Panther Peace

“The person asking that question [about violence] has absolutely no idea what black people have gone through…” Angela Davis explains the confusion and misunderstanding that occurs by the outsiders in a revolution. When people question the acts through which people take on the revolution, they are not fully aware of the situation of the oppressed.

Watching her Black Power  Mix tape clip, made me think of Paulo Friere’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Friere says that the public only sees the violence that the oppressed take and ignore the actions that the oppressors take. This is extremely relevant to the Black Panther Party’s revolution because they had to take drastic violent measures to assure their safety. Their lives were in danger because of racist acts by people in their community. Therefore, to accuse the oppressed of violence means that there is a lack of comprehension of what the oppressed go through.

The Black Panther Party, as mention in the Marxist Internet Archive, “practiced militant self-defense of minority communities against the U.S. Government, and fought to establish revolutionary socialism through mass organizing and community based programs.”  Among other descriptions, the Black Panther Party is portrayed as a socialism movement appealing to the Black minority of the United States. There is also an emphasis on the time period in that they are no longer an active group. In almost every description, I noticed that “Self-Defense” is common in describing the Black Panther Party, which explains that they were victims rather than creators of violence. Thus as Angela Davis said, “revolution lies in the principles and the goals you strive for not in the way that you get there” and the actions taken are not the point that they want to get across but rather a measure necessary to be able to get their point across.

-Marlene Gadea.

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2 thoughts on “Panther Peace

  1. I like how you related Angela Davis’ interview back to the Pedagogy of the Oppressed reading. It made me think about how in her examples of violence she’s encountered, people seem to only blame the Black Panther Party for defending themselves rather than the oppressors.

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  2. I love the context you gave for the Party’s actions. It wasn’t violence for the sake of violence, it was several acts of defense. The history of these actions was taken down by a biased people; those in power saw this self defense as aggressive, and thus so did the public. Angela Davis presses the point of perspective.

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