#IPHPteachBPP

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TEACHING THE HISTORY OF THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY -5 ESSENTIAL FAQ’s

By IPHP  June 1, 2017

Robyn C. Spencer, PhD; Mary Phillips, PhD; Angela D. LeBlanc-Ernest, MA; and Tracye A. Matthews, PhD

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IPHP (Intersectional Black Panther Party History Project), a collective of four historians who study the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (BPP), created the #IPHPteachBPP Resource List to bring together resources for educators interested in teaching the history of the BPP to students of all ages. As one of the leading organizations of the Black Power movement, the BPP changed the course of  history in the 1960s and 1970s. Their charismatic leaders organized Black women and men to fight racism, poverty and imperialism using the Ten Point Platform and Program. Their visual imagery, support of armed self-defense, well-known newspaper and social programs defined the era. The #IPHPteachBPP Resource List seeks to provide inquiring minds with the resources to teach and learn about the history of the BPP. Are you teaching social studies, history, women’s studies and Black Studies courses? Are you a parent who homeschools or is looking to supplement your child’s formal education? Are you someone who wants to explore the history of the BPP outside the walls of the traditional classroom? If so, we have collected assignments, suggested teaching strategies, paired primary and secondary sources and annotated recommendations from other educators in the FAQs.

The #IPHPteachBPP Resource List represents our thorough good faith effort, but does not claim to be exhaustive. We invite all readers to share the link to their social media networks, download and use. This list will be updated biannually and suggested additions are welcome via iphistoryproject@gmail.com. If anyone would like permission to reprint or republish this list in its entirety, see the copyright statement at the end of the document for details.

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Here are the five Frequently Asked Questions around which the #IPHPteachBPP Resource List is organized.

  • FAQ #1: Why is the #IPHPteachBPP Resource List necessary?  
  • FAQ #2: How can educators use primary sources to teach BPP history? 
  • FAQ #3: What in-class techniques and resources can educators use to teach about the BPP?
  • FAQ #4: What are some options for teaching about the Panthers on the college level? 
  • FAQ #5: How can students learn about the Panthers outside of the conventional classroom?

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FAQ #1: Why is the #IPHPteachBPP Resource List necessary?

Over the past decade, monographs, photo books, art exhibits and public programs about the BPP have proliferated. Recently, public awareness of BPP history has increased as a result of celebrations surrounding the BPP’s 50th anniversary, honoring its October 1966 founding in Oakland, CA, coupled with the success of  Stanley Nelson’s feature length documentary, “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution” (2015) http://theblackpanthers.com/home/. Contemporary activists have looked to the BPP’s legacy to inform their activism today.

The #IPHPteachBPP Resource List was born out of the IPHP collective’s online research to analyze how renewed interest in the BPP had translated into educational spaces. We discovered that teachers around the country included the Panthers in their lessons; however, there was little cross pollination between college level and the K-12 materials; experiential education was underutilized; and gender and sexuality were rarely mentioned. Although we found some problematic attempts to include the Panthers (such as one worksheet https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Sgvj_eUF4lefpFaTz_vwo-NXpa5_cKKy1uVWdCxwak8/edit which required students to analyze the Panthers 10 Point Platform and Program, categorize its content as either “important” or “outrageous”  and speculate how “mainstream America” would have viewed the organization), we also found many deftly crafted lesson plans, innovative course descriptions and attempts to engage digital materials in the classroom. This Resource List  showcases and annotates the teaching materials about the Panthers that we found located on widely scattered sites. We have also added teaching strategies to demonstrate how some widely available sources might serve as the seeds of nuanced teaching of the BPP.  By bringing this diverse array of teaching materials together under one umbrella to provide educators with the tools to transform how the history of the BPP is taught, the #IPHPteachBPP Resource List joins a growing number of hashtag syllabi and resource lists which further the “collective projects of intellectual community building.” See the Puerto Rican Syllabus  https://puertoricosyllabus.wordpress.com/ for a brief survey of hashtag syllabi.

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FAQ #2: How can educators use primary sources to teach BPP history ?

