Black Panther Party Members in uniform
By 1966, the United States had experienced numerous rebellions in major urban centers with heavy Black populations - Harlem, Watts, Chicago, Detroit - which were being led by many different organizations - SCLC [Martin Luther King Jr.], the NAACP [Roy Wilkins], the Black Muslims [Elijah Muhammad & Malcolm X] amongst others. The messages across these organizations were the same: high unemployment, bad housing, police brutality, poor health care, and inferior educational opportunities within the Black community. These various groups were in agreement on the symptoms but not on how to solve the problems. Against this backdrop, Huey P. Newton & Bobby Seale formed the Black Panther Party for Self Defense in 1966.

The BPP differed from other groups with its message of "revolutionary intercommunalism" - essentially a socialist way of approaching issues within a community, where all shared in the responsibility of building the community. They also developed survival programs, where social institutions were developed within the community itself to benefit the community without seeking relief from outside organizations or agencies. The Ten-Point Program formed the foundation of ideology for the Black Panther Party; it became the list of demands of the party and the goals of the struggle to regain their Black communities.
October 15, 1966
Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale draft the first version of the Ten-Point Program, which established the primary goals of the party.

December 1966
Bobby Hutton becomes the first recruit of the Black Panther Party.

January 1, 1967
The first office of the BPP opens on 56th and Grove Streets in Oakland, California.

February 1967
Eldridge Cleaver joins the Black Panther Party.

April 25, 1967
First publication of the Black Panther Paper: Black Community News Service.
Black Panther demonstration in front of the Aladeda County Court House, Oakland
Black Panther Party Research Project

The Pacifica Radio/UC Berkeley Social Activism Sound Recording Project - The Black Panther Party

Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation Inc. Collection, Stanford University

Rules of the Black Panther Party
Huey P. Newton on Recruiting through Actions and the Community Perspective.

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