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A bold and fascinating graphic novel history of the revolutionary Black Panther Party, from an award-winning comic book writer. Founded in Oakland, California, in 1966, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was a revolutionary political organization that stood in defiant contrast to the mainstream civil rights movement. This gripping illustrated history explores the A bold and fascinating graphic novel history of the revolutionary Black Panther Party, from an award-winning comic book writer. Founded in Oakland, California, in 1966, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was a revolutionary political organization that stood in defiant contrast to the mainstream civil rights movement. This gripping illustrated history explores the impact and legacy of the Panthers, from their social, educational, and healthcare programs that were designed to uplift the Black community to their battle against police brutality through citizen patrols and frequent clashes with the FBI, which targeted the Party from its outset. Using dramatic comic book-style retellings and illustrated profiles of key figures, The Black Panther Party captures the major events, people, and actions of the party, as well as their cultural and political influence and enduring significance.


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A bold and fascinating graphic novel history of the revolutionary Black Panther Party, from an award-winning comic book writer. Founded in Oakland, California, in 1966, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was a revolutionary political organization that stood in defiant contrast to the mainstream civil rights movement. This gripping illustrated history explores the A bold and fascinating graphic novel history of the revolutionary Black Panther Party, from an award-winning comic book writer. Founded in Oakland, California, in 1966, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was a revolutionary political organization that stood in defiant contrast to the mainstream civil rights movement. This gripping illustrated history explores the impact and legacy of the Panthers, from their social, educational, and healthcare programs that were designed to uplift the Black community to their battle against police brutality through citizen patrols and frequent clashes with the FBI, which targeted the Party from its outset. Using dramatic comic book-style retellings and illustrated profiles of key figures, The Black Panther Party captures the major events, people, and actions of the party, as well as their cultural and political influence and enduring significance.

30 review for The Black Panther Party: A Graphic Novel History

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    A fairly engrossing history about a very complicated group of people. It's a graphic novel that relies heavily on giant blocks of text, but still reads fairly quickly due to the subject matter. My passing impression of the Black Panther Party reduces them to violent militants, so I was surprised to find that their initial 1966 Ten-Point Program of wants and beliefs is actually a very reasonable starting point for discussion of Black Americans' issues and civil rights. Most of them are rightly sti A fairly engrossing history about a very complicated group of people. It's a graphic novel that relies heavily on giant blocks of text, but still reads fairly quickly due to the subject matter. My passing impression of the Black Panther Party reduces them to violent militants, so I was surprised to find that their initial 1966 Ten-Point Program of wants and beliefs is actually a very reasonable starting point for discussion of Black Americans' issues and civil rights. Most of them are rightly still debated today. Indeed, it's amazing how little progress has been made on some of them, such as police brutality, and how that leads directly to the protests we saw last year. There is strong irony in how quickly California passed gun control legislation when Black Panthers showed up at the state capital with guns and how little action we have taken in the last year despite armed White militants parading and protesting. This introduction to the Black Panther Party was very enlightening and leaves me wanting to pursue more information about the topic.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    "When people consider the Black Panther Party, thoughts are often mixed, and often negative, no matter one’s race. Through The Black Panther Party: A Graphic Novel History, David F. Walker and Marcus Kwame Anderson offer more than enough details to help a reader understand just who the Panthers were and, perhaps, reconsider their views of the party’s legacy. In the wake of a Black Lives Matter world, understanding the history of the group that came before is paramount to understanding where the "When people consider the Black Panther Party, thoughts are often mixed, and often negative, no matter one’s race. Through The Black Panther Party: A Graphic Novel History, David F. Walker and Marcus Kwame Anderson offer more than enough details to help a reader understand just who the Panthers were and, perhaps, reconsider their views of the party’s legacy. In the wake of a Black Lives Matter world, understanding the history of the group that came before is paramount to understanding where the fight for racial equality has been and how far it still needs to go." Full review published at WWAC

  3. 5 out of 5

    Leila

    A brilliant, beautifully illustrated, engaging graphic novel history of the Black Panther Party that’s accessible for all ages (6 and up). Read this with my 7 year old for home school, and she was so captivated that she wanted to read it before bedtime too. Highly, highly recommend.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dan Wilcox