  • From Civil Rights to Black Power
    • “A Documents-Based Lesson on the Voting Rights Act: A Case Study of SNCC’s work in Lowndes County and the Emergence of Black Power” by Emilye Crosby. This lesson plan directly addresses shortcomings in typical textbook approaches to the teaching of this era by focusing on tactical diversity, continuity over time, and introduces the concept of “white power.” Documents chosen allow students to approach Black Power analytically, and an included list of additional resources provides a wealth of information connecting primary sources and secondary research. http://civilrightsteaching.org/resource/vra-lesson/
    • Understanding Self-Defense in the Civil Rights Movement through Visual Arts by Sonia James-Wilson by Sonia James-Wilson (2004). civilrightsteaching.org This innovative lesson plan uses visual arts to ensure that students understand the rationales for Black activists embrace of self-defense, contrasts the BPP and the Deacons for Defense, and includes a section addressing educators apprehensions about teaching about the BPP. http://www.civilrightsteaching.org/Handouts/UnderstandingSelf-Defense.pdf
    • “Rethinking the Black Power movement” by Komozi Woodard. This New York Public Library digital exhibit essay by Komozi Woodard provides an accessible narrative overview of the Black Power movement. Over three dozen primary sources are laid out in the sidebar with descriptive annotations, full citations and a bibliography. The captions and notes under the photos can be used to help students analyze the primary sources. http://exhibitions.nypl.org/africanaage/essay-black-power.html
  • Online repositories and current events 
    • “It’s About Time Black Panther Party” curated by William X Jennings. This online resource base contains a wealth of primary sources (including videos, funeral notices, oral histories, newspaper clippings, and photographs) about the BPP in the US and around the world. The website is one of the most comprehensive repositories of online material on the Panthers. It also contains information about recent Panther reunions, exhibits and public programs. http://www.itsabouttimebpp.com/
    • The Seattle Black Panther Party History and Memory Project website based at the University of Washington contains oral histories, photos, historical essays and is one of the largest online data sets on any single BPP chapter. Mapping American Social Movements Through the 20th Century. Retrieved 4-30-17 from http://depts.washington.edu/civilr/BPP.htm
    • “Teaching Guide: Exploring the Black Power Movement” by Lakisha Odlum, New York City Department of Education  This comprehensive teaching guide contains a diverse range of photos, documents related to the BPP within the larger context of the Black Power movement. Discussion questions and suggested classroom activities guide student analysis of the attached primary sources. Generalized guidelines for primary sources analysis are listed in the sidebar.  https://dp.la/primary-source-sets/guides/teaching-guide-exploring-the-black-power-movement
  • Panther women 
    • “Reflecting on Her Life in the Party: Conversations with Connie Felder,” by Judson L. Jeffries. Journal of African American Studies (2017) 21: 128 – 137.  Connie Felder recounts her upbringing and her experiences in the Baltimore Panthers where she moved from community worker into a leadership position as Communications Secretary and then Defense Captain. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12111-017-9351-y?wt_mc=alerts.TOCjournals
    • “From the Archives”of the Intersectional Black Panther Party History Project curated by IPHP showcases primary sources covering international politics, incarceration, motherhood, and ideology.  These documents can be used to situate the BPP in the context of the women’s movement and provide a needed corrective to document sources which exclude women, over 50% of the BPP’s membership at key points in their history. https://iphpcom.wordpress.com/resources/primary-sources/
  • Teaching the 10 Point Platform and Program  The brevity and availability of the Panthers’ founding document has made it a popular choice for classroom use.
    • “History of the Black Panther Party” This document contains the original 1966 version and the 1972 version of the BPP’s program. Educators could use this assignment to have students discuss continuity and changes in the Panthers philosophy and goals over time. https://web.stanford.edu/group/blackpanthers/history.shtml
    • “What We Want, What We Believe’: Teaching with the Black Panthers’ Ten Point Program” by Wayne Au is a lesson plan aimed at high school level readers which introduces students to the BPP’s program and asks them to create their own version of it based on the changes they would like to see in their own communities.https://zinnedproject.org/materials/black-panthers-ten-point-program/
  • Teaching using The Black Panther newspaper
    • “The Black Panther Newspapers and Posters” is an online exhibit which contains digitized copies of the BPP newspaper between 1969-1973. Students can be assigned to interpret the artwork and graphic drawings in the paper, to analyze the international news coverage, or to go on a scavenger hunt to recover the voices and images of Black women in the paper. Students can compare and contrast the Panther newspaper with mainstream coverage of the Panthers and unpack biased reporting. https://ceimlarchives4blackpanther.wordpress.com/page/3/
    • “‘The Only Good Pig Is a Dead Pig’: A Black Panther Paper Editor Explains a Political Cartoon” features Panther Frank Benson Jones’ testimony before Congress demonstrating the Panthers’ understanding of the imagery and slogans in their newspaper. http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/6460/
    • “Lesson Plan: Emory Douglas: What We Want, What We Believe!” by Cathleen Lewis is designed for grades 9-12. Subject areas include Graphic Design, Art, Literature, Global Studies, and History. Students can be assigned to analyze a variety of themes in Douglas’s artwork including the police mistreatment of children, discrimination in sports, wealth and power, and inequality in housing. http://www.gclass.org/lessons/plans/emory-douglas-what-we-want-what-we-believe
    • “M. Gayle (Asali) Dickson, Black Panther Party Graphic Artist” by Angela D. LeBlanc-Ernest is a short video about a Black Panther Party graphic artist who discusses her art and the process the artists used when designing the images for the backcover of The Black Panther. https://vimeo.com/214634048
  • Teaching the BPP community programs (Survival Programs) 
