From October 8, 2016 to February 12, 2017, the Oakland Museum Of Califonia will display an exhibit in celebration of the Black Panther Party For Self Defense 50th Anniversary. For most Oakland natives this exhibit and era will bring back memories of an era in Oakland History.
For me, it reminds me of a time when Black Power and Black Pride held a place within the Oakland community. Where people came together for the uplifting of Black people and other people of color. For me it was a time when social programs were being created to support families within the community. For me it will remind me of a time when my father who dressed in Black Panther gear and made sure that the weekly publication of The Black Panther newspaper was always on his “man” stand.
I am proud to have grown up during this time in Oakland – the good, the bad, and the ugly. From receiving a oppressive hegemonic education within the Oakland Public School System, to the police brutality that plagued the Oakland streets, to the segregation, to the racism that continues today. I am glad that I had parents who introduced me to aspects of Black life that helped to shape and mold me to who I AM today!
“ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE.”
Cynthia D. Cornelius, TCXPI
MuseumCa.org: Social movement, political party, cultural influencer, government target, and Oakland-born—there are many ways to feel about the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, founded in October 1966. As the Black Panther Party celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, visit the exhibition All Power to the People for a contemporary view on the legacy of this visionary group, told from multiple perspectives. Rare historical artifacts, first person accounts, and new contemporary art show how the Party continues to inspire culture, activism, and community empowerment on local, national, and international levels.
Gain insights from former Black Panthers, artists, scholars, and community members about the Party—and how it continues to impact our lives and give meaning to the places around us. Examine a sweeping array of artifacts from OMCA’s collection and former Party members, along with never before seen photographs highlighting the everyday experiences and moments within the Party’s history. Uncover little-known aspects of this innovative group’s past in sections focusing on unheralded members of the movement such as women and rank and file, the Panthers’ revolutionary social programs, and how secret government programs led to the Party’s demise and influenced how it is remembered today. Throughout, consider why the Panthers remain controversial to some and inspirational to many, and how their political agenda continues to resonate with the social justice efforts today.