In Oakland, California, in 1966, community college students Bobby Seale and Huey Newton armed themselves, began patrolling the police, and promised to prevent police brutality. Unlike the Civil Rights Movement that called for full citizenship rights for blacks within the U.S., the Black Panther Party rejected the legitimacy of the U.S. government and positioned itself as part of a global struggle against American imperialism. In the face of intense repression, the Party flourished, becoming the center of a revolutionary movement with powerful allies around the world.
Black against Empire is the first comprehensive overview and analysis of the history and politics of the Black Panther Party. The authors analyze key political questions, such as why so many young black people across the country risked their lives for the revolution, why the Party grew most rapidly during the height of repression, and why allies abandoned the Party at its peak of influence. Bold, engrossing, and richly detailed, this book cuts through the mythology and obfuscation, revealing the political dynamics that drove the explosive growth of this revolutionary movement, and its disastrous unraveling.
Ron Butler is a Los Angeles-based actor and voice artist with over a hundred film and television credits (playing everything from brooding doctors to screwball hipsters). Most kids will recognize him from the three seasons he spent on Nickelodeon's True Jackson, VP. Ron works regularly as a commercial and animation voice-over artist and has voiced a wide variety of audiobooks. He is a member of the Atlantic Theater Company and an Independent Filmmaker Project Award winner for his work in the HBO film Everyday People. Originally from the Bahamas, Ron grew up singing calypso onstage with his father (the country's number-one recording artist) before touring (and recording) in Europe with a jazz band. In his spare time, he impersonates the president while playing the ukulele.