    • “Survival Programs of the Black Panther Party“ by The Black Panther Party. CoEvolution Quarterly (Fall 1974) BPP Community Survival Programs” The BPP’s 50+ community programs provided much needed resources and services to poor Black and oppressed communities: nutritional sustenance, health care, education, employment, childcare, transportation, legal, and intellectual. Encourage students to develop categories for the various Party programs. Potential classroom assignment: Have the students locate BPP newspapers from several years and find the page in each listing the Survival Programs to chronicle the expansion of the programs. Discuss the reason the BPP named the program’s “Survival Programs Pending Revolution.” http://www.wholeearth.com/issue/2003/article/316/survival.programs.of.the.black.panther.party
    • “BPP Community Survival Programs” listed by IPHP project. This list is sourced from the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation Inc. Collection at Stanford University and contains a list of BPP survival programs. This simple list is powerful in conveying the vast array of community programs to students.  https://iphpcom.wordpress.com/resources/bpp-community-survival-programs/
    • The Black Panther Party Service to the People Programs edited by David Hilliard, The Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation, (2008). This edited volume describes 21 of the BPP’s community programs. Suggested classroom use: Assign students to research the history behind one of the programs. Why were these programs needed in poor communities in the United States and abroad, as in the case of the Polynesian Panther Party?  How had the federal government attempted to meet this need in the past via the War on Poverty? What role did women play in the community programs and how did the work distribution in the programs challenge or reinforce gender roles? Students could share their responses orally, create a bulletin board display, poster presentation, powerpoint or digital video project depending on grade level.  http://www.unmpress.com/books.php?ID=11701176178507
    • Revolution for Breakfast Elementary age kids talk about their experiences in the Free Breakfast program in Kansas City, Missouri in this 25 minute audio documentary, published August 14, 1970. It brings the Panthers’ breakfast program to life by centering behind the scenes audio of the Free Breakfast program and including the voices of children and program organizers. This clip can be used in the classroom to give the students a first-hand perspective. Students can be assigned to write a blog based on the BPP Breakfast program as presented in the audio documentary, supplementing it with images from the BPP newspaper. https://archive.org/details/pra-BB2540
    • The Intercommunal Youth Institute and The Oakland Community School (OCS)
      • The Oakland Community School and Point 5 of the 10 Point Platform and Program of the Black Panther Party (2016). This is a clip of the OCS panel at the Black Panther Party’s 50th Anniversary Conference in 2016. The panel includes former staff, teachers and students. Viewers can use this to glean information about the teaching philosophy in the OCS as well gain insight into former students’ personal experiences. https://youtu.be/qX6hHjYsGwU
      • “Revolutionary Women, Revolutionary Education: The Black Panther Party’s Oakland Community School” by Ericka Huggins and Angela D. LeBlanc-Ernest (2009).  In this article Ericka Huggins, former director of the Oakland Community School (OCS)  joins with scholar Angela D. LeBlanc-Ernest to analyze the impact and legacy of the OCS.  https://muse.jhu.edu/chapter/286702
      • “The World is the Child’s Classroom,” An Analysis of the Black Panther Party’s Oakland Community School” by Charles E. Jones and Jonathan Gayles in Charles M. Payne and Carol Sills Strickland (Eds.) Teach Freedom: Education for Liberation in the African-American Tradition (2008). This book chapter describes the role that progressive educational ideas, such as Paulo Friere’s educational philosophy, had on the development of the Oakland Community School. https://www.tcpress.com/teach-freedom-9780807748725
      • Reflections of a Former Oakland Public School Parent, by JoNina Abron (1997). A former BPP member, OCS teacher, and parent of an OCS student discusses her personal experience transitioning her daughter from the OCS, to Oakland Public School, to a school district in Michigan. Have students research in BPP newspapers and compare the OCS experience with their personal experiences growing up in their specific educational system. Another assignment is to draft a sample curriculum and have students compare and contrast it with their experiences and those of OCS students. https://www.jstor.org/stable/41068726?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
      • From Freedom to Liberation: Politics and Pedagogy in Movement schools by Daniel Perlstein (2003). This is a lesson plan for teaching the history of the Oakland Community School that provides a critical perspective on the evolution of the Panthers approach to education in the institutions they created. The content is aimed at “adult learners,” but likely suitable for advanced high school age as well. Students could use this assignment not just for the narrative content, but to understand critical argumentation. What is this author’s argument? How does he make his case and what distinction is he making between progressive and revolutionary? What are the strengths and weaknesses of his argument? http://civilrightsteaching.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/From-Freedom-to-Liberation.pdf
      • “Minds Still Stayed on Freedom? Reflections on Politics, Consensus, and Pedagogy in the African American Freedom Struggle” by Fannie Theresa Rushing in Teach freedom: Education for liberation in the African-American tradition ed. Charles M. Payne, Charles E. Cobb, and Carol Sills Strickland (2008). Perlstein’s argument inspired SNCC veteran Fannie Rushing to reflect on her movement experiences around alternative educational institutions in Chicago. Pairing her reflections with Perlstein’s argument would demonstrate that scholars and activists frequently come to different conclusions about historical events. https://ssascholars.uchicago.edu/sites/default/files/freedom-summer-after-50-years/files/rushing_minds_on_freedom_0.pdf
      • “Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights history teaching,” edited by Deborah Menkart, Alana D. Murray and Jenice L. View (2004).  Students could  be asked to compare BPP alternative education strategies with Native Americans’ educational sovereignty struggles or the realities of educational segregation in the rural south after Brown v. Board of Education. Downloads of teaching materials to contextualize the BPP available in “Section 3-Education:” http://civilrightsteaching.org/about/handouts-sample-lessons/

