The Black Panther Party: Top 5 Facts about the Civil Rights firebrands

They had an Algerian division

As well as their activity in the USA, the Black Panthers had an Algerian chapter that existed from 1969-73. This wing of the group was led by Eldridge Cleaver, who set up an international office for the party. Cleaver was kicked out of the Black Panthers in 1971 after continuing tension, and with that the Algerian wing of the party was defunct.

They gave breakfast to the children

The members of the Black Panthers preached for an undying love the people. One of the main aims was to come to the aid of disenfranchised black children, so 20,000 free morning meals were cooked per week for the kids to eat prior to the school day in what was called the free breakfast for children programme.

The FBI believed them to be a terrorist organisation

Former FBI director J Edgar Hoover was so concerned at the potential of the party that he created a counterintelligence programme. COINTELPRO was designed to neutralise Black Nationalist activities and perhaps the biggest show of aggression was a shootout with the LAPD on 8 December 1969 or the killing of Fred Hampton in the same year.

They lived in Panther Pads

With the FBI on their case, living at home was often not the best or the safest option. Instead members would stay with each other in special ‘Panther Pads’. This gave them 24-hour security as well as creating stronger bonds between party members.

There was a White Panther party as well

Sounding like a right wing white supremacist group, the White Panthers were anything but. Anti-racist to the core, the group was founded after Huey P Newton, the co-founder of the Black Panthers, was asked what white people could do to help. His answer was to form their own group and the White Panthers were born.

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