[Marxism] A Revealing Chapter in the History of the Black Panther Party

Brian Shannon 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.

OR http://makeashorterlink.com/?P2F8454FC


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.

Brian Shannon

More information about the Marxism mailing list