Teaching COINTELPRO

  • COINTELPRO: Teaching the FBI’s War on the Black Freedom Movement by Ursula Wolfe-Rocca (2016). This lesson plan (9-12 grade) offers insight on how to teach Chicago Panther Fred Hampton and situates his murder as part of a larger history of political repression and violence. http://www.rethinkingschools.org/archive/30_03/30-3_wolfe-rocca.shtml
  • “Why We Should Teach About the FBI’s War on the Civil Rights Movement” by Ursula Wolfe-Rocca (2016) discusses the lack of coverage of political repression in textbooks and provides concrete suggestions demonstrating how educators can incorporate COINTELPRO into their lesson plans. https://zinnedproject.org/2016/03/fbi-war-civil-rights-movement/
  • Congressional Hearing Reports from the United States Government (1970). A four-volume series of published transcripts of the Hearings Before the Committee on Internal Security of the House of Representatives. The report details surveillance of 8 chapters across the country. In addition to testimony from BPP members, it includes police mug shots, photos of BPP offices, churches where free breakfast was served, details about member and various photos. Students can utilize the oral histories as well as reconstruct local BPP histories, comparing chapters. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uiug.30112041489870;view=1up;seq=1
  • Gun-barrel politics: the Black Panther Party, 1966-1971. Report, (August 1971) Ninety-second Congress, first session / together with minority views and a summation by Richardson Preyer. The Committee of Internal Security explored Panther leaders’ discussion of revolution, traced the coalition politics between the Panther and different ethnic groups and includes an exploration of BPP finances. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015081808514;view=1up;seq=1

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FAQ #3: What in-class techniques and resources can educators use to teach about the BPP?

