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Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party

Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party

Written by Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Martin, Jr.

Narrated by Ron Butler


Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party

Written by Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Martin, Jr.

Narrated by Ron Butler

ratings:
5/5 (32 ratings)
Length:
18 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Apr 30, 2016
ISBN:
9781515975762
Format:
Audiobook

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Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

In Oakland, California, in 1966, community college students Bobby Seale and Huey Newton armed themselves, began patrolling the police, and promised to prevent police brutality. Unlike the Civil Rights Movement that called for full citizenship rights for blacks within the U.S., the Black Panther Party rejected the legitimacy of the U.S. government and positioned itself as part of a global struggle against American imperialism. In the face of intense repression, the Party flourished, becoming the center of a revolutionary movement with powerful allies around the world.

Black against Empire is the first comprehensive overview and analysis of the history and politics of the Black Panther Party. The authors analyze key political questions, such as why so many young black people across the country risked their lives for the revolution, why the Party grew most rapidly during the height of repression, and why allies abandoned the Party at its peak of influence. Bold, engrossing, and richly detailed, this book cuts through the mythology and obfuscation, revealing the political dynamics that drove the explosive growth of this revolutionary movement, and its disastrous unraveling.
Publisher:
Released:
Apr 30, 2016
ISBN:
9781515975762
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook


About the author

Joshua Bloom is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the coeditor of Working for Justice: The L.A. Model of Organizing and Advocacy. His articles have been published in American Sociological Review and other venues. Waldo E. Martin, Jr., is Alexander F. and May T. Morrison Professor of History and Citizenship at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of No Coward Soldiers: Black Cultural Politics in Postwar America, Brown v. Board of Education: A Brief History with Documents, and The Mind of Frederick Douglass.

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4.9
32 ratings / 6 Reviews
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  • (5/5)
    Setting a new benchmark for Black Power/Radical Movement scholarship, this is THE book for anyone hoping to learn more about the Black Panther Party's history, construction, and political impact. It is written with a relatively fair tone that lacks the standard pro-establishment/pro-police bias that many past scholarship has had. If you think you knew everything about the movement, the Party, and its key actors--you were likely wrong. This book will help any student or scholar think/write more informatively on such movements. It is dense and scholarly with copious, but helpful, end notes. A very valuable addition to any thinker's library.
  • (5/5)
    "Black Against Empire" is an incredibly well researched and detailed history of the the rise and fall of the Black Panther Party (BPP) and the Black Power movement in the US.

    As the author's note, much of what has been written on black nationalism and liberation covers the struggle in the South, struggles which often, but not always,(see SNCC as a counter-example) advocated peaceful resistance and not armed insurrection.

    The fact that the cities all over the Northern US exploded instead of becoming pacified in the wake of the oft touted success of the civil rights movement provides the context for looking in depth at this organization's history during this time period.

    This book is enlightening even to someone who might consider themselves knowledgeable about the subject matter. As the later decline of the BPP helped to create a number of persistent negative views of the organization, less known facts surrounding their internationalism and broader appeal to nonwhite and white activists alike will certainly shed new light on what types of people would have considered themselves Panther supporters when they were at their height.

    In fact, the incredibly rapid growth, popularity and success of the organization is truly astonishing, despite their equally rapid decline. More than simply being "in the right place at the right time", the BPP captured the imagination of not only young black people, but those who considered themselves anti-imperialists all around the world.

    This is a very important book for any student of black politics or US social movements. The only surprise is that such and excellent and long overdue history of an organization that changed US politics forever was not written sooner.
  • (5/5)
    Simply incredible. An absolute necessity for a thorough understanding of the tactical strategies necessary for an insurgent leftist movement to survive in the modern era. Through a critical analysis of the methods and politics of the BPP, the authors discern what strategies are viable both through their successes and failures within the party. A must read
  • (5/5)
    The narrator gives a great picture of the different insights .. very informative book
  • (5/5)

    2 people found this helpful

    The history of the rise and, more briefly, fall of the Black Panther Party. The book's thesis is that the party's method of armed self-defense and radical language placed it at the center of the Black Power movement, which the authors claim is largely independent of the civil rights movement.

    I had no idea that the BPP had such influence outside of the Bay Area nor that the coalition of party members and allies was so fragile. The revolutionary rhetoric was both a blessing and a curse: a powerful recruiting tool during the height of the Vietnam war, it became liability when the political establishment made concessions on some of the party's core demands.

    One of the more relevant connections to our own time was the Party's use of weapons as a means of empowerment. Legally owned rifles and guns were used to "police the police" and gave rise to gun control laws that were quickly passed by Reagan Republicans to disarm the Panthers. That gun control is now a progressive demand is an example of how slippery the distinctions between Right and Left can be.

    2 people found this helpful

  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Power to the people! We already have the rage and we are fearless, and when that is coupled with discipline and knowledge of the law, we change the world! There was much propaganda against the Panthers, and without a doubt they contributed to their own demise with leadership struggles, but two mainstays they will forever be known for: standing up for our people, and standing against the permanent enemy to us as Black folk in America: the police. Review all of the unjust killings of Black men (and women) by police to this very day, and it doesn't take much to realize that we need to bring power back to our people. This book is an excellent rendition of highlighting the principles of the Black Panther Party that we need to revive.

    1 person found this helpful