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What was the Black Panther Party?

The Black Panther Party (BPP), originally called the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, was founded in 1966 by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, student activists of Merritt College in Oakland, CA. Its ideology was heavily inspired by Malcolm X, Frantz Fanon, and orthodox Marxism.

Black Panther Party logo

The Black Panther Party logo

Black Panther article in Black Scholar Journal on Jstor

Black Panther article in Black Scholar Journal on JSTOR

Research Tips

There are many books about the Black Panther Party, some of which are collections of their writings, artwork, speeches, etc. Many members have also written memoirs of their experience in the group. For ones available through Enoch Pratt Free Library, search the catalog. Keep in mind, the Black Panther Party is also likely to be addressed in resources about the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Power Movement, and Black Nationalism.

Key People

Find information, primary sources, and more on key members of the Black Panther party.

The Black Panther news, 1972: Free Angela! Free All of Us!
The Black Panther, 1972.


The library subscribes to several databases that may be helpful in your research. You will have to login with your library card in order to access them remotely.

The Black Panther newspaper - Free the Latino Seven

The Black Panther newspaper is available from the Black Thought and Culture database

Black Panther video still

Black Panther video still from the Bay Area TV Archive

General Resources

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African American Department Reading Room

African American Department

The African American Collection is an in-depth collection of fiction and nonfiction resources that pertain to the history and culture of African Americans.

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Maryland Department entrance with sign and card catalog drawers inside

Maryland Department

The Maryland Department is a comprehensive collection of materials related to the state of Maryland.

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Black Panther Newspaper from Black Thought and Culture database - Panthers Will Free Huey


A Pratt library card grants you access to databases for all ages! Research and search articles and documents across dozens of subjects.

If you would like to know more, try our Live Chat with a Librarian service, or contact us.