  •  Course materials from Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching
    • Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching,  A Resource Guide for K–12 Classrooms” edited by Deborah Menkart, Alana D. Murray and Jenice L. View (2004). Divided into 5 major sections, this guide includes primary sources such as poetry, essays, interviews, and speeches by political activists.  http://www.teachingforchange.org/books/our-publications/putting-the-movement-back-into-civil-rights-teaching
    •  “The Black Panther Party: Legacy and Lessons for the Future” by Debbie Wei.  This richly detailed  lesson plan from “Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching,  A Resource Guide for K–12 Classrooms” (2004) contains 15 different handouts with readings and worksheets to support student engagement with many different aspects of the BPP’s s history.  http://www.civilrightsteaching.org/Handouts/BPPhandout.pdf
  • A K-16 approach to teaching Black Panther history 
  • Teaching Panthers to Elementary School age children 
    • “Each One, Teach One: The History and Legacy of the Black Panther Party for an Elementary School Audience” by Jessie Blundell (2015) provides 6 interactive lesson plans at the end of the article on topics including the history and representation of BPP, power and privilege, coalition-building, and Richard Brown of the San Francisco 8. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1057%2F9781137471130_3#page-1
    • One Crazy Summer and the Real Black Panther by Lisa Mello, Beverly Grotts, Leticia Citizen, Ana Tejada, Yolanda Munoz, Tamyke Edwards (2nd, 3rd, and 5th grade). Second grade students are prompted to analyze and interrogate phenomena and draw connections between the past and the present. Third graders are asked to engage in assignments that are historical and community driven projects. Lessons for 5th graders include providing students with an understanding of the constitution and its relationship to the BPP.  A lesson is also included on Rita Williams-Garcia’s, One Crazy Summer and additional sources are also included on the Panthers and One Crazy Summer. http://www.essaydocs.org/teacher-lisa-mello-beverly-grotts-leticia-citizen-ana-tejada-y.html
    • “Oakland Community Learning Center [founded by the Black Panther Party] 1977.” This short video provides a view inside the Oakland Community School. The first part of the video profiles the Oakland Community School featuring student activities of all ages and information about the origins, goals, and structure of the school. Part two of the video follows, Fred Moorehead, a Tae Kwon Do teacher and escort for the Safe Transportation Program at the Oakland Community Learning Center. Students can be asked to discuss various parts of the video in small groups using sentence starters as thinking prompts.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dYsjDqUdr0 and http://www.lehman.edu/lehman/wac/PDF/SentenceStarters.pdf
  • Teaching BPP Ideology 
    • “Eyes on the Prize: Interview with Huey P. Newton,” by Louis Massiah (1989). This interview with Panther co-founder Huey Newton a few months before his death covers his  family background; political development; Denzil Dowell and police violence; Ten Point Program and Platform; BPP origins and community survival programs; his experience learning law at Oakland City College; the pig imagery; the police brutality inflicted on him in 1967; the impact of the Counterintelligence program and the deaths of Martin Luther King Jr and Bobby Hutton; communal living; electoral politics; and the impact of leaders including Fred Hampton. This interview would compliment Newton’s autobiography, Revolutionary Suicide. http://digital.wustl.edu/e/eii/eiiweb/new5427.0458.119hueypnewton.html
    • “Speech delivered at the Embassy Auditorium” by Angela Y. Davis (June 9, 1972). This American Radio Works site provides background information on Angela Y. Davis, transcribes her speech and links to a partial audio. Davis discusses structural inequalities, the link between capitalism and prisons and George Jackson. Her critique of prisons presages the movement against mass incarceration today.  http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/blackspeech/adavis.html
