The Black Panther Party


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The Black Panther Party

  1. 1. Presented by: Group 5
  2. 2. Fanning the Flames of Racial Discord: The National Press and the Black Panther Party Jane Rhodes is Dean for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and chair of the American studies department at Macalester College. She is the author of Mary Ann Shadd Cary: The Black Press and Protest in the Nineteenth Century. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.
  3. 3. Race and the 1960s’ News Media •Mainstream media was unprepared to report on the Black Panther Party as a whole. Why? •In the 1950s and 1960s the national press paid little attention to the daily lives and concerns of Black America. •Of the four media outlets analyzed in the study, it was revealed that the New York Times stood alone in their ignoring racial stereotypes towards blacks in their reporting of blacks. •Why was that?
  4. 4. Who were they? The Black Panther
  5. 5. The Black Panther Intercommunal News Service Why: By the time that the Black Panther Intercommunal Newswire was founded, the organization was being framed by the mainstream media in 3 different ways, to be discussed later. What: The newspaper performed multiple functions – serving as both an internal organ and as the party’s public vehicle. Who: David Hilliard and Emory Douglas did most of the writing and graphics.
  6. 6. Framing the Panthers 3 major techniques according to Rhodes 1.Fear 2.Condemnation 3.Celebrity
  7. 7. Fear one? Who is the dangerous
  8. 8. Fear Often times, the Black Panther Party used rhetorical tools to get their point across. An example of this is the rifle in the iconic photo of Huey P. Newton to be discussed later. Unfortunately, the organization’s intentions were often masked by how the mainstream media portrayed them. Capitalizing off of fear as the central and most widely used technique of framing – as illustrated in this video.
  9. 9. Fear I. New York Times A. Took the Blank Panther party to run into troubles with law enforcement to become recognized B. The first headline read “Armed Negroes Enter California Assembly in Gun Bill Protest.” C. Two themes: Panthers’ fear inspiring militancy and the media spectacle D. “It was one of the most unusual incidents in California legislative history, involving grimfaced, silent young men armed with guns roaming the Capital surrounded by reporters, television, cameramen, and stunned policemen and watched by incredulous groups of visiting schoolchildren” (Rhodes, p. 7). E. Words used to describe their actions: armed, roamed, barged, and shouted
  10. 10. Fear II. The Associated Press (AP) A. Article stated, “During the whole incident there was no real violence and no shooting occurred” (Rhodes, p.7). B. A different lead could have used the words: marched, assembled, and demanded. C. The real story: black men with weapons and therefore the idea of violence D. The Blank Panthers “fashioned themselves as a paradox-on the one hand claiming a constitutional right to bear arms, on the hand abandoning the tactics if non violence and reconciliation” (Rhodes, p7).
  11. 11. Fear Visual introduction •As the Panthers lefts the state capital white’s in the crowded stated “Niggers with guns, niggers with guns.” •Demonstrated racialized anxiety when a photo selected by Times showed the Panthers wearing black berets and holding rifles at attention in a walkway of the capitol – This image was a visual introduction to the Blank Panther Party. •Image was certain to cause fear and concern
  12. 12. Fear •Story was shaped and reported •New York Times – said this story had minimal national importance and had minimal firsthand access •Northern California newspapers – shaped the national discourse of the event •C. The San Francisco Examiner – headline “Panthers Invade Capitol” with a photo and front page story •“These new media subjects shared some of the characters of student antiwar protestors and black civil rights activists. •Fear Frame – the symbolic use of guns
  13. 13. Fear •Black Panthers anticipated this visual representation of defiance would attract new members •Bobby Seale stated they “fully intended to use the mass media as a means of conveying the message to the American people and to the black people in particular”
  14. 14. Fear •Rapid Attention I.Governor Reagan arranged a review of security at the capitol in the stir of the panthers protest II.The recapped story stated the Panthers as “an armed band of Negroes who intruded or stalked or burst into the Assembly, carrying loaded shotguns, rifles, and pistols.” (Rhodes, p.7). III.The Panthers were scheduled to show in Court to face charges of felony conspiracy.
  15. 15. Condemna to Was it correct for J. Edgar Hoover tion accuse them of communism?
  16. 16. ondemna tion NY Times •Set tone for how they be treated and viewed in media •Extreme group in every print •Influenced other media outlets •Keys on certain aspects of groups extreme
  17. 17. Condemna tion Government •FBI head Hoover suggested they were conspiring with communist groups Played on American fears
  18. 18. COINTELPRO Created by the FBI
  19. 19. Celeb the BPP in rity How many days later, were National Press after the Protest?
  20. 20. Celebrity · Summer 1967 the New York Times deviated from the trend with a lengthy feature titled “ the call of the Black Panthers” that titled helped launch the group’s cult of celebrity The article published in the midst of the nation’s worst urban rioting, it was an · obvious effort to respond to the expressions of anger, and despair erupting in the black community. · ·
  21. 21. Celebrity After the Panthers began getting national coverage, their speeches and public appearances were highly covered.
  22. 22. Celeb rity It was written by Sol Stern an editor at Ramparts Magazine. Stern’s article offered a generally sympathetic analysis of the Panthers politics, while using personalities particularly Newton and Seale as recognizable symbols. The first page of the article was illustrated with Panther’s own iconography, for example: a photograph of Huey Newton seated in a fan chair holding a rifle in one hand and a spear in the other hand, and Bobby Seal in the Panther’s Uniform of beret and black Jacket. The time helped make the Newton photo an internationally recognized image.
  23. 23. Celeb rity Five days later the time reported that a California judged had sentenced some of the Sacramento protesters to up to three months in jail The Panthers were only mentioned on the New York time for three months, while stories about urban riots, violence over the voting rights from the south, and confrontations between black Americans and the National Guard dominated race news.
  24. 24. Celeb rity A year later, the Times reported that a young Oakland police officer named John Frey was killed in a shoot-out with Huey Newton. When Newton was arrested and charged with the murder, the national press began to cover the Panthers with vigor, and Newton became a household name.
  25. 25. Thank You!