Category Archives: Politics

#EverydayBlackHistory Day 9- Who were the Black Panthers?

bp.jpgSince Beyonce’s Super Bowl 50 half time performance, there has been lots of conversation around the Black Panthers. Many (white) Americans seem appalled that Bey would pay tribute to such an organization,  falsely comparing the Black Panthers to the Ku Klux Klan (the Black Panthers were NOT terrorists who bombed, murdered, and lynched innocent people like the KKK). But do we really know who the Black Panthers were? Unfortunately, the American education system has a way of painting historic black leaders and organizations in a negative light, and/or watering down the truth to fit its preferred narrative. So let’s educate ourselves and learn who the Black Panthers truly were.

Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale founded the Black Panther Party. The two had worked together for years prior through activism in black politics. Bobby  Seale was involved in RAM (Revolutionary Action Movement) and both of the men were in the Soul Students Advisory Committee, a collegiate organization. The philosophy for the Panthers was developed through these experiences.

But the Panthers were not just about philosophy. They had demands and outlined action to achieve them. Recently, people have talked about the Panthers possession of guns. The Panthers did indeed exercise their constitutional right to bear arms. This was done to implement Malcolm X’s self-defense philosophy and patrol the police. At the time, police brutality was rampant, with officers beating and killing black people randomly. Police departments were even recruiting officers from the racist south to police the northern ghettos.

The Socialist Alternative recalls this instance:

On one occasion, whilst on patrol, they witnessed an officer stop and search a young guy. The Panthers got out of their car and went over to the scene and stood watching their guns on full display. Angrily, the policeman began to question them and tried to intimidate them with threats of arrest. But Huey P. Newton had studied the law intimately and could quote every law and court ruling relevant to their situation.

During these situations, the Panthers made it clear that they did not want to have a shoot-out with the police and that they would only use their guns in self-defense. They would also hand out information, to the crowd that formed, about the Black Panthers philosophy and meeting details.

Outside of their self-defense, we rarely talk about the notable community programs that the Panthers organized. They organized many “revolutionary program,” as they called them, such as free breakfast for children, health clinics, and shoes for children. Bobby Seale explained, “A revolutionary program is onset forth by revolutionaries, by those who want to change the existing system for a better system.”

The Black Panther Party grew to have 5,000 full time employees and 45 chapters throughout America. They sold 250,000 papers a week. At the time, polls showed that the organization had 90 percent support from black people in major cities. The group was largely impactful, with the FBI describing them as “the number one threat to the internal security of the United States.”

Today, we remember the Black Panther Party, for being one of the most widely know black political organizations that protected and met people’s needs through programs that provided food, clothes, medical care and more. We thank them for showing us what we can accomplish through organization. Today, unfortunately,  we still see many of the same issues that they combated. We can learn much from them.

#EverydayBlackHistory

 

 

Aleidra Allen on HuffPost Live- 11.24.15

 

Watch Aleidra on HuffPost Live (Aleidra speaks at minutes 4:29, 10:29, and 12:23)

On November 24, 2015, Aleidra Allen was featured on a HuffPost Live segment. She shared perspectives on Donald Trump’s most recent comments about “roughing up” Black Lives Matter protestors. Aleidra speaks at minutes 4:29, 10:29, and 12:23.

**Unfortunately, Aleidra experienced technical difficulties throughout the segment. We apologize for those instances.

WATCH: Trump Rhetoric Getting Uglier

From HuffPost Live website: After his supporters attacked a #BlackLivesMatter protester at a rally, Donald Trump responded by yelling, “get him the hell out of here.” How is the increasingly vicious rhetoric out of the Trump camp affecting the national political debate?

Hosted by:

Alex Miranda

Guests:

Rebecca Sinderbrand (Washington, DC) Politics Editor, Washington Post @sinderbrand

Michael Calderone (New York, NY) Huffington Post Senior Media Reporter @mlcalderone

Aleidra Allen (St. Louis , MO) Student Involvement Center, Saint Louis University @klassy_lei

The Huffington Post Asks Aleidra Allen What Question She Would Ask Candidates at a Democratic Debate

“Both the Democratic and Republican National Committees have agreed to give their blessing to a presidential town hall set up by activists in the Black Lives Matter movement. But organizers within the network have said that gesture isn’t enough. They want the parties to devote one of their official — and more high-profile — debates to racial justice issues.”

Aleidra, along with 5 other black activists and organizers, posed the questions they would ask candidates at a Democratic debate on racial justice issues. Check out the questions and full article!

Article by Philip Lewis, Fellow, The Huffington Post

Aleidra Allen on HuffPost Live- 10.22.15

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Watch Aleidra on HuffPost Live (Aleidra speaks at minutes 6:41, 14:27, and 20:37)

On October 22, 2015, Aleidra Allen was featured on a HuffPost Live segment. She shared perspectives on the discussion of the Black Lives Matter movement during presidential debates, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) promoting a Black Lives Matter town hall meeting, and the recent burning of churches in St. Louis, MO. Check it out below (Aleidra speaks at minutes 6:41, 14:27, and 20:37)!

WATCH: HuffPost Live Segment- DNC Agrees To Promote #BlackLivesMatter Town Hall

From HuffPost Live website: With the Democratic National Committee agreeing to promote a presidential town hall hosted by the Black Lives Matter movement, we discuss how candidates should approach the social justice campaign and how much it will affect the upcoming election.

Hosted by:

Alyona Minkovski

Guests:

Julia Craven (Washington, DC) HuffPost Politics Reporter

Elle Hearns (New York , NY) Central Region Coordinator, GetEQUAL; Strategic Partner, Black Lives Matter

Aleidra Allen (St. Louis , MO) Student Involvement Center, Saint Louis University

Martese Johnson  (Charlottesville, VA) Activist

Aleidra Allen on HuffPost Live- 8.11.15

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Watch Aleidra on HuffPost Live (Aleidra speaks at minutes 9:50 and 23:23)

On August 11, 2015, Aleidra Allen was a special guest on a HuffPost Live segment. She shared perspectives on what Dr. King described as the “white moderate,” and the role of empathy in the Black Lives Matter movement. Check it out below (Aleidra speaks at minutes 9:50 and 23:23)!


WATCH: HuffPost Live Segment- Black Lives Matters Protesters Shut Down Bernie

From HuffPost Live website: Senator Bernie Sanders left a speech this weekend after Black Lives Matter protesters took over his campaign event. We discuss the criticism that #blacklivesmatter is alienating potential allies and the role of the movement in 2016 politics.

Hosted by:

Alyona Minkovski

Guests:

Jamil Smith (New York, NY) Senior Editor, The New Republic @JamilSmith

Ben Cohen (Washington, DC) Editor and Founder, TheDailyBanter.com @thedailybanter

Jamie Utt (Tuscon, AZ) Contributing Writer, Everyday Feminism @utt_jamie

Aleidra Allen (St. Louis, MO) Program Coordinator for the Student Involvement Center, Saint Louis University; Student Involvement Center, St. Louis University @klassy_lei

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