Black Panther Book

The Black Panther Party

In one volume, the history of the party from 1966-1982 and beyond is presented through original writings from rank & file members and those in leadership roles and scholarly papers that cover a variety of issues, including inner-party gender relations, how the party fit into the Third World revolutionary movement and the grass-roots movement in each chapter to assist residents of all ages with nutrition and health-care.

Perhaps most important is the extensive footnotes after each piece, which assists the reader in pursuing further material and dismisses any criticism that the author has some ulterior agenda by allowing opinion to supercede a conclusion based on research.
Liberation, Imagination, and the Black Panther Party: A New Look at the Panthers and Their Legacy

You can really gain a lot of factual/historical background and intellectual insight into the Black Panthers from this collection of essays. Really a great resource for anyone who cares about the movement, is interested in the reality of what we broadly call the "civil rights movement" and the era in which the Panthers evolved, anyone interested in the complex struggles of a radical group, anyone interested in government surveillance and covert attacks, etc. Well, lots of stuff to get you thinking.

Most recommended for the reader with some background in the Panthers and the historical context in general, but approachable without a lot of specialized knowledge.
We Want Freedom: A Life in the Black Panther Party

In this polemic-cum-history, Abu-Jamal, "the world’s most famous political prisoner," offers a celebratory look at the origins and accomplishments of the Black Panther Party, of which he was a member in the 1970s. The author, now on Pennsylvania’s Death Row for the murder of a policeman, mounts a wholly unreconstructed defense of the Oakland-based group as "a bona fide revolutionary organization of global import." He seeks to place the Panthers within the noble tradition of African-American armed resistance, invoking slave rebellions and the names of Nat Turner, John Brown and Frederick Douglass. The BPP was not criminal or sexist, he declares, but a positive force for change that fell victim to the "viciousness" and "lawlessness" of the FBI. In contrast to this often hectoring tone, a charming note of humor creeps in with Abu-Jamal’s interspersed recollections of life as a 16-year-old revolutionary.
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