- Politics and Social Issues
The Black Panther party and Black Power in America
The Black Panther party reconsidered
Black power means that people of the black race are given the freedom to decide for themselves on what they want. In other words they should be considered as equals in any government set up and not as lesser human beings. In black power, the blacks view themselves able and capable of doing anything a white man could do. In Jones’ book on reconsidering panther history chapter one, the slogan “black power” meant that the blacks wanted to exonerate themselves from the white race. According to them, if blacks achieved their power in America, then they could be able to set up their own living quarters, set their own schools, markets and even the government. That is the reason as to why their symbols involved only black elements. It also seems from this book that Black Panther members consisted who had a completely negative attitude towards people of the white race.
The dangers of panther Political organising included frequent arrests and gun conflicts by the security officers. Some of these arrests and gun shots had actually led to Black Panther member deaths. Additionally, political organisations and rallies organised by its leaders led to many of them being arrested and thrown into jails. This situation became so severe to an extent of many leaders resigning and thus the morale of many Black Panther members diminished. The party also became subject to intelligence and counter intelligence operations of security agencies such as the FBI.
The Panther political party also engaged students to join their movement. It should be noted that one of the key strategies of the panther party was to empower its members through education. The party viewed education as an important component to enlighten its members. Top Black Panther leaders were also student’s leaders at various campuses in America. For instance, Newton who was the chairman of Black Panther movement was also a student leader at Merrit College. Newton and his comrade Bobby were instrumental in recruiting college’s students to join Black Panther movement. The Black association from the student community was named SNCCAs that is The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, or SNCC. Although this movement was associated with the Black Panther party, its organisers deployed a different strategy for organising protests through non violent means. In fact, the reason for choosing such a name was that the student’s body had realised that for them to avoid problems with the law and still carry out their mission, they had to resort to nonviolent means.
Going to the recent trends, the future of black power looks promising. We have seen blacks dominating important areas of national and international economy and even leadership. America shows a good example where her president has a black background. There is no such thing as segregation and all people are given equal opportunities in this side of the world. This fact of blacks achieving such freedom illuminates that blacks have achieved “power” which they desired so much. They have no longer restrictions on which school or hospital to attend, what and where to buy things, which transport system to use etc. Blacks can now be accepted in any university, hospital, estate etc. From this perspective, it be rightly acclaimed that reality has dawned on the world in the world in tolerating not only blacks but people of all races as equal and capable beings.
The election of an African at the helm of the world superpower has sparked new dimension of viewing blacks in life perspective. It is high time that people with different view concerning blacks reconsider their stand and opinions with regard to this. Going back to Baldwin’s assertion that black power struggles in America was “fire” it may be prudent to reflect on the history of blacks and what black power means in the present time.