Waldo E. Martin, Jr. - November 6, 2013

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 | Sweeney 100 | 3-5 pm

Waldo E. Martin, Professor of History
Department of History
University of Washington

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Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party

Black Against Empire: the History and Politics of the Black Panther Party traces the rise and fall of the Black Panther Party against the backdrop global revolution. Co-authors Waldo E. Martin Jr. and Joshua Bloom argue that the Black Panther Party rejected fighting for full citizenship within the U.S. and instead, joined the global struggle against U.S. imperialism. In this comprehensive overview, the authors examine 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.

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 offices in 68 U.S. cities and powerful allies around the world.

Discussants

Waldo E. Martin Jr. is professor of history at the University of California, Berkeley. His scholarly and teaching interests include modern American history and culture with an emphasis on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; his principal areas of research and writing are African American intellectual and cultural history. He is the author of "A Change is Gonna Come": Black Movement, Culture, and the Transformation of America 1945-1975 (forthcoming) and The Mind of Frederick Douglass (1985); he coedited, with Patricia Sullivan, The Encyclopedia of Civil Rights in the Untied States(forthcoming). Martin has published numerous articles and lectured widely on Frederick Douglass and on modern African American cultural and intellectual history.