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Power to the People: The World of the Black Panthers

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


In words and photographs, Power to the People is the story of the controversial Black Panther Party, founded 50 years ago in 1966 by Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton.
The words are Seale’s, with contributions by other former party members; the photographs, including many icons of the 1960s, are by Stephen Shames, who also interviewed many other members of the party—including Kathleen Cleaver, Elbert “Big Man” Howard, Ericka Huggins, Emory Douglas, and William “Billy X” Jennings—and supplements his own photography with Panther ephemera and graphic art.
Shames, a student at the University of California, Berkeley, first encountered and photographed Seale in April 1967 at an anti–Vietnam War rally. Seale became a mentor to Shames, and Shames, in turn, the most trusted photographer to the party, remained by Seale’s side through his campaign for mayor of Oakland in 1973. Power to the People is a testament to their warm association: At its heart are Shames’s memorable images, accompanied by Seale’s colorful in-depth commentary culled from many hours of conversation.
Admired, reviled, emulated, misunderstood, the Black Panther Party was one of the most creative and influential responses to racism and inequality in American history. They advocated armed self-defense to counter police brutality, and initiated a program of patrolling the police with shotguns—and law books.
Published on the 50th anniversary of the party’s founding, Power to the People is the in-depth chronicle of the only radical political party in America to make a difference in the struggle for civil rights—the Black Panther Party.

From Publishers Weekly

Oct 31, 2016 – Poignant and vivid, this visual and verbal portrait of the Black Panther Party (BPP), carefully crafted by photographer Shames and activist Seale, feels like a Ken Burns documentary film. Shames contributes evocative images taken during seven years shadowing BPP members. They are juxtaposed with unvarnished and expressive stories told by BPP cofounder Seale and other Panthers. The combination emphasizes the Panthers' humanity, strength, and vulnerability. An image shows two Panthers, Anthony "Kimu" White and Jamal Joseph, young and serious-eyed in Harlem. Beside it, text by Joseph describes their expressions as conveying "exhaustion, but at the same time exhilaration." He explains that six months after the photo was taken, White was dead, killed in a shoot-out with police, and Joseph was in prison. Going beyond the leather-clad, gun-toting Panther persona, the book locates the BPP's heart in community "survival" programs that provided free breakfast, groceries, and medical care. Fifty years after the BPP's founding, Shames and Seale's work is both richly nostalgic and brimming with present-day relevance during the reemergence of organized African-American activism. Mindful of the political moment, Seale speaks directly to present-day activists, imparting the nitty-gritty details of creating a local organization and transforming it into a national force and cultural phenomenon.
Power to the People: The World of the Black Panthers
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  • $16.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: United States
  • Published: Oct 18, 2016
  • Publisher: ABRAMS
  • Seller: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
  • Print Length: 256 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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