    A good, compact history of the Panthers, gloriously illustrated by Marcus Kwame Anderson. Highly recommended.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bek MoonyReadsByStarlight

    4.5 Stars. This was very informative. I learned a lot and it put so much in context that was very important. I'm looking forward to reading more about the BPP and seeing how this holds up. I do have some questions about conclusions that they come to (and the fact that they address some people who were framed and put in jail, while not addressing other instances of incarceration). But over all, this was very informative and I enjoyed the art style. 4.5 Stars. This was very informative. I learned a lot and it put so much in context that was very important. I'm looking forward to reading more about the BPP and seeing how this holds up. I do have some questions about conclusions that they come to (and the fact that they address some people who were framed and put in jail, while not addressing other instances of incarceration). But over all, this was very informative and I enjoyed the art style.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Heather V ~The Other Heather~

    When a book of any kind challenges the things you thought you knew, and teaches you things that as an adult you can't believe you didn't know already, it has achieved its ultimate goal. This book does that in such a remarkably straightforward way that I felt like I'd been slapped more than once. In a good way, I guess? (Is there a good way to feel like you've been slapped?) My comic book club of awesome women read this together, slotted in our February 2021 spot sometime in mid-2020 to observe Bl When a book of any kind challenges the things you thought you knew, and teaches you things that as an adult you can't believe you didn't know already, it has achieved its ultimate goal. This book does that in such a remarkably straightforward way that I felt like I'd been slapped more than once. In a good way, I guess? (Is there a good way to feel like you've been slapped?) My comic book club of awesome women read this together, slotted in our February 2021 spot sometime in mid-2020 to observe Black History Month. It led to an almost 3 hour long video call in which seven of us talked endlessly about what we'd never known and what we'll look at in new ways having had the history of the Black Panther Party spelled out so plainly for us. I grew up thinking of Angela Davis as a scary lady, and never having any idea that the organization actually started out of a need for social programs like feeding hungry kids. They built a school. These are not things my mainstream history classes taught me. I'm so glad there are books like this -- beautifully illustrated on every single page -- to fill in those gaps for me. As far as I'm concerned, this book deserves to sit alongside legendary historical graphic novels like MAUS and the great Rep. John Lewis's MARCH series. It also called to mind a book we read as a group several years ago: THE HARLEM HELLFIGHTERS by Max Brooks. I love a good fictional comic as much as the next person, but every so often you'll come across a splash of nonfiction artwork that enriches your worldview, and this is one of those. If only they would start assigning it in schools. Recommended reading:

  7. 5 out of 5

    Leslie Ann

    I did not know much about the Black Panther Party other than its militancy. Only recently did I hear about their meal programs for kids. So, I welcomed the opportunity to learn more about this organization. What infuriates me most is how public resources were used to discredit BPP rather than support the social services (food, clothes, shelter, education) provided by the group, and the stark contrast in the way law enforcement agencies treated BPP and current white supremacist organizations. The I did not know much about the Black Panther Party other than its militancy. Only recently did I hear about their meal programs for kids. So, I welcomed the opportunity to learn more about this organization. What infuriates me most is how public resources were used to discredit BPP rather than support the social services (food, clothes, shelter, education) provided by the group, and the stark contrast in the way law enforcement agencies treated BPP and current white supremacist organizations. The book's tone is not neutral, but given the limitations of a graphic novel, I think Walker sufficiently supports and, more importantly, qualifies his claims. Such nuance helps Walker effectively convey the BPP's complicated but important history.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Powerful, thoughtful, and so timely. Complex, complicated , and insightful look into this much maligned organization. Well researched and developed bios, structures, and challenges faced by the Black Panthers as an organization and as a response to on-going racism in the US. A valuable read for anyone and a well timed educational piece. This book provides a thoughtful start to an expanded exploration of social justice.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bryan

    An absolutely incredible work of comics history. It’s not afraid to be complicated, and it pulls no punches. It tells the entire history of the party in detail, but it moves quickly enough to read it in one (very intense) sitting. Anyone who’s interested in the BPP should start here, and then dive into the very robust bibliography at the end.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Veronika

