[Marxism] A Revealing Chapter in the History of the Black Panther Party
Brian_Shannon at verizon.net
Thu Apr 13 07:57:57 MDT 2006
By 1969 the FBI had opened Black Panther investigations in 32 cities,
according to one declassified memo. The declassified sections of the
bureau’s investigation of the Winston-Salem chapter of the Black
Panther Party, which the agency posted on the internet in 1999, fills
2,895 pages. Although the collection is headed “Black Panther Party-
Winston-Salem, NC,” the pages detail investigations of black
activists across the state from roughly 1968 to 1973. Unlike in
Greensboro, the Panthers really took hold in Winston-Salem. Though
the two cities are separated by only 20 miles, their stories could
hardly be different.
. . .
Judson L. Jeffries, who teaches Purdue University in Indiana, said
the Panthers’ national leadership frowned upon the events in
Greensboro. Jeffries, who calls the Panthers “the most effective
black revolutionary organization in the 20th century,” is currently
at work on a book about the history of the group’s local chapters.
This article about the role of the FBI in the disruption of local
African American struggles provides a model of what local journalists
and historians can do to recapture our history. According to this
article, there are almost 3,000 pages posted on the Internet that
concern just the Winston-Salem chapter of the BPP.
Perhaps this story and similar articles will stimulate a movement to
open up the blacked out and still hidden files about the role of the
FBI and other government agencies in the repression and diversion of
the social movements of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
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