Op/Ed By Gloria Winston Al-Sarag
However, unbeknownst to most was the fact that Beyoncé had plans for a celebration that would make all black folks proud.
Her electrifying, daring performance was a genuine tribute to those who had come before her.
She boldly, and tastefully, reminded folks of another 50th Anniversary worthy of celebration. The Black Panther Party for Self Defense (BPP), was indeed established fifty years ago, in 1966, by Dr. Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, in Oakland, California.
Beyoncé’s performance left me teary-eyed, and, now, more than ever, I have become one of her biggest fans. This is not the first time an artist has used his or her performance to protest, or to make a political statement. However, I believe hers is one that will go down in history.
And, much to the chagrin of racists (those who have refused to accept our historical presence, and journey in this country), both nationally and locally, she did her thing. Nefertiti and Cleopatra would have been more than proud of this black queen.
You can do that when you are free, un-bought, un-bossed, and unsold.
Yet, subsequently, threats have been made, and boycotts against Beyoncé have now surfaced.
In addition, ignorance in Rochester has also recently surfaced, on radio station 95.1.
A so-called “on-air personality” had the nerve to compare the Black Panther Party to the KKK.
I believe this person should be reported to the FCC, for spreading such a hate-filled LIE. I can’t even find it within myself to name the person who has made such a racist comparison. I will, however, attempt to enlighten that person, and request that this person get a library card, go to the Internet, and fact-check before opening his uninformed mouth, based on lies, again.
First of all, the KKK, American, home-grown terrorists, have lynched, robbed, murdered, raped, and burned churches.
However, J. Edgar Hoover sought to destroy the BPP, and managed, via infiltration, negative media, and more, to accomplish the dismantling of the organization, while the KKK still continues to exist today.
I was a proud, card-carrying member of the BPP, and not many organizations, to date, have accomplished in our community, what the BPP did.
The BPP’s Ten Point Program, which had been established in 1966, and was slightly amended in 1972, was as follows:
- We want Freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our black, and oppressed, communities.
- We want full employment for our people.
- We want an end to the robbery by the capitalists of our black community, and oppressed communities.
- We want decent housing fit for the shelter of human beings.
- We want education for our people that exposes the true nature of this decadent American society. We want education that teaches us our true history, and our role in present-day society.
- We want completely free health care for all black, and oppressed, people.
- We want an immediate end to police brutality, and the murder of black people, other people of color, and all oppressed people inside the United States.
- We want an immediate end to all wars of aggression.
- We want freedom for all black, and poor, oppressed people now held in U.S. federal, state, county, city and military prisons and jails. We want trials by juries of peers for all persons charged with so-called crimes under the laws of this country.
- We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice, and people’s community control of modern technology.
I think someone should make sure the clueless “on-air personality,” on 95.1, gets a copy of the FACTS, because the KKK has never given anyone anything close to what the BPP has contributed to the American community.
Educate yourself by taking the time to read about at least 65 of the community programs established and implemented by the BPP, below. We established the breakfast program in schools; we were the forerunners to Neighborhood Watch; and we brought health care into the community, as you will see.
*Black Panther Party Community Programs,
from 1966 – 1982:
Alameda County Volunteer Bureau Work Site, 2. Benefit Counseling, 3. Black Student Alliance, 4. Child Development Center, 5. Consumer Education Classes, 6. Community Facility Use, 7. Community Health Classes, 8. East Oakland CIL (Center for Independent Living) Branch, 9. Community Pantry (Free Food Program), 10. Drug/Alcohol Abuse Awareness Program, 11. Drama Classes, 12. Disabled Persons Services/Transportation and Attendant, 13. Drill Team, 14. Employment Referral Service, 15. Free Ambulance Program, 16. Free Breakfast for Children Programs, 17. Free Busing to Prisons Program, 18. Free Clothing Program, 19. Free Commissary for Prisoners Program, 20. Free Dental Program, 21. Free Employment Program, 22. Free Food Program, 23. Free Film Series, 24. Free Furniture Program, 25. Free Health Clinics, 26. Free Housing Cooperative Program, 27. Food Cooperative Program, 28. Free Optometry Program, 29. Community Forum, 30. Free Pest Control Program, 31. Free Plumbing and Maintenance Program, 32. Free Shoe Program, 33. GED Classes, 34. Geriatric Health Center, 35. GYN Clinic, 36. Home SAFE Visits, 37. Intercommunal Youth Institute (becomes OCS by 1975), 38. Junior and High School Tutorial Program, 39. Legal Aid and Education, 40. Legal Clinic/Workshops, 41. Laney Experimental College Extension Site, 42. Legal Referral Service(s), 43. Liberation Schools, 44. Martial Arts Program, 45. Nutrition Classes, 46. Oakland Community Learning Center, 47. Outreach Preventative Care, 48. Program Development, 49. Pediatric Clinic, 50. police patrols, 51. Seniors Against a Fearful Environment, 52. SAFE Club, 53. Sickle Cell Anemia Research Foundation, 54. Son of Man Temple (becomes Community Forum by 1976, 55. Sports, 56. Senior Switchboard, 57. The Black Panther Newspaper, 58. Teen Council, 59. Teen Program, 60. U.C. Berkeley Students Health Program, 61. V.D. Preventative Screening & Counseling, 62. Visiting Nurses Program, 63. WIC (Women Infants, and Children) Program, 64. Youth Diversion and Probation Site, and 65. Youth Training and Development.
The bottom line is, “HAPPY 50th ANNIVERSARY to the Black Panther Party for Self Defense.”
Thanks, Beyoncé, for the reminder!!! Lest we forget!!!