    The Black Panther Party: A Graphic Novel History Fred Hampton was barely an adult. Fred Hampton was trying to create a better life for those in his community and was a successful organizer, effective leader, and charismatic spokesman. Fred Hampton was only 21 years old when he was considered a threat in the eyes of President Hoover, the FBI, and COINTELPRO. And on the morning of December 4, 1969, after the Chicago Police Department staged a raid in his apartment while he was sleeping, he was shot a The Black Panther Party: A Graphic Novel History Fred Hampton was barely an adult. Fred Hampton was trying to create a better life for those in his community and was a successful organizer, effective leader, and charismatic spokesman. Fred Hampton was only 21 years old when he was considered a threat in the eyes of President Hoover, the FBI, and COINTELPRO. And on the morning of December 4, 1969, after the Chicago Police Department staged a raid in his apartment while he was sleeping, he was shot and killed. In preparation for my viewing of Judas and the Black Messiah, I decided to read this newly published graphic novel for more of a background into the origins of The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, or as they became to be known as, The Black Panther Party. What grew as an idea between the trigger happy Huey P. Newton and the community organizing Bobby Seale, The Black Panther party was a polarizing and radical political organization. In direct contrast to the non-violent Civil Rights movement, they set about to correct the ignorance and disregard of their governments by bringing growth and prosperity to their neighborhoods and communities and end the police brutality that continued to prevail. These radical revolutionaries whole-heartedly believed that in order to reach these goals they had to go about fixing these issues themselves. Like, the author states in his note at the end of this graphic novel, learning more about this infamous group will change your opinions about the Party and have you on the fence about whether or not you want to be for them or against them; you’ll see the genius in their programs and uplifting ideals but also want to distance yourself from their arrogance and see the error of their ways. I highly recommend this and I imagine that I will be rereading this every year around this time to reflect on the unchanging of both the system and our current society but also the continued progress and long journey that we still have to go in order to achieve racial equality. Rating ✊🏾✊🏾✊🏾✊🏾✊🏾/5 (Because “I AM A REVOLUTIONARY!”)

  11. 5 out of 5

    Robert Lee

    The history of the Black Panthers is a complicated one and is tackled well by writer David F. Walker. In less than 200 pages, he chronicles the rise and demise of the Black Panther Party, covering the same issues and troubles our communities still grapple with. Written in 2020 while Black Lives Matter protests filled our newsfeeds, the story of the struggles the Black Panthers were addressing is still relevant. Of course, there is some dark history behind the Panthers which is addressed, but wha The history of the Black Panthers is a complicated one and is tackled well by writer David F. Walker. In less than 200 pages, he chronicles the rise and demise of the Black Panther Party, covering the same issues and troubles our communities still grapple with. Written in 2020 while Black Lives Matter protests filled our newsfeeds, the story of the struggles the Black Panthers were addressing is still relevant. Of course, there is some dark history behind the Panthers which is addressed, but what is often forgotten is how much they were involved in uplifting their communities. The book is written concisely, yet with great information. The art by Marcus Kwame Anderson is exceptional as well and does not at all feel "comic book" like, but illustrations of our American history. It is hard to say what would have eventually become of the Black Panther Party if it were not targeted by the powers that be and their counterintelligence programs and truly racist tactics. What can not be denied is the impact they had on our history and other movements not only in America but the world.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Masterson

    Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for this eARC of the Black Panther Party. This graphic novel explains and outlines the history of the Black Panther Party. David F. Walker shows a complete history of the BPP, from its community survival programs to the violence and strife within the organization. Where this graphic novel really shines, though, is in Marcus Kwame Anderson’s illustrations. Every page is truly a work of art. My only frustration was reading this in electronic form — the word Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for this eARC of the Black Panther Party. This graphic novel explains and outlines the history of the Black Panther Party. David F. Walker shows a complete history of the BPP, from its community survival programs to the violence and strife within the organization. Where this graphic novel really shines, though, is in Marcus Kwame Anderson’s illustrations. Every page is truly a work of art. My only frustration was reading this in electronic form — the words appeared blurry and flipping from page to page was difficult. I will definitely find a physical form so I can appreciate the words and art.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Liesl

