The Black Panther Party

Booklet cover with roaring black panther, text 'All Power to the People. The story of the Black Panther Party'

Courtesy of Jon Daniel

Our Afro Supa Hero exhibition highlights inspirational figures from real life as well as fiction, including the Black Panther Party.

Founded 50 years ago, the Black Panther Party sought to improve the situation for Black communities in America during the 1960s, 70s and 80s. From disillusionment with the civil rights movement, the founders of the Black Panther Party sought to raise the profile of Black rights via decisive, sometimes violent, action - they saw themselves as an army of the people, giving a voice to those who didn’t have one.

The Black Panther Party was known for being a radical and aggressive movement, but they also had a very active social conscience. They provided many community initiatives such as a nationwide breakfast programme, guaranteeing Black children at least one meal a day for free. The Black Panther Party took an active interest in the provision of and access to education for Black children. In addition they set up community medical centres and welfare boards which campaigned for improved housing facilities, as well as bussing programmes for Black communities.

You can see a Black Panther Party pamphlet, membership card and a Black and Brown stamp album on display in the Afro Supa Hero exhibition at the International Slavery Museum. But hurry as the exhibition closes on Sunday 11 December!

If you are interested in reading more about the Party then visit the Maritime Archives and Library at Merseyside Maritime Museum (please check their opening hours), as they recently acquired 21 copies of the ‘Black Panther Intercommunal News Service’. The newspapers are really interesting documents, spanning the time period when the Black Panther Party was at its peak, from 1968 to 1972. 

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