The Black Panther Cubs and the Black Panther Alumni Association commemorated the 51st anniversary of the Black Panther Party’s founding last weekend with several local events. The Panther Cubs—Keepers of the Flame/Raise High the Torch: A Three-Day Legacy of Generational Resistance, Struggle, Liberation and Solidarity Weekend Conference, commemorated the efforts of several offspring of some legendary freedom fighters.
Established in late October 1966 by Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton, two African-American students at Merritt College in Oakland, Calif., the Black Panther Party (originally the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense) became one of the primary revolutionary voices for the youths of the Black Power era.
Immensely inspired by human rights activist Malcolm X’s Black nationalist paradigm “they developed a revolutionary anti-imperialist perspective”
The events kicked off Friday, Oct. 27, at the Unitarian Church of All Souls (79th Street and Lexington Avenue) with a reception by visual artist Sophia Dawson and the screening of the film “Panther Cub: My Journey to the Frontline,” by filmmaker and Panther Cub, K’sisay Sadiki.
Saturday morning, Charles “Cappy” Pinderhughes, Ph.D., sociology professor and former BPP lieutenant of information (New Haven, Conn.) conducted the workshop “Marxism and the Black Panther Party: The role of Marxism in the Development of the BPP.”
That same afternoon, at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (515 Malcolm X Blvd.), BPP veteran Captain Bullwhip presented “an exhibit on Black Power Poster Art and how poster art drove the Black Power and Black Movement all throughout the country.” The presentation featured “bold insurgent poster art of Emory Douglas, the legendary minister of information for the BPP.”
Later that evening at the Unitarian Church of All Souls, “the Cubs, elders and comrades convened together and bonded for the evening’s dinner featuring an all revolutionary children and cadre of the struggle,” initiated by vegan chefs and children of BPP political prisoner-of-war Russell Maroon Shoatz—Russell Shoatz III and Sharon Shoatz.
Kakuya Shakur, daughter of political refugee, Assata Shakur, was present and acknowledged by her loyal comrades, just days before the 38th anniversary of her mother’s Nov. 2, 1979, exodus from a New Jersey state concentration camp.
Allegra Taylor, shared the story about her father, fallen comrade Hugo “Yogi” Pinell, “a political prisoner held captive over four decades in solitary confinement, who was murdered within two weeks of his release from solitary confinement into general population.”
One of the most visible Cubs, Fred Hampton Jr., son of police terrorism victim, Chairman Fred Hampton of the Illinois Chapter BPP, advocated the “importance of knowing the past wrongs committed against our people by the system, so they don’t happen again.”
An acknowledgment was made for several Cubs who have joined the ancestors.
“Each generation must discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it, in relative opacity,” wrote Frantz Fanon in “Wretched of the Earth.”