    After watching The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Judas and the Black Messiah, I was anxious to learn more about the Black Panthers. This book provides a comprehensive history of the group, highlighting notable individuals and incidents along the way with impressive accompanying artwork. I found it to be well-researched, informative and extremely engaging. While the facts are presented in an unbiased manner, I appreciated Walker's raw afterword reflecting on the major racial events of the past year After watching The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Judas and the Black Messiah, I was anxious to learn more about the Black Panthers. This book provides a comprehensive history of the group, highlighting notable individuals and incidents along the way with impressive accompanying artwork. I found it to be well-researched, informative and extremely engaging. While the facts are presented in an unbiased manner, I appreciated Walker's raw afterword reflecting on the major racial events of the past year and how little has changed since the Black Panthers formed over 50 years ago.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Molly Walker

    Since reading Rita Williams-Garcia's One Crazy Summer, I've wanted to learn more about the history and work of Black Panthers beyond the oversimplified narrative often found in history books. Written in the wake of the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, Walker's impeccable research is grounded in the present and brought to life with Anderson's vibrant artwork. I appreciated learning more about the origins of the party, its leaders, and the many community programs they launched. Though v Since reading Rita Williams-Garcia's One Crazy Summer, I've wanted to learn more about the history and work of Black Panthers beyond the oversimplified narrative often found in history books. Written in the wake of the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, Walker's impeccable research is grounded in the present and brought to life with Anderson's vibrant artwork. I appreciated learning more about the origins of the party, its leaders, and the many community programs they launched. Though violence is a part of the Panthers' story, it certainly isn't the whole story like we have been led to believe. In the afterward Walker writes, "Understanding the Black Panther Party is not easy. They were a complicated group that left behind a complex legacy. It is perfectly fine if, after reading this book, you're not sure how you feel about the Panthers or have mixed emotions." This perfectly sums up my feelings and makes me want to continue learning.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    A lot of text for a graphic novel, but I learned a lot from this accessible introduction to a complex history. The continuation to current issues is heartbreaking (and the COINTELPRO stuff is mortifying - but it all underscores the need to continue the fight.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Heather Culley

    Plenty of informative text, backed with clear, honest, brilliant illustration.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rich

    I love graphic novels about history. The Black Panthers were heroes to me as a kid and I wanted to be one. I just knew they fought for an end to oppression. I didn't know about the lunches and schools and other services until later in my life. Their story is complex. This graphic novel does a great job informing. I love graphic novels about history. The Black Panthers were heroes to me as a kid and I wanted to be one. I just knew they fought for an end to oppression. I didn't know about the lunches and schools and other services until later in my life. Their story is complex. This graphic novel does a great job informing.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I remember reading One Crazy Summer about a decade ago and thinking how revolutionary it seemed to be reading a (semi-) positive portrayal of the Black Panther Party. Now, a very positive graphic novel history of the Party doesn't seem odd in any way--how far we've come. This was a comprehensive enough history that it could be taught in school. I could see this being a middle school or high school curriculum assignment, maybe to be paired with March: Book One as a counterpoint, since the book ta I remember reading One Crazy Summer about a decade ago and thinking how revolutionary it seemed to be reading a (semi-) positive portrayal of the Black Panther Party. Now, a very positive graphic novel history of the Party doesn't seem odd in any way--how far we've come. This was a comprehensive enough history that it could be taught in school. I could see this being a middle school or high school curriculum assignment, maybe to be paired with March: Book One as a counterpoint, since the book talks about the frustration with the SNCC and nonviolence in general. I didn't know too much about the Black Panther Party--I knew the names Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, Angela Davis etc. but I didn't know much else. Since there's a film out right now (Judas and the Black Messiah) about Fred Hampton's betrayal, it was also interesting to read about that there. I also didn't know that 41st and Central was the LA chapter's headquarters, which is not too far from a library that I've worked at. Finally, as with all history books, it was fascinating to compare history with where we're at now. The Black Panther Party's Ten Point Program (demands/manifesto) is powerful to read, because these are all demands that are completely relevant today (#7 We want an immediate end to Police Brutality and Murder of Black People). The author's note at the end talking about George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor even further draws connections to current events. Gr. 7-12

