" />Reviews Published 50 Book Reviews Professional Reader 2016 NetGalley Challenge

giovedì, settembre 29, 2016

Power to the People: The World of the Black Panthers By Bobby Seale

The 60s will always be remembered for the change that they brought to the world.

A new wind was born also thanks to John Kennedy and after his assassinations movements of various sort, born in the universities, spread all around the USA.

They were composed by pacific people who believed in a different world.
Dreamers, and dream-makers and builders of peace. That generation, wanted to build a best future for the humanity.

The 60s were altruistic years.
Years that should be taken always as example, because people were able to look positively at the future with the idea that changing the world for better was not only possible but an imperative, and that it was important this change for helping all the rest of the humanity.

There was a revolution in act although it was mainly pacific, sometimes a bit violent, but always most of the time constructed because based on healthy ideals.

Each of us dream equality, each of us dream justice, each of us the possibility of express ourselves and live a free life.

But, when for some reasons people can't afford in the same school of white people because of the color of their skin, can't enter in the same cafes, can't live the same honest life of white people where is this equality? Where is this justice?

People in the 60s, of course we speak of youngsters, felt that yes, they were living in a good world, but that also that world needed to be changed for being as more perfect as possible at the big ideal of justice existing in the world. Because there were still too many big injustices.

In this humus, composed by the ascension and big success of Martin Luther King and his message of brotherhood and equality in the USA for black and white citizens, (living well together is an enrichment for the society) like also the more tormented story of Malcolm X assassinated as was King, born on October 15 1966 at Grove Oakland the movement of the Black Panther Party.

The USA has always lived unfortunately a big big racial story and these young men, some of them at the University in the mid of 60s started to think that it was better to take action, to start to give dignity, opening the eyes at the black people if these ones were still closed.


Stephen Shames and Bobby Seale the second one co-founder with Huey Newton of the movement and  the first photographer of the movement authors of Power to  the people - The world of the Black Panthers - that will be published by ABRAMS this October 18th.

The book is articulated in chapters and in a long interviews with the various co-founders and most influential exponents of the movement like Kathleen Cleaver, Elbert Howard, Ericka Huggins, Emory Douglas, William Jennings.


The idea of Seale? To tell the most remarkable moments in a book in photographs and  words.

The impact is impressive. Thanks to the pictures, you can feel that atmosphere of rebellion and the words are a powerful contribution for understands every step of the Party.
The Party active in all the possible social fields existing at this world.

They started very soon the Free Breakfast for Children for trying to create in the society a  national movement for economic independence,  education. "No kid should be running around hungry  in school" said the founders, but other programs involved free shoes, free clothes, free food as we will see and the creations of free clinics where people could be cured with dignity, and much much more.

Although with a sentence of 1954 of the Supreme  Court black people couldn't be segregated anymore at schools,  nothing changed.

Seale and Huey Newton the founders  of the Party grew up in this scenario and they  wanted to change the situation of their people and  of the country as well.

The two were the second  migration of black Americans.They escaped from the South but the migration at West didn't avoid other racism and injustices.

These young men plenty of great ideals. Anti-war  Vietnam supporters,  they started to fight for every kind of injustices afflicting black people and for changing  the world, making a better place for everyone, black&white. This movement was not born against  white people in fact but for keeping high the pride of the black people.

Black people couldn't vote in the 60s, black people couldn't live a normal  existence. Segregation was the word.

For these two teenagers Malcolm X was an idol.
Self-defense as seen is one of the most powerful  voice for Americans and started to be the most  powerful flag for these two leaders when they  created the party.

The Ten Point of the Platform of the Black Panthers,  vivid and real. Education but also freedom, job, good houses. A point I will write exactly as  proposed: we want an immediate end to police  brutality and murder of black people.

The Black Panther organized also a boycott campaign  against all that stores refused to support them or didn't hire black people, asking at the same time to the people to support all that stores friendly with the Black Panther Party.

A newsmagazine was released although the founders met a lot of problems but at least they were in grade to spread the word also thanks to a powerful vehicle: written word.


At the end the movement didn't look anymore at skin  color, gender, class, sexual orientation. The  movement fought for gay rights for example.

The legacy left is of course very important.

Why the authors wrote this book?

One of them writes that  they look at the future.
This book is for all people  oppressed in every corner of the world because  injustice doesn't know a place a skin, a gender.
Injustice happens.

The book will be released close to the  50th anniversary of the creation of the movement  but a lot must yet be done. Racial  condition between black and white is again a big  problem that I just hope soon or late will be sorted out. Forever.

Beautiful, important historical book.

It's a book important for the newest generations because it is crucial to understand that ALL the freedoms we have at the moment were the product of the sacrifices also of these youngsters, who, thanks to biggest ideals more big than their same lives opened their heart at a mission more big than themselves: saving the world, changing the world, making a difference, leaving a legacy in political, social terms. Some of these young men lost their lives for these dreams and ideals, the luckiest ones went to prison, most of them received a lot of humiliations for fighting for a better future, for everyone and for all the future generations.
These young men understood before the society itself that without dignity a person can't be called a person.

This one mustn't never be forgotten.

A great great gift for Christmas!

I thank NetGalley and ABRAMS for this book!



Anna Maria Polidori

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