Oxford AASC: Photo Essay

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PHOTO ESSAY

Black Nationalism and Independence Movements

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Black Panthers, 1969

Courtesy of Seattle Post-Intelligencer Collection, MOHAI

Drawing on the teachings of black nationalists before them, Huey Newton and Bobby Seale formed the Black Panther Party in Oakland, California, in 1966 in response to heightened police brutality. Emerging in a moment of sharpening racial frustration, the Black Panthers brought a new degree of militancy to the ideas of black pride, power, and nationalism, and the group soon became a strong cultural presence in the United States. A socialist revolutionary group, the Panthers advocated for basic needs for black people such as adequate food, shelter, and employment opportunities. They also advocated armed self-defense against white oppressive powers, which earned them a reputation as a dangerous and revolutionary group. This image shows Black Panthers on the stairs of the Seattle federal courthouse in 1969 demanding the release of the Party co-founder Huey P. Newton who had been arrested and charged with the murder of a white police officer.

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