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ben Truong

    The Black Panther Party: A Graphic Novel History is a graphic novel written by David F. Walker and illustrated by Marcus Kwame Anderson. This nuanced, accessible history of the Black Panther Party doesn't shy away from the complexity of the political movement, nor does it fall into the trap of painting the diverse group as uniformly heroes or villains. The Black Panther Party was a Black Power political organization founded by college students Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton in October 1966 in Oak The Black Panther Party: A Graphic Novel History is a graphic novel written by David F. Walker and illustrated by Marcus Kwame Anderson. This nuanced, accessible history of the Black Panther Party doesn't shy away from the complexity of the political movement, nor does it fall into the trap of painting the diverse group as uniformly heroes or villains. The Black Panther Party was a Black Power political organization founded by college students Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton in October 1966 in Oakland, California. The party was active in the United States from 1966–1982, with chapters in numerous major cities, and international chapters in the United Kingdom in the early 1970s, and in Algeria from 1969–1972. The narrative opens long before the Party's official founding in Oakland in 1966, showing the reason Black civil rights activists eventually saw problems with nonviolent reform in the face of violence from white supremacist mobs and state officials alike. Bobby Seale's famous speech from the steps of the California State Capitol building in 1967 resonates today. Other key Panther figures, such as Huey P. Newtown and Eldridge Cleaver are provided concise profiles. The Black Panther Party: A Graphic Novel History is written and constructed extremely well – it is far from perfect, but it comes rather close. Artist Kwame Anderson balances text and images skillfully, and even the wordiest sections feel spacious, while he lends cinematic visual pacing to the many heated interactions between activists and police. All in all, The Black Panther Party: A Graphic Novel History is a concise yet in-depth guide, which offers a timely resource for activists, history buffs, and students alike.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Eric Lee

    In the afterword to this book, author David F. Walker provides a rather nuanced view of the Black Panthers, and correctly sums it all up by saying that the conditions that gave birth to the Panthers remain in force today in America. This is a gorgeously illustrated book that tries to tell the story of this uniquely Black American political movement without falling into the trap of demonising or mythologising the Panthers. To a degree, it succeeds — but only to a degree. One of the most moving pa In the afterword to this book, author David F. Walker provides a rather nuanced view of the Black Panthers, and correctly sums it all up by saying that the conditions that gave birth to the Panthers remain in force today in America. This is a gorgeously illustrated book that tries to tell the story of this uniquely Black American political movement without falling into the trap of demonising or mythologising the Panthers. To a degree, it succeeds — but only to a degree. One of the most moving parts of the book is a scene that runs for several pages, which depicts an imagined encounter between Panther founder Huey P. Newton and a white police officer. The officer has stopped the car in which Newton is sitting with three other Panthers. The Panthers are armed. Newton speaks for them, asserting their right to state only their names and also their right to bear arms. It is a very tense scene, and it ends with the police backing down. In the wake of all that has happened since, the seemingly unending killing of unarmed and innocent Black men and women by white police officers in the half century since that happened, one cannot help but feel sympathy for Newton. But having said that, one also cannot avoid noticing not only the Panthers’ glorification of violence but also their sympathy for some of the most murderous regimes of the twentieth century. The book includes an illustration of the Black Panther newspaper with an article by North Korean dictator Kim Il Sung. The Panthers’ combination of violent criminality with Stalinist politics proved to be toxic. In the end they were destroyed by the FBI and police, as the book points out on several occasions. But the Panthers would almost certainly have destroyed themselves in the end.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Not an easy graphic novel to breeze through considering the subject matter as well as the big blocks of text, but I did read it in the course of one day. More accessible than Black Against Empire, which this graphic novel cites. This shows the Party in all its complexities, flaws, and nuances. Yes, its history is a violent one, but the artists took care not to show said violence in a sensationalized, graphic manner. I did come away feeling enraged over COINTELPRO, which in essence destroyed the Not an easy graphic novel to breeze through considering the subject matter as well as the big blocks of text, but I did read it in the course of one day. More accessible than Black Against Empire, which this graphic novel cites. This shows the Party in all its complexities, flaws, and nuances. Yes, its history is a violent one, but the artists took care not to show said violence in a sensationalized, graphic manner. I did come away feeling enraged over COINTELPRO, which in essence destroyed the Party, as well as gun laws being passed because of the Panthers. When white people commit mass murders with their AR-15s, all we get are thoughts and prayers, and when you had white seditionists storm the Capitol, the FBI had the audacity to ask for help from the public like they didn’t know how to get info on their own, as if they didn’t exhaust all the resources they had bringing down the Black Panther Party. Like Malcolm X said in this book: “The only people in this country who are asked to be nonviolent are Black people.”