    • “Eliminate the Presidency” by the Black Panther Party originally published in CoEvolution Quarterly Fall 1974. This article details the Panthers proposal calling for the abolishment of the position of the President and Vice-President. Students could analyze this proposal as an exercise in freedom of speech and as part of the Panthers’ advocacy of top down transformation akin to their Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention. This primary source can be paired with Aziz Rana’s article “Colonialism and Constitutional Memory,” in UC Irvine Law Review, Vol 5: 263. The section on “Black Power and Recalling the Colonial Legacy” (page 277) discusses the ways that various Black Power activists engaged the state, critiqued the constitution and utilized colonial frameworks. http://www.wholeearth.com/issue/2003/article/318/eliminate.the.presidency and http://www.law.uci.edu/lawreview/vol5/no2/Rana.pd
    • “Towards an Intellectual History of the Angola 3” by Holly Genovese looks at how BPP political prisoners Alfred Woodfox, Herman Wallace and Robert Hillary King used art and writing to “change the narrative” about the BPP and their case.  Links to a  documentary, writings and other resources provide areas for students to analyze the words and actions of these BPP members more deeply. http://s-usih.org/2016/02/toward-an-intellectual-history-of-the-angola-3.html
    • “Women in Prison: How it is With Us” by Assata Shakur. Published in The Black Scholar, April 1978. Reprinted by History is a Weapon blog. In this piece Assata Shakur writes about the role of prisons in society, the power dynamics between prisoners and guards, sexual politics of the prisons and critiques white mainstream feminism. http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/shakurwip.html
    • “On the Ideology of the Black Panther Party” by Eldridge Cleaver discusses the BPP’s interpretation of Marxist-Leninism. https://www.freedomarchives.org/Documents/Finder/Black%20Liberation%20Disk/Black%20Power!/SugahData/Books/Cleaver.S.pdf
  • Teaching through oral history and role play 
    • “The Black Panther Party Lesson Plan” by Teresa Frizell uses oral histories to teach 11th graders about the Panthers in Seattle.  The lesson includes primary documents such as newspaper clippings. Targeted Length: Two 90-Minute class periods. Mapping American Social Movements Through the 20th Century. Retrieved 4-30-17 from http://depts.washington.edu/civilr/teach_BPP_intro.htm
    • “Experiences of the Civil Rights Movement: A roundtable project” by Kathleen Caldwell is a lesson plan for grades 11–12 in English Language Arts and Social Studies. It  allows students to research the Civil Rights Movement by interviewing community members on their recollections of the period, creating a character based on information obtained in their first-person accounts, and analyzing primary source material for the production of a roundtable discussion. A reflection activity is included in which students are asked to write a letter to a friend across the globe. http://www.learnnc.org/lp/pages/3371?style=print
    • “Civil Rights History Project” at the Library of Congress. These five oral history interviews provide students with an in-depth look at the activities of members of the Black Panther Party in North Carolina, Oakland, and Seattle. https://www.loc.gov/collections/civil-rights-history-project/?fa=subject%3Ablack+panther+party
    • “What We Don’t Learn About the Black Panther Party—but Should” by Adam Sanchez and Jesse Hagopian. This comprehensive article critiques the misrepresentation and sometimes erasure of the BPP in textbooks. As a strategy to fill in the gap Sanchez and Hagopian offer an assignment described as a “mixer activity” in which students portray various men and women in the BPP including Kathleen Cleaver, Lumumba Shakur, Ericka Huggins, Ruby Dowell, and Bobby Seale. The article  also includes links to other lesson plans on the BPP’s Ten Point Program and Platform and the Counterintelligence Program. https://zinnedproject.org/2016/10/black-panther-party significance/
  • How to locate former Panthers Members of the Black Panther party live in our communities, often still politically connected and supporting political work. They are invaluable resources who can provide first hand accounts. Former Panthers gather to support annual events around the country like Film Festivals, Panther history month in Oakland each October, and annual reunions around the country.  To locate Panthers you can reach out to alumni associations such as “It’s About Time Black Panther Party” archives  http://www.itsabouttimebpp.com/Contact_Us/ContactUs.html and the National Alumni Association of the Black Panther Party. http://www.naabpp.org/ Some Panthers like co-founder Bobby Seale  www.bobbyseale.com and Ericka Huggins have websites: http://www.erickahuggins.com/Home.html. Some original Panther chapters maintain facebook pages like the Detroit chapter https://www.facebook.com/BPDetroit/?hc_location=ufi and the Chicago chapter https://www.facebook.com/Black-Panther-Party-History-Project-Illinois-Chapter-NFP-186448159766/.

