Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party

Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party

Winner of the American Book Award. This is the story of Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, Kathleen Cleaver, Fred Hampton, Ericka Huggins, Angela Davis, George Jackson, Assata Shakur, Bunchy Carter, Elaine Brown, George Murray, Geronimo Pratt, and the Black Panthers who put their lives on the line for revolution. This is the history of their struggle against racism and American imperialism, how they built power from below, the war waged against them by the U.S. government, and the eventual unravelling of their movement.

In Oakland, California, in 1966, Bobby Seale and Huey Newton armed themselves, began patrolling the police, and promised to prevent police brutality. Unlike the Civil Rights Movement that called for full citizenship rights for blacks within the U.S., the Black Panther Party rejected the legitimacy of the U.S. government and positioned itself as part of a global struggle against American imperialism. In the face of intense repression, the Party flourished, becoming the center of a revolutionary movement with offices in 68 U.S. cities and powerful allies around the world.

Black against Empire cuts through the mythology and obfuscation, revealing the political dynamics that drove the explosive growth of this revolutionary movement, and its bitter unraveling. Informed by twelve years of meticulous archival research, as well as familiarity with most of the former Party leadership and many rank-and-file members, this book is the definitive history of one of the greatest challenges ever posed to American state power.