  22. 4 out of 5

    Chrissy

    Excellent work providing clear and detailed information about a topic that we often think we know something about, despite the fact that most of what we know comes from badly done pop culture appearances or vague references to complicated events simplified entirely too much. There are some graphic works whose illustrations stand out more than the topic they are depicting, and others who make the subject more unclear by overcomplicating things. This is not one of those. The layouts are very clear Excellent work providing clear and detailed information about a topic that we often think we know something about, despite the fact that most of what we know comes from badly done pop culture appearances or vague references to complicated events simplified entirely too much. There are some graphic works whose illustrations stand out more than the topic they are depicting, and others who make the subject more unclear by overcomplicating things. This is not one of those. The layouts are very clear. While nothing about the illustrations stood out while I was reading it, having finished I feel like it was so well done to make the subject matter and the historical figures clearly defined, and not drowned them out by overly done artistic flourishes. In addition, the author does an incredible job explaining facts and events while making the information feel very straighforward and not pushing the reader to feel any one way. As a result, the men and women described feel very real and relatable.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    I loved reading this book, and I have every intention of teaching with it in coming years - I'm already developing lesson plans around it as a middle school class read. The nuance - taking real humans to be real humans who are not perfect - is appealing for a reader (me) who is always worried that I'm about to be had by someone whitewashing (excuse the term) violence and imperfect actors involved in complex historical events and social phenomena. This book pulls no punches on the founders of the I loved reading this book, and I have every intention of teaching with it in coming years - I'm already developing lesson plans around it as a middle school class read. The nuance - taking real humans to be real humans who are not perfect - is appealing for a reader (me) who is always worried that I'm about to be had by someone whitewashing (excuse the term) violence and imperfect actors involved in complex historical events and social phenomena. This book pulls no punches on the founders of the Black Panther party any more than it does about the white supremacist government bent on its destruction. I highly recommend this book to those of most all ages (I'd say fifth grade and up through adults). Anyone wanting to learn more about the history of the Black Panther Party should read this (and watch the unaffiliated documentary "Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975").

  24. 4 out of 5

    Joey

    On one hand, this is an incredibly thorough and complex history of the Panthers that formal education has deprived us of, and is therefore somewhat essential (dare I say required) reading to anyone who might not check out a closer read of any particular Panther-centric moment in history. That said, the book is SO thorough that it does not feel like there is much of a throughline, which I do understand takes a touch of editorializing for a non-fiction book, but that still felt somewhat missing. T On one hand, this is an incredibly thorough and complex history of the Panthers that formal education has deprived us of, and is therefore somewhat essential (dare I say required) reading to anyone who might not check out a closer read of any particular Panther-centric moment in history. That said, the book is SO thorough that it does not feel like there is much of a throughline, which I do understand takes a touch of editorializing for a non-fiction book, but that still felt somewhat missing. The artwork was also a little static, which (again) certainly works for something so thorough, but given the aesthetic of the Panthers and the fact that they even had a few visual artists in their ranks (mentioned in the book) with a trademark style (absent in the book) makes this artwork feel a bit lacking.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    The Black Panther Party has a complicated history. But it’s a history that in 2020, more people should know about. Especially because the Ten Point Program that Seale and Newton put together is sadly still relevant today. History seems to focus on the violent aspects to the Black Panthers, when in reality they also did a lot of good for their communities by providing free meals to kids and access to education. Walker and Anderson’s graphic novel is a great starting point to learn more about how The Black Panther Party has a complicated history. But it’s a history that in 2020, more people should know about. Especially because the Ten Point Program that Seale and Newton put together is sadly still relevant today. History seems to focus on the violent aspects to the Black Panthers, when in reality they also did a lot of good for their communities by providing free meals to kids and access to education. Walker and Anderson’s graphic novel is a great starting point to learn more about how the party got started, and what their purpose was. And don’t even get my started on the absolute b.s. that the US government and FBI pulled trying to take the Black Panthers down. Their actions should be considered illegal and don’t think that they’re still not doing it to sow the seeds of discord. This is an important history to know and a critical story to be told.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Stella

