Exclusive article published in ‘The Black Panther Party Legacy Celebration’ program for the 48th Black Panther Party reunion hosted by Charlotte Hill O’Neal (aka Mama C), held in Kansas City, Missouri on October 16-19, 2014. Includes letter regarding the passing of Wayne Pharr, bio, list of participants, and program cover (see images below.)

THE LEGACY OF THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY LIVES ON!

by Larry Pinkney

“If you stop struggling, then you stop life.”
–Huey P. Newton

“Each generation must discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it, in relative opacity.” –Frantz Fanon

The Black Panther Party, originally the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, was founded in October of 1966, in Oakland, California. It was arguably, the most significant, effective, and inspiring Black American political organization of the 20th century, with chapters throughout the United States, and in other parts of the world. Though ultimately physically decimated by brutal and intense U.S. government repression, its powerful and stalwart legacy continues today — well into the 21st century. The stalwart willingness of the Black Panther Party to expose and stand up to the wanton government and police brutality against Black and poor people garnered the respect and admiration of everyday people of all colors nationally and internationally.

The Black Panther Party (BPP) was founded by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, whose zeal, organizing abilities, determination, and love for the people was matched only by the daily sacrifices of the BPP’s rank and file membership which consisted of thousands of young women and men, who despite insidious government and police frame-ups, murders, imprisonment and subversion, relentlessly defended and served the needs of the people ‘body and soul.’

Of the numerous BPP programs nationwide in service to struggling everyday people, the Black Panther Party’s Free Breakfast and Free Medical programs, etc., gave undeniable substance and practical meaning to the BPP’s political rallying cries of ‘Serve The People Body And Soul’ and ‘All Power To The People!’

The reaction by the U.S. government and police nationwide to the political organizing and community programs of the Black Panther Party was swift and exceedingly brutal. Nevertheless, the political heart and soul of the Black Panther Party was its Ten-Point Platform and Program which represented a crisp and concise analysis and action-plan re the goals and objectives of the BPP. The strength and appeal of the Ten-Point Platform and Program was its depth and simultaneous simplicity.

From its very inception the Black Panther Party was the target not only of government and police repression and subterfuge, but it bore the brunt of constant disinformation and misinformation being used against it, carried out nationally by the corporate-stream so-called ‘news’ media. No lies, no dirty tricks, and no slimy tactics were held back by the government, police, and media in their insipid and insane actions to decapitate and crush the Black Panther Party nationwide. Whether in the cities of Oakland, Los Angeles, Omaha, Chicago, New York, Baltimore, Detroit, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere in the United States, the rank and file membership of the Black Panther Party strove valiantly to adhere to goals and objectives of the Ten-Point Platform and Program.

The Black Panther Party, unlike the corporate-stream so-called ‘news’ media of disinformation, had a national and international organ to disseminate in print form, honest and relevant news and information to Black and poor communities nationwide. The Black Panther newspaper, later known as The Black Panther Intercommunal News Service, was distributed far and wide by the Black Panther Party, and served to link issues, and keep everyday ordinary people informed, of what was happening in their own communities and elsewhere, locally, nationally and internationally.

There were, and remain to this very day, many casualties of the U.S. government’s war of repression against the Black Panther Party. Scores of political prisoners in the United States, most of them veterans of the Black Panther Party; and all of them victims of government subterfuge, terror, injustice, hypocrisy, and repression, remain imprisoned (or in exile) in the 21st century in this year of 2014, in U.S. gulags. Nonetheless, the proud and stalwart legacy of the Black Panther Party, founded in October of 1966, in Oakland, California, remains intact and strong.

Huey P. Newton was absolutely correct when he said, “If you stop struggling, you stop life.” The struggle for social, economic, and political freedom, as well as peace with justice, and human dignity, continues unabated.

May we all remember the words of Frantz Fanon when he said that, “Each generation must discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it, in relative opacity.” It is our responsibility as human beings in this 21st century to carry on and “fulfill” our “mission.” It is certainly not easy, but the proud legacy of the Black Panther Party has given all of us both hope and guide posts of what ‘we the people’ can do, as we continue in this struggle.

All Power To The People!

WAYNE PHARR

Thank you for conveying the painful news regarding the passing of our Brother Wayne Pharr. Yes, yet another comrade has made his transition. The news of the passing of comrade-brother Wayne Pharr, is of course very sad. However, his example and those of so many other brothers and sisters, is and will continue to be, with us. Let us cherish and continue to actualize the memory and accomplishments of this comrade as he takes his rightful place among the GIANTS of humanity’s ongoing struggle!

All Power To The People!
Your brother and comrade… In struggle,

Larry Pinkney

Larry Pinkney is a veteran of the Black Panther Party, the former Minister of Interior of the Republic of New Africa, a former political prisoner and the only American to have successfully self-authored his civil/political rights case to the United Nations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In connection with his political organizing activities, Pinkney was interviewed in 1988 on the nationally televised PBS News Hour, formerly known as The MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour, and more recently on the nationally syndicated Alex Jones Show. Pinkney is a former university instructor of political science and international relations, and his writings have been published in various places, including The Boston Globe, San Francisco BayView newspaper, Black Commentator, Intrepid Report, Global Research (Canada), LINKE ZEITUNG (Germany), 107 Cowgate (Ireland and Scotland), and Mayihlome News (Azania/South Africa). He is in the archives of Dr. Huey P. Newton (Stanford University, CA), cofounder of the Black Panther Party. For more about Larry Pinkney see the book, “Saying No to Power: Autobiography of a 20th Century Activist and Thinker”, by William Mandel [Introduction by Howard Zinn]. See: blackactivistwg.org Bill Mandel on Larry Pinkney for excerpts from the book.

Right: Larry Pinkney is among the Black Panther Party Member and Comrade participants listed in the Black Panther Party Legacy Celebration 2014 program’s inside back cover. Left: Program Design Cover by Jermaine Thomas.

Scanned 2-page article by Larry Pinkney

Larry Pinkney’s article, note, and bio in the program for the October 16-19, 2014 Black Panther Party Legacy Celebration in Kansas City, Missouri

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