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Janus-faced Social Movements: Factors that Influence the Choice of Non-violent over Violent Tactics in Political Movements
Unformatted Document Text:  Panthers were formally inducted when the pair collectively wrote the 10-point party platform in 1966 (Booker 1998). The Panthers even became international in 1970 with the opening of an Algerian chapter. The Panther organization officially existed until 1982 although many studies assume that their role as an effective party ended as early as 1971 with the party split. The Panthers, though always left wing, began with greater emphasis on their racial orientation (e.g. black nationalist orientation) rather than an ideological one. As the philosophy of the organization evolved, it became more firmly entrenched as representing a class divide and class expressions of discrimination, though still viewing this conflict through the prism of race (Hayes and Kiene 1998). The glory years in the Black Panther legacy coincided with the peak of the Black Power movement spanning the 1960’s and, to a lesser extent, the 1970’s before eventually fading away in the 1980’s. In the early decades, the Panthers prospered. They reproduced their group in cities across the US and spread information to the black communities through their own news source The Black Panther (Jones 1978). The Black Panther reputation was also established as a movement providing much needed services as well as political stimulation. Though often portrayed in the media as a purely militant movement, the Black Panthers formation is entirely predicated on providing a neglected public service to black communities: protection, with numerous other services to follow. Not to mislead the reader, the theory of behavior followed by the organization and its leadership did strongly stress the importance of armed resistance as evidenced in their militant “survival programs” that included police patrols and body guards for the elderly, etc. however, this is not the exclusive image of the Panthers. This movement additionally provided a number of non-armed social services to the community 28

Authors: Graham, Leah.
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Panthers were formally inducted when the pair collectively wrote the 10-point party platform in
1966 (Booker 1998). The Panthers even became international in 1970 with the opening of an
Algerian chapter. The Panther organization officially existed until 1982 although many studies
assume that their role as an effective party ended as early as 1971 with the party split.
The Panthers, though always left wing, began with greater emphasis on their racial
orientation (e.g. black nationalist orientation) rather than an ideological one. As the philosophy of
the organization evolved, it became more firmly entrenched as representing a class divide and class
expressions of discrimination, though still viewing this conflict through the prism of race (Hayes
and Kiene 1998).
The glory years in the Black Panther legacy coincided with the peak of the Black Power
movement spanning the 1960’s and, to a lesser extent, the 1970’s before eventually fading away in
the 1980’s. In the early decades, the Panthers prospered. They reproduced their group in cities
across the US and spread information to the black communities through their own news source The
Black Panther (Jones 1978). The Black Panther reputation was also established as a movement
providing much needed services as well as political stimulation.
Though often portrayed in the media as a purely militant movement, the Black Panthers
formation is entirely predicated on providing a neglected public service to black communities:
protection, with numerous other services to follow. Not to mislead the reader, the theory of
behavior followed by the organization and its leadership did strongly stress the importance of armed
resistance as evidenced in their militant “survival programs” that included police patrols and body
guards for the elderly, etc. however, this is not the exclusive image of the Panthers. This
movement additionally provided a number of non-armed social services to the community
28


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