    Fantastic. This fills a much needed gap in my knowledge of African-American history, and I'm pretty sure I am not alone. Beautiful summary of what led up to the forming of the Black Panther Party, and tells both the strengths and failings of the people in the party. But what I love the most is the artwork. Every single person (and there are quite a few) is uniquely drawn and instantly recognizable. I've read a few graphic novel histories, and I have to say, this is rare. I have a book about the Fantastic. This fills a much needed gap in my knowledge of African-American history, and I'm pretty sure I am not alone. Beautiful summary of what led up to the forming of the Black Panther Party, and tells both the strengths and failings of the people in the party. But what I love the most is the artwork. Every single person (and there are quite a few) is uniquely drawn and instantly recognizable. I've read a few graphic novel histories, and I have to say, this is rare. I have a book about the Constitution where several of the founding fathers blur together into indistinguishable white men in wigs, even though they really looked nothing much alike. Here, everyone was distinct. This was obviously a work with great heart in it.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Avni Pravin

    Beautiful illustrations and an extremely interesting look at the whole history of the Black Panther Party. I knew that sabotage by COINTEL PRO was a major factor in the demise of the party, but it was interesting and heartbreaking to read the full extent of it. While this book is an overview (would of course be hard to get into detail in each person/event that shaped the panthers) I felt that it did a great job of following common threads and themes to make a cohesive picture. Highly recommend f Beautiful illustrations and an extremely interesting look at the whole history of the Black Panther Party. I knew that sabotage by COINTEL PRO was a major factor in the demise of the party, but it was interesting and heartbreaking to read the full extent of it. While this book is an overview (would of course be hard to get into detail in each person/event that shaped the panthers) I felt that it did a great job of following common threads and themes to make a cohesive picture. Highly recommend for anyone curious about the truth of the Black Panther Party and some of their amazing work and achievements. It will break your heart, but as an activist I also felt it gave me strength and the feeling of connection to a movement greater than any one person.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah

    I thought this book was a wonderful introduction to not only the Black Panther Party but also to the context from which the Panthers started. It connected what was happening socially and politically to the start, rise, and ultimate end to the BPP. And, it also introduced readers to a number of the key members of the party. The illustration was vibrant and added to the overall tone of the larger narrative. I would highly recommend this as a book to use in the middle or high school classroom (or e I thought this book was a wonderful introduction to not only the Black Panther Party but also to the context from which the Panthers started. It connected what was happening socially and politically to the start, rise, and ultimate end to the BPP. And, it also introduced readers to a number of the key members of the party. The illustration was vibrant and added to the overall tone of the larger narrative. I would highly recommend this as a book to use in the middle or high school classroom (or even the university classroom) or for anyone who wants a basic introduction to the Black Panthers.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Cy

    an extremely well-researched book. very text-heavy and a slow read because of all the information on each page, but i never felt bored, or like i was slogging through. it held my interest. very thorough in terms of a month-by-month timeline, and provides lots of jumping off points for further research on particular people or events. the illustrations are clear and easy to follow, and the portraits capture the likeness of their subjects really well. they're very lovingly drawn. you can tell the a an extremely well-researched book. very text-heavy and a slow read because of all the information on each page, but i never felt bored, or like i was slogging through. it held my interest. very thorough in terms of a month-by-month timeline, and provides lots of jumping off points for further research on particular people or events. the illustrations are clear and easy to follow, and the portraits capture the likeness of their subjects really well. they're very lovingly drawn. you can tell the artist has a lot of respect for the people he's drawing. they all look strong, powerful, and proud.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    “Understanding the Black Panther Party is not easy. They were a complicated group that left behind a complex legacy.... But what any one of us thinks about the Panthers -be it positive or negative- doesn’t matter nearly as much as the fact that our feelings should be derived from a place of knowledge and perhaps even some nuance.” - David F Walker, Afterword. There’s only so much detail and nuance you can get with a graphic history, but Walker did a great job synthesizing events and highlighting “Understanding the Black Panther Party is not easy. They were a complicated group that left behind a complex legacy.... But what any one of us thinks about the Panthers -be it positive or negative- doesn’t matter nearly as much as the fact that our feelings should be derived from a place of knowledge and perhaps even some nuance.” - David F Walker, Afterword. There’s only so much detail and nuance you can get with a graphic history, but Walker did a great job synthesizing events and highlighting major figures to shed light on the Party. Reading it was also just depressing to know how much injustice there was and continues to be in this country.

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