Fifty years ago today, on April 25, 1967, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense published the first issue of its paper. They published to publicize the case of Denzil Dowell, a black man killed by the police in North Richmond, CA. The BPP would publish the paper for several years. At peak circulation reached into the hundreds of thousands and found its way around the world. It provided important funds for the party, an important source of information, and required collective work that made community relationships. It wasn’t a perfect paper–it had didactic content, was sometimes used for personal attacks, etc.–but no paper is. Take the time to read some issues… whether you are enthusiastic or skeptical, you may be surprised by what you find. The Black Panther stands as one of this country’s most significant communication efforts in the history of the long fight against racism and in the long quest for the liberation of black people, other oppressed people, and a just world. It lit the imagination for freedom. Happy 50th B-Day to The Black Panther!
You can download the issue here: BPINS_1967_4April
(There are a lot more resources on the history of the paper, and there are of course all of the issues of the paper, which have mostly been digitized. @ me if you have questions about where to go.)