*The Black Panther Party of the late ‘60s and the current Black Lives Matter movement have a number of similarities.
Both groups began as reactions to police shootings of unarmed African Americans. Certain factions of the media have labeled both “hate groups.” Other parallels include their collective youth, and their embrace of strategic disruption as a means of protest.
Could one argue that the Black Lives Matter movement is The Black Panther Party in the social media age? Former Panther Jamal Joseph says the communication technology utilized by Millennials may get information out in an instant – but faster is not necessarily better.
“We didn’t have social media, but somehow managed to get the word out. You would go door to door, and people would come to the Panther office instead of it being a virtual Facebook page,” Joseph told EURweb Tuesday at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in Pasadena. “Instead of posting, people would come by and you would find out things that were going on in the community.
“People would come in and let you know the cops were beating up somebody around the corner, people would come in with sick kids so that we could help them get treatment, people who didn’t have heat.”
Joseph is featured in the Stanley Nelson-helmed documentary “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution,” premiering Tuesday Feb. 16 on PBS.
“One of the things I like to say to young people involved in Black Lives Matter is, we live in a communications age where we can know things instantly, but in terms of organization, there is no substitute for being in the room with folk, and being in the community with folk.”
Ericka Huggins, a former Panther who also appears in the film, says another similarity between the Black Panther Party and Black Lives Matter is the “passion of the women” involved at the outset of both groups.
“The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution” premieres Tuesday Feb. 16 on PBS.
Watch the trailer below: