“So the concept is this basically: The whole Black nation has to be put together as a Black army. And we gon’ walk on this nation. We gon’ walk on the racist power structure. And we gone say to the government: “Stick em’ up motherf****r, this is a holdup. We’ve come for what’s ours”—an excerpt from the 1995 DVD “What We Want, What We Believe: the Black Panther Party Library.
It’s been more than three decades since the collapse of the Black Panther Party (for Self Defense), as it was originally titled. After a historic campaign of militant demonstration and persisting community activism, the grassroots alliance that was, as FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover described, “the greatest threat to the internal security of the country,” finally crumbled under the relentless pressure of external opposition in 1970.