The Black Panthers: Portraits from an Unfinished Revolution

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Edited by Bryan Shih and Yohuru Williams

Nation Books

2016, paperback

SKU: 9781568585550

 

Even fifty years after it was founded, the Black Panther Party remains one of the most misunderstood political organizations of the twentieth century. But beyond the labels of extremist and violent that have marked the party, and beyond charismatic leaders like Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, and Eldridge Cleaver, were the ordinary men and women who made up the Panther rank and file.

In The Black Panthers, photojournalist Bryan Shih and historian Yohuru Williams offer a reappraisal of the party s history and legacy. Through stunning portraits and interviews with surviving Panthers, as well as illuminating essays by leading scholars, The Black Panthers reveals party members grit and battle scarsand the undying love for the people that kept them going.

Includes interviews with Ericka Huggins, Jamal Joseph, Abdullah Majid, Robert H. King, Jalil Muntaqim, Herman A. Bell and many more amazing people.

Reviews:

"Fifty years [since the party's founding], photojournalist Shih and historian Williams observe that the party remains one of the most misunderstood organizations of the twentieth century. To dispel this fog, they met with 45 surviving rank-and-file members, men and women who went on to become teachers, professors, attorneys, elected officials, founders and directors of not-for-profit organizations, and artists. Each is present here in striking photographic portraits and revelatory oral histories. Incisive essays provide a larger historical context." - Booklist, *Starred Review*

"The Black Panthers: Portraits from an Unfinished Revolution is a brilliantly conceived volume that offers a refreshing take on a well-trod history too often told from the perspective of its Oakland-based, male leaders and their iconic images. Uniquely, this powerful book is driven by Bryan Shih's recent portraits of local chapter rank-and-file members, whose gripping recollections told in oral histories illuminate the complexity and importance of the BPP's grassroots organizing structure in history and for our own times. This innovative volume boasts a remarkable series of essays by leading scholars on a range of topics including Black Power, women, the rank-and-file, ethnic nationalism, health activism and international outreach as well as a treasure trove of archival images from the Black Panther Newspaper. Together, Bryan Shih and Yohuru Williams demonstrate why the Panthers story, its lessons and failures, even fifty years after its founding, remains key to understanding national and international struggles for freedom and justice today." - Cheryl Finley, Associate Professor and Director of Visual Studies, Cornell University

About the Editors:

Bryan Shih is a photojournalist based in New York. A former contributor to the Financial Times and National Public Radio in Japan, he is a graduate of the University of California-Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and a former Fulbright scholar. His work on the Panthers has garnered him one of the highest rankings among entries in the LensCulture 2015 Portrait Awards competition, and has led to his selection for the New York Times inaugural portfolio review.

Yohuru Williams is a historian and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University. He is the author and or editor of several books on the Black Panther party, including Black Politics/White Power: Civil Rights Black Power and Black Panthers in New Haven (Blackwell, 2006), In Search of the Black Panther Party, New Perspectives on a Revolutionary Movement (Duke, 2006), and Liberated Territory: Toward a Local History of the Black Panther Party (Duke, 2008). He has appeared on Al Jazeera America, Ebru TV, Fox Business, C-SPAN, and NPR.