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FAQ #4: What are some options for teaching about the Panthers on the college level?

  • Courses on the Black Panther Party  
  • Secondary sources on the Panthers
    • The #BlackPantherSyllabus (Feb 20, 2016) is a comprehensive list of secondary sources about the BPP. It was authored by several scholars including Keisha Blain, Ashley Farmer, and Dara Vance and organized by the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS).  http://www.aaihs.org/blackpanthersyllabus/
      • The Black Panther Party in a City Near You ed. Judson Jeffries (forthcoming, 2018)
      • Power to the People: The World of the Black Panthers by Stephen Shames and Bobby Seale (2016) http://www.stephenshames.com/books
      • Hype Man:“The Money B Story” Money B and Chad Coenson (forthcoming, 2017) 
      • “Picking up the Books: The New Historiography of the Black Panther Party.” by David Garrow in Reviews in American History 35, no. 4 (2007): 650-70.  http://www.jstor.org/stable/30031608
  • Mapping the Panthers 
    • “Creating a Digital Mapping Assignment with Google Maps” by Kate Craig  (2015) provides a basic overview of how teachers can create mapping assignments with google maps. Although it is not BPP specific, it provides useful pedagogical tools. Educators could ask students to map Panther office raids to create a map of police repression; or they could map breakfast programs nationwide. They could map the connections between Panther offices and Nation of Islam mosques and think through ideological intersections. The possibilities are endless. https://www.academia.edu/12129901/Creating_a_Digital_Mapping_Assignment_with_Google_Maps
    • “Mapping the Black Panther Party in Key Cities,’ Mapping American Social Movements Through the 20th Century. Retrieved 4-30-17 from http://depts.washington.edu/moves/BPP_map-cities.shtml. This project tracks the Panthers’ history in six cities using historical and contemporary images. It is a part of a larger Mapping American Social Movements website which teachers could use to provide context. Students could be asked to compare the maps of SNCC, CORE, NAACP and SCLC with the Panthers. http://depts.washington.edu/moves/BPP_map-cities.shtml
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    FAQ #5: How can students learn about the Panthers outside of the conventional classroom?

