On this So-Called Independence Day, watch something that gives a true depiction of what the oppressors think of Black Americans and turn those modern day Minstrel shows by Tyler Fairy (Perry) and "Reality'" Sitcoms off!
THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY FREE BREAKFAST PROGRAM FOR CHILDREN...
In January 1969, The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense launched the FREE BREAKFAST PROGRAM For CHILDREN. As the Party's community survival programs, the BPP consulted with Nutritionists to determine exactly what should be included in a Proper Breakfast for community Youth; and utilized local Church contacts to facilitate certification from Health Department & Fire Marshall approval.
This was the first nationally organized breakfast program in the United States, either in the public or private sector." It marked not only the first program of its kind in the US, but indicated a sharp shift in the political direction of the Black Panther Party. For its first few years the Party had been focused on armed self-defense, and patrolling the police. The shift toward survival programs was meant to address the inadequacy of community based services in their neighborhoods, and seeing the need to connect more deeply and practically with the community.
The Free breakfast Program was based on a Socialist Revolutionary Platform to provide an alternative to the existing systems in place at that time. The prevailing idea was that all institutions in a society should be designed to serve the masses, not just the privileged classes of people.
The Free Breakfast Program was the centerpiece of The BPP’s “Survival Programs,” put in place to begin building a platform or example of what a new Post-Revolution American society would look like. It would also ensure that the masses were served, regardless of the tyranny to be handed down by the ruling class in the midst of the struggle for Independence.
According to the writings of Chairman Huey P. Newton: “All these programs satisfy the deep needs of the community but they are not solutions to our problems. That is why we call them survival programs, meaning survival pending revolution. We say that the survival program of the Black Panther Party is like the survival kit of a sailor stranded on a raft. It helps him to sustain himself until he can get completely out of that situation. So the survival programs are not answers or solutions, but they will help us to organize the community around a true analysis and understanding of their situation. When consciousness and understanding is raised to a high level then the community will seize the time and deliver themselves from the boot of their oppressors. If they have a need we will serve their needs and attempt to get them to understand the true reasons why they are in need in such an incredibly rich land." *Source - To Die for the People (Book of Essays) – Huey Newton*
This shift immediately raised the status of the BPP’s threat Level in the eyes of J. Edgar Hoover & The FBI. Hoover feared that the BPP would now gain a measure of legitimacy with individuals that would not normally support more militant organizations like The BPP.
In response to the threat, Public authorities made efforts to undermine BPP programs by requiring compliance with previously un-required state regulations.
These efforts-combined with the routine & often violent harassment of Panther Members, violent raids on BPP Offices, Infiltration of local chapters, assassination of leadership, and false imprisonment of others members & leaders would spell the demise of the Party programs. With the core leadership of The Party imprisoned or in exile, the weaknesses of the party were exploited and internal strife eventually brought the movement to an end.
The Black Panther Party’s Survival Programs, and most specifically the Free Breakfast Program, would later be copied by State & Local Governments-which led to the development of the current Head Start & Breakfast programs that our children enjoy today.
We at The WANDERING EYES BLOG salute the Black Panther Party for its Leadership & Intellectual Revolutionary Ideals. While most imagery of the Party centers around pictures of them posing with guns, there were many POWERFUL Intellectual & Calculated Political Paradigms put in place that stand to this day. I recommend that you do some reading & research on Huey P Newton, Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, Fred Hampton, Stokely Carmichael, H. Rap Brown, Elaine Brown, and Kathleen Cleaver. You WILL be inspired…