Guns, berets and leather jackets are what many folks typically associate with the Black Panther Party. But the Black Panthers were instrumental in bringing healthcare to neglected communities. The reason you may not know about it? A covert government program tried to bury it.
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COINTELPRO, or “Counter-Intelligence Program,” was a propaganda and surveillance operation that the FBI used to target activists, political groups and minorities. Of the 290 operations carried out by COINTELPRO, the Panthers were targets of 245. The program was designed not only to ruin the Panthers’ image, but also to cripple them financially and keep them from carrying out their social program.
Learn more here:
Jacobin. “The FBI’s Secret War.”
National Geographic. “The Black Panthers: Revolutionaries, Free Breakfast Pioneers.”
New York Times. “Reconsidering the Black Panthers Through Photos.”
Presented by: Imaeyen Ibanga
Shot by: Brian Joseph and Dariel Medina
Edited by: Michael Zipkin
Animations and illustrations by: Chia Liu
Produced by: Omar Duwaji, Dylan Bergeson, Imaeyen Ibanga
Executive Producer: Sarah Nasr
Music tracks courtesy of Audio Network.
Footage and images courtesy of AP, Getty and Reuters.