    • Panther history tours 
      • “Walk in the Footsteps of the Black Panthers’ Oakland Birthplace” by Lisa Fernandez is a self-guided tour accessed through an app. Users are guided through Black Panther Party history in the San Francisco Bay Area. It features music from the Lumpen and audios from Emory Douglas, Bobby Seale and others. It is available through the Detour app. https://www.detour.com/san-francisco/blackpanthers
    • Online Exhibits 
      • “Black Power Exhibit” at the Schomburg Library, New York Public Library (2016-2017). This online exhibit contains a rich repository of material on Black Power curated by leading scholars and serves as a companion to the physical exhibit at Schomburg. It contains primary sources, audios, book lists, links to relevant NYPL collections and topical summaries on everything from political prisoners to international politics. These materials allow students to learn about the Black Panthers in a larger Black Power context. One potential assignment might have students go on  a scavenger hunt for women activists and create short biographies. http://nypl-research.demo.libguides.com/c.php?g=640007&p=4482087&preview=40a6ddfd2a1197ff7acfcce657a300e2
      • “All Power to the People Black Panther Party Recap Video at 50” by Angela D. LeBlanc-Ernest (2017) contains footage and imagery captured during a visit to the renowned Black Panther Party installation at the Oakland Museum of California in honor of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the BPP.  The highlight of the video is the reunion of  four BPP woman who each taught at the Intercommunal Youth Institute, renamed the Oakland Community School in 1975. As a lesson, students can each pick an item from the tour and explain.  https://vimeo.com/203351743
      • “Free Bobby Now” by the Lumpen is the only single the group ever recorded and released. Students can be assigned to listen to the lyrics and have a discussion about the relevance of those ideas today. Middle school and High school students could be asked to collaborate on writing their own song that reflects today’s realities. https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=RD5wzWNDePLdQ&v=5wzWNDePLdQ
      • Party Music: The Inside Story of the Black Panthers’ Band and How Black Power Transformed Soul Music by Rickey Vincent (2013). This book provides a  detailed look at the Lumpen and the broader context for their cultural and political activism. Watch Rickey Vincent talk about his book. The talk also features Pastor Saturu Ned, formerly James Mott and a member of The Lumpen. https://youtu.be/dQZEwco3uTI. Read more about Party Music at rickeyvincent.com.
      • The Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation, Inc.’s Collection of BPP contains a treasure trove of audio material such as a recording of the Son of Man Temple and the Intercommunal Youth Institute building dedication/opening in October 1973. The latter includes selections by community musicians and songs by IYI students. The Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation, Inc.’s Collection of BPP is housed in the Special Collections Department of Green Library at Stanford University. Library resources only are  available on campus. Material must be requested at least 24 hours in advance. For audio material, see Series 6 in the Guide to the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation Inc. Collection. Not all audio has been digitized. http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/tf3k40032t/
    • Learning through film 
      • The Black Panthers Vanguard of the Revolution Discussion Guide. This guide is a companion to “Vanguard of the Revolution” (2016). It contains lesson plans and suggests discussion questions. It is a useful resource that generates basic knowledge and encourages students to link the history gleaned from the film with current community activist organizations. The FAQ’s are particularly useful for dispelling myths. http://independentlens.s3.amazonaws.com/1700/black-panthers/Black-Panthers_Discussion-Guide.pdf
      • The Black Panther Social Justice Lesson Plan (2016) centers on documentary filmmaking and shares a 45 minute lesson that an educator easily can adapt in the areas of  Social Studies, Government and English. The target grade level is 9-12. The plan was coordinated with a visit from the director of  “Black Panther Party Vanguard of the Revolution” film and subsequent conversation with him. Students can explore the reasons documentarians so often focus on social justice issues and filmmaker decision-making through choosing their own documentary, conducting research about audience reception when the film was released, writing a movie review, and recommending the movie or not. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/lessons_plans/black-panthers-social-justice-in-documentaries-lesson-plan/
      • “Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights movement, 1954-1985–A Study Guide to the Television Series” written by Facing History and Ourselves. (2006) This discussion guide for the documentary series “Eyes on the Prize” can be adapted for all grade levels. The companion guide has lesson plans to accompany each episode. In each section there is a timeline, a summary and primary source documents. Each document is followed by a list of questions. The Panthers are discussed in Episode 9: Power, (1966-1968) and Episode 12: A Nation of Law, (1968-1971).  http://wgbhprojects.s3.amazonaws.com/EYES%20ON%20THE%20PRIZE/Study%20Guide/EyesOnThePrize-StudyGuide_101-208.pdf
      • “Lesson Plan: A Panther in Africa” (2006). This lesson plan uses the film “Panther in Africa” by Aaron Matthews to explore themes of migration, immigration and exile through the lives of Pete and Charlotte O’Neal, two Black Panthers who fled to Tanzania in the 1970s. http://www.pbs.org/pov/apantherinafrica/lesson-plan/
    • Film Festivals
      • BPP film festivals have become annual events in some cities. These are ideal events to attend to learn more about the history of various aspects of the Black Panther Party. If one is near you, perhaps you can arrange a class trip.
      • Several previously held film festivals include a variety of film topics such as political prisoners, assassinated members, and women. Share these sample film descriptions with students and encourage them to read the descriptions (watching the films when possible) and piece together a history of the BPP, comparing it with what they have read and discussing areas that remain to be presented visually.

    Angela D. LeBlanc-Ernest, Tracye A. Matthews, Mary Phillips, and Robyn C. Spencer, authors of some of the leading essays about gender and the Black Panther Party, founded the Intersectional Black Panther Party History Project in July 2016. LeBlanc-Ernest is a Houston-based independent scholar and filmmaker; Matthews is a Chicago-based historian, filmmaker, curator and associate director of the University of Chicago’s Center for Race, Politics and Culture; Phillips is an assistant professor of Africana Studies at Lehman College/CUNY; and Spencer is an associate professor of History at Lehman College/CUNY and author of The Revolution has Come: Black Power, Gender and the Black Panther Party in Oakland. www.therevolutionhascome.com

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