As filmmaker Stanley Nelson’s stunning documentary ”The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution” makes its way to theaters around the country, we are honoring the 49th anniversary of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense’s founding by Bobby Seale and Huey Newton. It would be a matter of months before the party compelled the country’s attention with armed patrols of Oakland streets against police violence, a media engagement strategy well ahead of its time, and a powerful ideology of liberation and self-preservation that inspired the creation of chapters throughout the country and tremendous fear in the hearts of law enforcment and government officials.

The pressure of crackdowns, informant infiltration, deliberate assasinations and unresolved internal issues eventually brought the party down, but its legacy lives on in the rhetoric and passion of the Black Lives Matter movement and the adoption of liberation politics in countries around the world. 

Celebrate the Panthers’ founding with historic videos of Newton and Seale. 

 

(H/t Okayplayer, The Nation