Black against empire

the history and politics of the Black Panther Party

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Black against empire (2013, University of California Press)

English language

Published June 21, 2013 by University of California Press.


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5 stars (2 reviews)

This timely special edition, published on the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party, features a new preface by the authors that places the Party in a contemporary political landscape, especially as it relates to Black Lives Matter and other struggles to fight police brutality against black communities.

In Oakland, California, in 1966, community college students Bobby Seale and Huey Newton armed themselves, began patrolling the police, and promised to prevent police brutality. Unlike the Civil Rights Movement that called for full citizenship rights for blacks within the United States, the Black Panther Party rejected the legitimacy of the U.S. government and positioned itself as part of a global struggle against American imperialism. In the face of intense repression, the Party flourished, becoming the center of a revolutionary movement with offices in sixty-eight U.S. cities and powerful allies around the world.

Black against Empire is the first …

7 editions

Review of 'Black against empire' on Goodreads

4 stars

Follows the arc of Panther growth, repression, and fracturing focusing on the political and tactical approaches they developed and revised as they grew from local opposition to police brutality to a national revolutionary organization. Emphasizes that their growth, despite their provocative revolutionary stance, relied on the broad support of moderate allies in the post civil rights and anti-war and anti-colonial left, and that it was as much the partial state resolution of these shared motives as the FBI's repression that ultimately ended the Panther's power.

The stories of police/state injustice documented throughout that motivated radical action seem so recognizable today.


  • Politics and government
  • Race relations
  • Black Panther Party
  • Civil rights
  • Political aspects
  • African Americans
  • Civil rights movements
  • History


  • United States