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A talk on Black Power by former Black Panther activists.

On the 13th of October, for Black History Month, two former Black Panther activists; Lorenzo and JoNina, will be speaking in Butetown Community Centre, Cardiff. The Black Power movement, from which the Black Panther party grew, was one of the most influential and important movements in social history. They took a bold, militant and confrontational stand against racism, exploitation and police brutality. The Panthers fought the notoriously violent Klu Klux Klan, but also established feeding programmes for children, giving out up to ten thousand free breakfasts every day. J Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI called them ‘the greatest threat to the internal security of the country’.

Lorenzo and JoNina were part of that movement, and members of the Black Panthers party. They will be in Cardiff to speak of their experience of the Black Power movement, and the on-going struggle against racism and the Klu Klux Klan. This is a unique chance to hear about an extraordinary period in American history;

"As inheritors of the discipline, pride, and calm self-assurance preached by Malcolm X, the Panthers became national heroes in black communities by infusing abstract nationalism with street toughness—by joining the rhythms of black working-class youth culture to the interracial élan and effervescence of Bay Area New Left politics ... In 1966, the Panthers defined Oakland's ghetto as a territory, the police as interlopers, and the Panther mission as the defence of community. The Panthers' famous "policing the police" drew attention to the spatial remove that White Americans enjoyed from the police brutality that had come to characterise life in black urban communities." - Jama Lazerow

The Black Panthers highlighted education as one of their demands stating; “We want decent education for our people that exposes the true nature of this decadent American society. We want education that teaches us our true history and our role in the present-day society.We believe in an educational system that will give to our people a knowledge of the self. If you do not have knowledge of yourself and your position in the society and in the world, then you will have little chance to know anything else.”

As a product of the Welsh education system, I have been taught nothing about the Black Power movement and think it is great this talk is coming to Cardiff to educate and inspire us. The Black Panthers fought against oppression; this talk, as well as informing us of past struggles could help us look at current struggles in our communities and the part we have to play in them.

Butetown Community Centre
Sunday 6pm 13th October

Refrences: Lazerow, Jama; Yohuru R. Williams (2006). In Search of the Black Panther Party: New Perspectives on a Revolutionary Movement. Duke University: Duke University Press.