A landmark on 55th and Market St. in North Oakland states that "This stoplight was installed as a result of a community initiative spearheaded by the Black Panther Party".The English Wikipedia Entry,  the Black Panther Party "was an African-American revolutionary socialist organization active in the United States from 1966 until 1982" which "began in part in the Longfellow neighborhood." (Longfellow Wikipedia Entry).

Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton both attended Merritt Junior College in Oakland in the early 1960s. As students, they participated in the Afro-American Association (est. 1961), and the Merritt Black Student Union. 1  "In the summer of 1966 Newton and Seale worked at a Bay Area CAP [Community Action Program], the North Oakland Neighborhood Anti-Poverty Center." "The center's office was the Party's first headquarters." [Nelson, 55]

Two OPD officers opened fire on party headquarters at 4421 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way (then Grove Street). No one was injured, but Mayor Reading quickly condemned the act and the officers were arrested, fired and charged. 3

In 1968, the survival programs were initiated for all chapters. These included

Those interested in the history of the Black Panther Party may enjoy The Official Black Panther Party Historical Tour Guide (via archive.org)

The BPP 10 Point Plan

What We Want Now!

  1. We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our Black Community.
  2. We want full employment for our people.
  3. We want an end to the robbery by the capitalists of our black and oppressed communities.
  4. We want decent housing, fit for shelter of human beings.
  5. 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 the present day society.
  6. We want all Black men to be exempt from military service.
  7. We want an immediate end to POLICE BRUTALITY and MURDER of Black people.
  8. We want freedom for all Black men held in federal, state, county and city prisons and jails.
  9. We want all Black people when brought to trial to be tried in court by a jury of their peer group or people from their Black Communities, as defined by the Constitution of the United States.
  10. We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice and peace.


  1. Nelson, Alondra. Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination. University of Minnesota Press. 2011. Print.
  2. Honoring the 44th Anniversary of the Black Panther's Free Breakfast Program
  3. OPD Officers Attack Black Panther Headquarters SF Bay Area TV Archive

Pages tagged “Black Panther Party”

Recommended Reading:

It is really hard to find good and/or authoritative and/or non-biased books about the Black Panthers. By the nature of the subject, it's difficult to find "objective" texts: many of the Party members are dead from state violence, and the Party ended fragmented. Thus those remaining alive are left with privileged voices. Below are some texts that wiki editors have read.

See the Black Panther Party, Oakland, California, 1968-1972 in the Bob Fitch Photography Archive at Stanford for dozens of photos.


The Black Panther is a publication put out by the Black Panther Party.

A copy of The Black Panther found at the West Oakland Branch library.