24. The Re-emergence of the Black Stimulus Program

Posted: May 30, 2009 in African American, Black Pride, Race
Tags: , , , ,
Bobby Seale (left) and Huey Newton

Bobby Seale (left) and Huey Newton

The Ten Point Program was:

  1. We want power to determine the destiny of our black and oppressed communities’ education that teaches us our true history and our role in the present day society.
  2. We want completely free healthcare for all black and oppressed people.
  3. We want an immediate end to police brutality and murder of black people, other people of color, all oppressed people inside the United States.
  4. We want an immediate end to all wars of aggression.
  5. We want full employment for our people.
  6. We want an end to the robbery by the capitalists of our Black Community.
  7. We want decent housing, fit for the shelter of human beings.
  8. We want decent education for our people that exposes the true nature of this decadent American society.
  9. We want freedom for all black and oppressed people now held in U. S. Federal, state, county, city and military prisons and jails. We want trials by a jury of peers for all persons charged with so-called crimes under the laws of this country.
  10. We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice, peace and people’s community control of modern technology.

For those of you who may not recognize this list, it was originated by a revolutionary organization that went by the name of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense.  In case your secondary institution didn’t have the testicular fortitude to touch on this; the ensuing is a brief history lesson:

The Black Panther Party (originally the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense) was an African-American organization established to promote Black Power and self-defense. It was active in the United States from the mid-1960s into the 1970s.The Black Panther Party achieved national and international presence through their deep involvement in the local community. The Black Panther Party was an auxiliary of the greater movement, often coined the Black Power Movement. The Black Power Movement was one of the most significant social, political and cultural movements in U.S. history. “The movement [had] provocative rhetoric, militant posture, and cultural and political flourishes permanently altered the contours of American Identity.”  In September 1968, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover described the Black Panthers as, “The greatest threat to the internal security of the country.

Founded in Oakland, California, by Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton on October 15, 1966, the organization initially set forth a doctrine calling for the protection of African American neighborhoods from police brutality, in the interest of African-American justice. Its objectives and philosophy changed radically during the party’s existence. While the organization’s leaders passionately espoused socialist doctrine, the Party’s Black Nationalist reputation attracted an ideologically diverse membership. Ideological consensus within the party was difficult to achieve. Some members openly disagreed with the views of the leaders.

With the history lesson out of the way; I am left to ponder whether or not we have truly accomplished the goals set forth by the 40 year old list better known as the 10 Point Program.  I don’t doubt that many scrolled down the list while taking a mental inventory of where they personally measure against the program – because I did as well.  The question becomes, have we collectively addressed the 10 Point Program?  I’d have to answer with a resounding “NO”.

I’m sure Bobby Seale motioned Huey Newton a “fist-bump” gesture upon the election of President Barack Obama.  Even so, I’m sure that at the age of 72 he still wrestles with the lack of progress toward the 10 Point Program.  And who am I to convince him otherwise?  The state of the economy currently revolves on the axis of housing, war, healthcare, employment and education – just as it did in the 60’s.  It appears that while their methods were extreme – even for that era – the goals of the Black Panther Party still exist today.

Boondocks character Huey Freeman - name after Huey Newton

Boondocks' character Huey Freeman - named after Huey Newton

In 2009, I believe we’re more inclined to lash out and point the finger at T.I., Michael Vick, and Lil’ Wayne – rather than to focus on the things that matter most for black people.  Entertainers and athletes should not warrant more attention than the social and economic systems that keep black folks from obtaining the quality of life that civil rights leaders aspired to deliver.

I am eager to learn what the long-term effects of the stimulus-funded programs will bring.  Hopefully, we will be able to scratch some things off of our list.  While many educated and elite blacks of today dismiss the Black Panther Party era as a blip on the civil rights radar – I’d be proud to accomplish 3 of 10 during my lifetime.  Somebody once said, “A revolution is not a bed of roses.  A Revolution is a struggle between the future and the past.”  Let the Revolution begin.

Until next time,

 Damon signature

 

 

Click the link below for a full detailed explanation of the 10 point program

 http://www.blackpanther.org/TenPoint.htm

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Comments
  1. Rachel Araya says:

    During the Black Power Movement, racism presented many dangers which were both stark and terrifying. However, we should not be surprised that a society that once legalized slavery was and is faced with race rage. In a long continuum of risks faced and survived, black people have internalized this rage (aimed at everyone) with dire consequences. While the ten point program seems very desirable, the attainability of all ten points seems bleak right now even with a black president. It has been proven in the past that universal black militance cannot get us what we want for our people. However, like Damon pointed out, maybe we can scratch some things off of our list with the new stimulus program. The new goal for me is to see racism eliminated from America altogether so that we can all attain the ten goals on the list and add more goals as well. Thanks Damon.

  2. Tony Fleming says:

    I think we are presented with some of the same problems some of our parents had during the 70’s- some didn’t focus so much on community uplift as they did personal, financial and educational uplift… that is not a knock on them or us; some but not all doors were blown open and many walk on through. For a lot of us the fight is between personal contentment and sense of community… We need to look out for each other and be worthy of being looked out for…

  3. J. Griffin says:

    I dont know where to start. We don’t even come close to having a revolutionary existence similar to that of the Black Panther Party. I know the organization exists today, but really, they’re just a few cats with no serious agenda. Thanks for bringing this full circle. We now know where Obama got the concept.

  4. Kim says:

    Damon,

    When I first saw this I thought to myself, “what in the world does the stimulus program have to do with the black panthers?” After reading it, I understand. I like the connection and the history lesson. No, my jr. high school did not have the fortitude to teach this.

    Kim

  5. steve banks says:

    education,awareness, and action..i was introduced too the agenda of the black panthers back when we were at eastern in college, and it forever changed me as a black man, i was so intrigued and impressed at the info i was exposed to about a group of black men progessive,proud, and pro-active in their communities.The same issues of race and social injustices still exist yet the fraternity of black pantherism in their blood grows smaller..im glad the ideas and idealogy of the black panthers continues to be discussed and the seeds of self progression continues to grow…keep teaching…

  6. steve banks says:

    education,awareness, and action..i was introduced too the agenda of the black panthers back when we were at eastern in college, and it forever changed me as a black man, i was so intrigued and impressed at the info i was exposed to about a group of black men progessive,proud, and pro-active in their communities.The same issues of race and social injustices still exist yet the fraternity of brothers with black pantherism in their blood grows smaller..im glad the ideas and idealogy of the black panthers continues to be discussed and the seeds of self progression continues to grow…keep teaching…

  7. latynia wise says:

    i was always fond of the black panther party.i jus t wish that they stop trying to feed our kids lies about them .In also tell them they they wasn’t as violent as they try to make it see.In yes keep on teaching let the truth be known.

  8. tyshawn says:

    thnk you for eveet

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