black power

Black militancy: notes from the underground

A brief history by Rashad Shabazz of the Black Liberation Army, a Marxist-Leninist urban guerrilla group with roots in the Black Panther Party.

If one were to examine, closely, the hegemonic discourses of black American history, one would be surprised to find a long history of militant armed struggle. Slave rebellions, urban "guerilla" insurgencies, rural defense leagues, are all part of a tapestry of black militant rebellion to subjugation.

The Panthers, the Black Liberation Army and the struggle to free all political prisoners and prisoners of war

A transcript of a talk given by Ashanti Alsto at the Law and Disorder conference, held in Portland, Oregon from April 14 – 16, 2010.

I want to get started off in a way that helps me get rid of the butterflies, and helps get us stirred as well. You know we always say, “Power to the People.” And usually the response back is, “All Power to the People.” If you don’t mind indulging me: “Power to the People!” (audience response) “All Power to the People!”

Black power - reading guide

Women at Free Huey Rally, Oakland, 1968.

Libcom.org's reading guide on the American black power movement of the 1960s-70s and its key groups as well as some readings on the civil rights movement.

General recommended reading

Finally got the news

The League of Revolutionary Black Workers.

Documentary about the League of Revolutionary Black Workers, a radical black workers' group based in the car factories of Detroit. Through interviews with members, supporters and opponents as well as footage of leafleting and picket lines, the film documents their attempts to build a radical black workers' organisation to take on both management and the union and fight to improve conditions for all workers, black and white.

Finally Got the News from Libcom Dot Org on Vimeo.

Anarchy Can't Fight Alone

By Kuwasi Balagoon

Explaining the demise of the Black Panther Party: The role of internal factors

An anti-authoritarian analysis of the Black Panthers' demise by Ollie A. Johnson III.

As seen in Chapter Sixteen of Charles E. Jones' book The Black Panther Party Reconsidered, pages 391 - 414.

"No one ever asks what a man's role in the revolution is": Gender and sexual politics in the Black Panther Party 1966-1971

An article by Trace Matthews on the gender politics of the Black Panthers in the context of competing ideologies, namely Black cultural nationalism and White feminism.

As seen in Chapter Thirteen of Sisters in the Struggle: African-American Women in the Civil Rights-Black Power Movement by Bettye Collier-Thomas and V.P. Franklin, pages 230-256.

Lumpenization: A critical error of The Black Panther Party

An essay by Chris Booker arguing that the Black Panther's fetishisation of the lumpen class and their failure to try to reform the more criminal/ anti-social elements, as the Nation of Islam did, contributed to the party's demise.

As seen in Chapter Fourteen of Charles E. Jones' book The Black Panther Party Reconsidered, pages 337 - 362.

Brixton Black Panthers Movement

An uncritical look at the Brixton Black Panther Movement which, though short lived, worked to combat racial oppression, police brutality, discrimination at the place of work and the mis-education of black youths and black young people.

Olive Morris was an active member of the Brixton Black Panther Movement until the group dissolved and reformed into a number of organisations working on specific aspects within the Black struggle. The Black Panther and the Black Power Movements in the UK developed from the work of the Universal Coloured Peoples Association.

Beyond nationalism, but not without it

Former Black Panther and anarchist Ashanti Alston's brief article outlining why he objects to anti-nationalism and how he sees nationalism and anti-statism as not necessarily opposing ideas. We do not agree with this article, but reproduce it for reference.

What motivates me more than anything else about anarchism and its relevance to Black revolution is that it has offered me some powerful insights into why we have not been able to recover from our defeat (the 60’s revolution) and advance forward to the kinds of untities, organizations and activities that make for invincible revolutionary movements.