The Black Panther (newspaper)

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The Black Panther
The Black Panther Newspaper Masthead.jpeg
Founder(s)Huey P. Newton
Bobby Seale
PublisherBlack Panther Party
Political alignmentBlack Power
HeadquartersOakland, California
United States

The Black Panther was the official newspaper of the Black Panther Party. It began as a four-page newsletter in Oakland, California, in 1967, and was founded by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. It was the main publication of the party and was soon sold in several large cities across the United States, as well as having an international readership. The newspaper distributed information about the party's activities, and expressed through articles the ideology of the Black Panther Party, focusing on both international revolutions as inspiration and contemporary racial struggles of African Americans across the United States.[1]


The first issue of the newspaper, published April 25, 1967

The Black Panther Party maintained a commitment to community service including various "survival programs" developed by individual chapters that, by 1969, became part of the national party's "serve the people program" to connect their commitments to basic social services with community organizing and consciousness raising. The Black Panther Party's Intercommunal News Service published The Black Panther Party Newspaper as a critical part of its consciousness raising program.[2]

The Black Panther Party Newspaper is also known as The Black Panther Intercommunal News Service, Black Panther Black Community News Service, and Black Community News Service, was published by the Black Panther Party from 1967 to 1980. The newspaper was most popular from 1968-1972, and during this time sold a hundred thousand copies a week.[1]

An undergraduate student at San Francisco State, Judy Juanita, served as editor at The Black Panther Party Newspaper during the later 1960s.[3] In 1969, two-thirds of Black Panther Party members were women.[4]

In its later years it was used to rally support for members of the party who became political prisoners.


"The BPP newspaper grew from a four-page newsletter to a full newspaper in about a year and [537] issues were printed".[5]


Circulation was national and international.[6] From 1968 to 1971, The Black Panther Party Newspaper was the most widely read Black newspaper in the United States, with a weekly circulation of more than 300,000. It sold for 25 cents. Every Panther was required to read and study the newspaper before they could sell it. As it became nationally circulated, The Black Panther Party Newspaper national distribution center was located in San Francisco, with a distribution team led by Andrew Austin, Sam Napier, and Ellis White. Other distribution centers were in Chicago, Kansas, Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle.[5]


  1. ^ a b The Black Panther party (reconsidered). Jones, Charles E. (Charles Earl), 1953-. Baltimore: Black Classic Press. 1998. ISBN 0933121970. OCLC 39228699.CS1 maint: others (link)
  2. ^ Carpini, Michael X. Delli. "Black Panther Party 1966–1982." In James Ciment and Immanuel Ness (eds), Encyclopedia of Third Parties in America, pp. 190–197. Vol. 1, Third Parties in History; Third-Party Maps; American Third Parties A-F. Armonk, NY: Sharpe Reference, 2000. Gale Virtual Reference Library (accessed February 25, 2017).
  3. ^ Tobar, Hector (April 19, 2013). "Judy Juanita and her 'Virgin Soul'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 25, 2017.
  4. ^ Cleaver, Kathleen Neal, Women, Power and Revolution, excerpted from Liberation, Imagination and the Black Panther Party. London, England: Routledge, 2001, pp. 123–127.
  5. ^ a b Jennings, Billy X (May 4, 2015). "Remembering the Black Panther Party Newspaper April 25, 1967–September 1980". San Francisco Bayview. Retrieved February 25, 2017.
  6. ^ "Freedom Archives".

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