The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was founded in Oakland, California, in 1966 by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. It was perhaps the most visible of the Black Power groups in the late 60s and early 70s, not least because of its confrontational politics, its rejection of nonviolence, and its headline-catching, gun-toting militancy. Important on the national scene and highly visible on college campuses, the Panthers also worked at building grassroots support for local black political and economic power. Although there have been many books about the Black Panthers, none has looked at the organization and its work at the local level. This book examines the work and actions of seven local initiatives in Baltimore, Winston-Salem, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. These local organizations are revealed as committed to programs of community activism that focused on problems of social, political, and economic justice.
Judson L. Jeffries is Professor of African American and African Studies at The Ohio State University and Director of the African American and African Studies Community Extension Center. He is editor of Black Power in the Belly of the Beast. He lives in Columbus, Ohio.