Framing the Black Panthers
Program #RHOJ001. Recorded in Austin, TX on February 24, 2009.
The Black Panthers, founded by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale in 1966, made an extraordinary impact on politics and culture. They captured the imagination of a generation and achieved iconic status with their berets, clenched fists, leather jackets, guns and their trademark slogan, All Power to the People. Despite radical chic and achieving near celebrity status, their militancy threatened the establishment. What never got much attention was the organization’s community outreach such as free breakfast for children and education programs. The Panther’s raised awareness of institutional racism and the routine violence against blacks by police departments. The group did much to instill a sense of pride and resistance among many African Americans. Key to their strategy was using the media to get their ideas out through photo-ops, press conferences, marches and demonstrations. The media in turn framed the Panthers.
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