Black Panther, 1972

In 1966 an organisation was formed by two men, Huey P Newton and Bobby Seale, with the idea of relieving the ills that Black people had faced for centuries before. It was one year after Watts. The Black Panther Party (then, for Self Defense) was founded to organise a united effort on the part of Black people to eliminate the ills Black and other oppressed people suffer, to combat Black genocide and bring about Black liberation. The fundamental program of this new organization was to promote the achievement of all our human rights, including the right to defend ourselves against any threat to the actual achievement of those rights. This original drea, was designed to provide the people with a lifeline, serving their basic needs and desires. This aim, as Hue P Newton, leader of the Black Panther Party and Servant of the People, has said was structured by the practical needs of the people, and its dreamers were armed with an ideology which provided a systematic method of analysis of how best to meet those needs. In those years since, many lessons have been learned, most the hard way. There have been deaths, of Party members, of too many more of our people; there have been defections from the Party; there has been a defection of the Party from the people, the Black community, from the original vision. We left behind our goal, which had been, from the beginning, to put together a practical program for our survival and to guarantee our right to life, manifested in the right to eat, have decent clothing and housing etc.

Having come away from arrogance, cultism, we have returned to our original aims, producing what we call the Survival Programs, the practical programs that serve the survival needs of the people. It is a return and a new beginning. With this new thrust come the mass exposure of the deadly blood disease, 98% of whose victims are Black, Sickle Cell Anaemia, and the free screening for Sickle Cell Anaemia of over 45,000 people; the more than 35,000 free bags of groceries given away; thousands of pairs of free shoes and outfits of clothing; the hundreds of families bussed free to their loved ones in the prisons.

The upcoming Black Community Survival Conference begins a new stage, developing further this original vision, in concrete terms, with 10,000 more free bags of food, thousands more SCA tests and a major thrust toward uniting the Black vote, through a massive voter registration campaign. The People and our Party have grown to this point, to unite for our survival and complete liberation.

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