I just visited the exhibition celebrating the founding of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense 50 years ago this past October.
Presented with the theme, “Where do We Go From Here?” it presents the full picture of the revolutionary group from its inception through its organizing and actions like the BPP Free Breakfast Program, BPP Free Food Program, and BPP Free Clinics throughout the African American communities across the US. (Two free clinics they established, in Portland and Seattle, are still open)
It is full of many unique items such as the original notes for their 10 Point manifesto.
A bronze replica of the of the chair that Huey P. Newton sat in for this iconic portrait that decorated hundreds of college dorm rooms:
That you can sit in:
There’s too many cool things, including moving contemporary and vintage art like this mirror and Black Power jack-in-the-box.
A quilt, “We The People” made from discarded prison uniforms and the only weapon out of the scores confiscated illegally that was returned, a Winchester Model 1873.
It presents the bloody and murderous response by the government and police across the US and the covert and often illegal COINTELPRO program that spread false rumors and dissent through agents provocateur.
But the best part is when it follows through with many former Panthers today and asks modern activists what impact they had on their lives.
It’s at the Oakland Museum of California until February 12* and l highly recommend it.
[*no idea if the idea of ending it on Abraham Lincoln’s birthday is intentional or an ironic coincidence]
And, l just noticed that l was given a Senior discount without asking for it. First time that happened, don’t know whether to enjoy the fact or not.