The Revolution Has Come: Black Power, Gender, and the Black Panther Party in Oakland
“I Am We”: The Demise of the Black Panther Party, 1977–1982
This chapter traces the organizational decline of the BPP. It argues that the Panthers’ inability to hold leadership accountable, build relationships and support with the local community, and negotiate a response to political repression in the context of the leadership’s illegal activity led to the party’s demise. It traces the reassertion of masculism in the BPP, the breakdown of the collective structure, and the slow strangulation of community programs after Newton returned to the helm of the organization in 1977. It considers organizational reasons for the Panthers’ demise, as well as changes in the national political climate.