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The Black Panther (newspaper)

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The Black Panther
Front page for the first issue on April 25, 1967
PublisherBlack Panther Party
FoundedApril 25, 1967 (1967-04-25)
Political alignmentBlack Power


Ceased publicationSeptember 16, 1980 (1980-09-16)
HeadquartersOakland, California
CountryUnited States
OCLC number32411926

The Black Panther (also called The Black Panther Intercommunal News Service, Black Panther Black Community News Service, and Black Community News Service) 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.[1] 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.[2] It remained in circulation until the dissolution of the Party in 1980.



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 Newspaper was a critical part of the Party's consciousness-raising program.[3]

The Black Panther Party Newspaper, variably titled through its duration 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 April 25, 1967,[4] to September 16, 1980.[4] The newspaper was most popular from 1968 to 1972, and during this time, sold a hundred thousand copies a week.[2]

An undergraduate student at San Francisco State, Judy Juanita, served as editor of The Black Panther Party Newspaper during the later 1960s.[5] In 1969, two-thirds of Black Panther Party members were women and women were heavily represented among the paper's staff and leadership.[6]

The artist Emory Douglas, who studied at the City College of San Francisco, acted as the newspaper’s graphic arts designer. Working alongside Douglas were Gayle Asali Dickson and Joan Tarika Lewis, who was the first woman to join the Black Panther Party.[7] Its final editor until the dissolution of the Party was JoNina Abron.

In its later years, the newspaper was used to rally support for members of the party who became political prisoners.[citation needed]


A July 1970 issue of the Black Panther Party newspaper, then titled the Black People's News Service.

"The BPP newspaper grew from a four-page newsletter to a full newspaper in about a year and [537] issues were printed."[8]



Circulation was national and international.[9] 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.[8]

See also



  1. ^ Danky, James Philip; Hady, Maureen E. (1998). African-American newspapers and periodicals : a national bibliography. Mark Graham. Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press. p. 93. ISBN 978-0-674-00788-8.
  2. ^ a b Jones, Charles E. (Charles Earl), 1953- (1998). The Black Panther party (reconsidered). Baltimore: Black Classic Press. ISBN 0933121970. OCLC 39228699.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ 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. Retrieved February 25, 2017.
  4. ^ a b "A complete archive of the Black Panther Party's newspapers from beginning to end". Reddit. 2 June 2016. Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  5. ^ Tobar, Hector (April 19, 2013). "Judy Juanita and her 'Virgin Soul'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 25, 2017.
  6. ^ Cleaver, Kathleen Neal, Women, Power and Revolution, excerpted from Liberation, Imagination and the Black Panther Party. London, England: Routledge, 2001, pp. 123–127.
  7. ^ Khandwala, Anoushka (4 January 2021). ""The Black Panther Newspaper Wielded the Potency of Design"". elephant.art. Retrieved May 27, 2022.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ "Freedom Archives".

Further reading