Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution aired on PBS Tuesday night. The film by Stanley Nelson provided insight into what the organization was all about, the leaders, the programs, and the setbacks they faced. The lessons were plentiful. And the efforts of people like Kathleen & Eldridge Cleaver, Bobby Seale, Huey P. Newton, Fred Hampton, Peaches, Julian Bond, and so many more finally got the recognition that history rarely highlights. Check out these lessons that Twitter learned during the PBS broadcast.

1. The Black Panthers were birth like any revolution out of a necessity for change.

2. The symbolism of the Panther wasn’t just because black is beautiful.

3. In 1966, at Merritt College, Huey P. Newton & Bobby Seale created The Black Panthers.

4. After the Watts Riots of 1965, and inspired by Robert Williams’ Negroes with Guns, the organization’s intentions were to empower the black community.

5. And they did so in congruence with the law.

6. But as the law would have it…

7. But this was still a telling moment as to how politically powerful the Panthers were even at an early stage.

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8. But the Panthers forged forward because this was about protecting their communities, even though they were facing the unchecked police.

9. The Panthers were considered to be a terrorist organization though.

10. And then things changed.

11. And 2 days after MLK’s assassination, the Panthers’ first recruit Bobby Hutton was gunned down. He was 17yo.

12. Marlon Brando was an early supporter of the Panthers and gave a eulogy at Hutton’s funeral.

13. It was important to decode and understand the language too.

14. The FBI began their illegal and divisive Counter Intelligence Program to undermine the Panthers.

15. J. Edgar Hoover was trash.

16. Black families suffered.

17. But the Panthers did their best to keep programs going for the community especially the breakfast program.

18. And it was thanks to the Panthers that a lot of these programs exist today.

19. And we have to acknowledge the role of the women.

20. Peaches was an OG.

21. The women, without a doubt, held the Panthers together.

22. The Panthers were also inclusive.

23. And then there was Fred Hampton. A man so rooted in his convictions he put immediate fear in the establishment.

24. And the violent murder of this leader is still traumatic to this day.

25. The murder of Hampton put a serious damper on the movement. Bobby Seale said it best to challenge the media’s message.

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26. The members of the Panthers forged forward though, this time started seeking political office to make changes.

27. However some are still political prisoners.

28. And the relevance is not lost today.

29. And if it weren’t for Stanley Nelson, we wouldn’t have this moment now to reflect on the significance of this movement.

What were the most eye-opening moments for you watching #BlackPanthersPBS? For more information check out this Black Panther discussion guide that is helpful for the whole family!

Photo: tumblr
Photo: tumblr

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