Black Panther History

Initially called the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense to seperate its party members from the non-violence of the Civil Rights movement, the Black Panther Party (BPP) was founded in 1966 by Bobby Seale and Huey Newton in Oakland, California to oppose police brutality in black communities. In contrast to other, non-violent 'Black Power' organisations, Black Panther members were armed. Under Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, the Black Panthers grew from there, taking on a uniform of blue shirts, leather jackets and black berets, and adopting the central ideology that formed the basis of the Black Panther Party (BPP): their Ten Point Program that was put together as a political and social ground for the protection of black people in America against brutality. At the same time, the Black Panther Party set up community support schemes, that gave access to free health clinics, education, and free breakfast for children to working-class black men and women. The Black Panther History collections enable researchers to explore Black Panther Party history from multiple angles through a variety of Black Panther primary sources.

Explore the Black Panther History collections to examine the other side of radical politics, as the Black Panther Party had significant support from African Americans on the broad political left. Through pamphlets, posters, photos and articles this collection allows researchers to explore key events in Black Panther Party history through multiple Black Panther primary sources - from press coverage of the imprisonment of Bobby Seale and Huey Newton, and the subsequent Free Huey campaign,to the murder of Bobby Hutton and the campaign to free Eldridge Cleaver from jail.

  • The American Radicalism Collection

    Since 1970, the American Radicalism Collection at Michigan State University has collected ephemera on radical groups across a range of extremist movements. This includes extremism focusing on religion, race, gender, hate crimes, the environment, equal rights, and domestic terrorism in the United States of America. The collection covers four general categories, each with a different story: leftist politics and anti-war movements; religion and the radical Right; race, gender, and equal rights; and social, economic, and environmental movements in the United States. The American Radicalism Collection also includes materials and newspaper articles on such topics as white supremacy, survivalism, Holocaust denial, extremism, creationism, right-wing politics, white Christian identity, terrorists, violence, attacks, hate crimes, national reports, extremist groups, and anti-Catholicism from groups like the John Birch Society and the Black Panther Party (BPP). The materials represent a wide range of viewpoints—from the far-right to the far-left—on racism, and political, social, cultural, sexual, and economic issues in the country.

    The aggregation process did not end with reports from the late 1960s and 1970s. The collection also includes similar items from the 1980s, the 1990s, and the beginning of the twenty-first century. In its totality, the American Radicalism Collection provides a non-idealized and minimally brokered story of social change concerns in the nation from 1970 to the present.

    This expansive collection offers researchers and students the opportunity to study and compare multiple fringe movements in America as well as examine what impact they have had on society and communities in the present day.

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  • Hall-Hoag Collection of Dissenting and Extremist Printed Propaganda

    The Hall-Hoag Collection of Dissenting and Extremist Printed Propaganda from the John Hay Library at Brown University began as a collection of material gathered by Gordon Hall. After returning from World War II, Hall investigated hate groups in the United States for Friends of Democracy, an anti-totalitarian group. He built a substantial collection of propaganda materials, mainly focused on anti-integrationist, anti-Semitic, and racist or all-white groups, such as the American Fascist Union and Ku Klux Klan organizations.

    The Hall-Hoag Collection is a treasure trove of primary source materials for academic researchers of modern  extremism in the US. Extremist literature has always been difficult to find because its authors intend the material to be read by a limited number of true believers. Consequently, print runs tend to be small and erratic. It takes a dedicated effort to amass and organize collections of this type. Most of the extremist literature in this collection ranges from the mid-1950s to the late 1970s - the most heated days of the civil rights movement. Publications in this collection represent a cross-section of extremist opinion towards integration and civil rights activism, including Black Panther Party primary sources, but it also contains materials on American anti-Semitism, Christian Identity theology, neo-Nazi groups, and white supremacy movements.

    This collection is the product of decades of collaboration between Gordon Hall and his research assistant, Grace Hoag. Hoag first worked with Hall as a volunteer and later as a collaborator. They were able to collect difficult-to-obtain materials from major  extremist organizations and groups in the United States from the mid-1940s until the early 1990s.

    Hall and Hoag gathered a representative sample of literature and similar items from a variety of extremist groups, including Black Panther Party (BPP) primary sources.

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