPP

Black Lives Matter (BLM), the movement was founded by Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, Patrisse Cullors, and more. Also playing a key role in the organization Shaun King, DeRay McKesson, and Johnetta Elize. It all started with a hashtag on social media. The horrific murder of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of his killer George Zimmerman, sparked the initial phrase being used. In August of 2014 BLM organized the first national protest in Ferguson, MO., after the murder of 18 year old Michael Brown. In 2015 Black Lives Matter gained international attention with the movement Black Spring. Black Lives Matter is said to have inspiration from the Civil Rights Movement, Black Feminists, LGBTQ Communities, The Black Power Movement, and Occupy Wall Street.

The Black Panther Party for Self Defense (BPP) was founded by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale in October 1966. The murder of Matthew Johnson an unarmed man in San Francisco was the motivation for this orgnaization. One of the members Stockley Carmichael coined the phrase "Black Power" in his speech on October 29, 1966. On May 2, 1967 the Black Panthers entered a California State Assembly meeting to protest a gun law that was being discussed. The Panthers had chapters all over the country and worldwide. There was also a White Panther Party who helped in the same efforts of stopping police brutality. Both BLM and the BPP protested against police brutality, but that is where the similarities end with these two organizations.

The Black Panther Party drew it's inspiration from the Civil Rights Movement and leaders like Malcolm X. The Party had a ten point program that was their mission and goals. The ten points were as follows:

  1. We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our Black Community.
  2. We want full employment for our people.
  3. We want an end to the robbery by the Capitalists of our Black Community.
  4. We want decent housing, fit for shelter of human beings.
  5. We want education for our people that exposes the true nature of this decadent American society. We want education that teaches us our true history and our role in the present day society.
  6. We want all Black men to be exempt from military service.
  7. We want an immediate end to POLICE BRUTALITY and MURDER of Black people.
  8. We want freedom for all Black men held in federal, state, county and city prisons and jails.
  9. We want all Black people when brought to trial to be tried in court by a jury of their peer group or people from their Black Communities, as defined by the Constitution of the United States.
  10. We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice and peace.


The Black Lives Matter has no real organized goals or mission. The inspiration for the organization comes from so many different groups that have conflicting views. For example BLM says that they are inspired by both the Black Power Movement and the Black Feminist Movement. History has shown that the Black Power Movement was destroyed by factors like the Black Feminist Movement. So it is really ridiculous to say that you admire a movement that helped destroy another movement that you also admire. Either they are being hypocritical or are just misinformed about the history of both movements. The Black Panthers original leaders was well versed on state laws with dealing with police officers. They took time to teach these laws to the members so that they too could be informed and protect their civil rights. There was reading material that had to be studied and rules and regulations that was mandatory to be followed in order to join the organization. The militancy alone was enough to separate this organization from BLM. One of the most positive aspects of the Panther Party was its community based programs. They implemented programs like The Free Breakfast for Children Program, Free Medical Clinics, Emergency Response Ambulance Program, and Drug and Alcohol Programs. There were also many more programs for literacy and free clothing among other things. Black Lives Matter is known for organizing marches when a black unarmed person is killed by police, but I have yet to hear of them feeding thousands of hungry black children like the Panthers did. In one protest in particular the leader of the protest instructed that all white people move to the back of the crowd. These were white supporters of the BLM movement. The Black Panthers were never anti white. The Black Panthers was anti police brutality. Now some would say so is BLM, but if you are making your white supporters move to the back you are showing discrimination with them. During Panther rallies, all colors gathered together to support the cause. I also want to clear up the myth that BLM or the BPP were terrorist groups. Neither organization has killed anyone or harmed anyone in any way. The protests that you see from BLM include people from all walks of life. Some are not actual members of this poorly organized movement. When you hear someone say "Black Lives Matter" doesn't mean that they are members of the organization. The hash tag is just that...a hash tag. So even though these two organizations both rallied against police brutality, they are different in every way other than that. While one organization was trying to rebuild the black community so that they could stand together to fight against oppression, the other is just a poorly organized group that causes more harm than good.

Free Food Program started by the Black Panther Party
Free Food Program started by the Black Panther Party
Black Panther Liberation School
Black Panther Liberation School
Black Lives Matter Protest
Black Lives Matter Protest

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