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Impact of the Black Panthers on the Civil Rights Movement

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The Civil Rights Movement has been a struggle and fight for equality, freedom and justice in the eyes of African Americans over the past couple of decades. From the earliest years of European settlement on the North American continent, African Americas have been enslaved, mistreated and oppressed by their White masters. Although the American Civil War brought an end to slavery, it certainly did not place African Americans on an equal footing with their White counterparts. They were still very much exposed to the harsh reality of American society where lynchings, beatings and murders could all be justified simply because of the difference in racial ethnicity, ironically this was the same in court where people regardless of race should be treated with equity and justice. However this was not the case, displaying the extent of racism to the point where people can lynch a man simply because he's black and not feel morally disturbed in any way.

The Black Panthers were one group which sought to end the centuries of suffering experienced by African Americans through violence if needs be. The party was one of the first in US history to militantly struggle for working class African Americans. They were a fundamental force in the Civil Rights Movement which "left behind a mixed legacy of triumph and tragedy, garnering support and notoriety through the Black Power movement. Although viewed by many as a racist white hate group who do not want anything to do with white people, one can only make such a judgement without any idea, the sort of hardships African Americans had to face. Huey Newton the founder of the Black Panther Party stated "I suggest that we use the panther as our symbol and call our political vehicle the Black Panther Party. The panther is a vicious animal, he never bothers anything, but when you start pushing him, he moves backwards, backwards, and backwards into his corner, and then he comes out to destroy everything that's before him". The Black Panther in this situation is a perfect representation of the African American people. They had been pushed into a corner through centuries of ill treatment by Whites, and now it was time for them to 'strike out' through the Civil Rights Movement.

The foundation of the Black Panthers was the direct result of the frustration with the non violent approaches of the civil rights movement. The movement had been based largely in the Southern states and around demands for desegregation of public facilities. However Civil Rights protesters were often met with violence from local white mobs such as the Ku Klux Klan and even local police. Views for Black Revolutions began to emerge and thus the Black Panther Party for self defence was born. Their answer for breaking down the racial barriers which had been embedded deeply into people's minds over centuries of conflicting relationships was a militant political party. The Panther's desired for



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