Home > Black Power, Socialism/Communism > Blurbs On the Des Moines Black Panther Party

Blurbs On the Des Moines Black Panther Party

From A Black Panther speaks of the past and future

“you would be surprised at how easy it is to do this. The same way we would get buildings. We would just go in and say, oh, look, nobody’s here. It’s vacant. So we’ll just put a clinic up here. Oh, the landlord is now going to come down and we say what? You want us to pay rent? No, we’re not paying rent. We just occupied. We just did this, and we did it all over the country. We did it in Dallas and we did it in Chicago and in Philadelphia and in Boston and in Oakland and in LA, and all over the country where we had Black Panther Party chapters. Detroit. And even Milwaukee. I didn’t know Black people lived in some of these places. Like I learned that Black people lived in like, Iowa. We had a Des Moines, Iowa chapter… [and a chapter in] Lincoln, Nebraska.”

From “Serving the People”: The Survival Programs of the Black Panther Party

“Unfortunately, government officials were sometimes successful in convincing community leaders and parents not to cooperate with the Party. Consequently, in some cities, including Omaha and Des Moines, the school program was discontinued.”

From The Annals of Iowa Vol. 69, No. 1, Winter 2010

North Side Revolutionaries in the Civil Rights Struggle: The African American Community in Des Moines and the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, 1948–1970 by Bruce Fehn and Robert Jefferson

BRUCE FEHN AND ROBERT JEFFERSON describe how the Des Moines chapter of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense emerged in 1968 out of African Americans’ efforts to survive and thrive under particular local conditions of racism, discrimination, and segregation. The authors conclude that the Black Panthers gave a radical shove to black politics but also drew on the support of traditional African American leaders and even some sympathetic members of the white community in Des Moines.

  1. December 30, 2010 at 3:40 PM

    this is great! thanks got archiving them all. Looking forward to digging in a little.

  2. December 30, 2010 at 9:44 PM

    This is a really great resource. I’ve been interested in doing something similar here in Grand Rapids, Michigan — thanks for the inspiration (and the helpful information)!

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