In October of 1966, Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale created a radical political party at the forefront of revolutionary change—the Black Panther Party for Self Defense. On the 50th anniversary of its founding, the exhibition All Power to the People provides a contemporary view of the Party and its aims to serve oppressed people and fight injustice.
In the gallery, uncover the history of the Black Panther Party—a history that is often misunderstood. Charismatic Panthers—both men and women—created programs to benefit the people, stood up against power, and earned the admiration of other struggling communities in the US and across the globe. Many still fear the Panthers and are unaware of their motivations and intent. Former Panthers admit some mistakes and acknowledge that their image as militants cast a negative shadow on their legacy.
Rare historical artifacts, never-before-seen photographs, first-person accounts from former Panthers, scholars, and community members, and contemporary art show how the Party continues to influence culture and activism locally, nationally, and internationally.
The Black Panther story is complex. The Panthers’ ideas were potent, and they continue to inspire many. Visit All Power to the People and reflect more deeply about the Black Panther Party and its place in our shared history.
All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50 is supported in part by the Ford Foundation, the Oakland Museum Women’s Board, Sheila Duignan and Mike Wilkins and members of the Donor Forum including Eileen Ash and Frank Arthur, Quinn Delaney and Wayne Jordan, and Peter Pervere and Georgia Cassel.
The All Power to the People -Black Panthers at 50
Exhibit Runs until the end of February
The Oakland Museum of California
1000 Oak St, Oakland, CA 94607
The Black Panthers began where many national movements begin, in the East San Francisco Bay. I found the exhibit moving and familiar as I am from the bay area. Even though I saw members of the Panthers on a daily bases, I feared them. This was the time of Dr Kings peaceful resistance. Some people believe affiliation with the Panthers would lead to trouble.
Panthers the group was too radical in an area known for radicals. Although they were cool looking with their perfect afros and black leather jackets they didn’t seem approachable.
One of my many takeaways from the Exhibit, was the age of the Panthers, most were in the twenties. As a father and someone who remembers being in my twenties, I remember it being a time of defiance and blind aggression. Having said that, I didn’t know about the schools, and senior programs. I didn’t know about food clinics. I didn’t know.
Many in the government viewed the Panthers as modern day terrorist. Many in the black community viewed them as saviors. One could spend hours at the Exhibit, listening to government recordings and watching videos.
If you live or plan to travel to Cailfornia and this fantastic exhibit to your calender. Its quite the experience. Bring the entire family.
“Those Who Do Not Learn From History Are Doomed to Repeat it”