Black Panthers

Why We Should Learn About the FBI’s War on the Civil Rights Movement (If We Knew Our History) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

Why We Should Teach About the FBI’s War on the Civil Rights Movement
By | March 1, 2016

By Ursula Wolfe-Rocca
This month marks the 45th anniversary of a dramatic moment in U.S. history. On March 8, 1971—while Muhammad Ali was fighting Joe Frazier at Madison Square Garden, and as millions sat glued to their TVs watching the bout unfold—a group of peace activists broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, and stole every document they could find.

Delivered to the press, these documents revealed an FBI conspiracy—known as COINTELPRO—to disrupt and destroy a wide range of protest groups, including the Black freedom movement. The break-in, and the government treachery it revealed, is a chapter of our not-so-distant past that all high school students—and all the rest of us—should learn, yet one that history textbooks continue to ignore.

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‘What We Want, What We Believe’: Teaching with the Black Panthers’ Ten Point Program
By | October 10, 2011

Teaching Activity. By Wayne Au. 7 pages.
The author describes how he used a study of the Black Panther’s Ten Point Program to help students assess issues in their own communities and to develop Ten Point Programs of their own. Available in Spanish.

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Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching
By | May 2, 2005

Teaching Guide and Website. Edited by Deborah Menkart, Alana D. Murray, and Jenice L. View. 2004. 576 pages.
Provides lessons and articles for K-12 educators on how to go beyond a heroes approach to the Civil Rights Movement, with a focus on education, economics, labor, youth, women, and culture.

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The Voting Rights Act: Ten Things You Should Know
By | July 26, 2015

Article. By Emilye Crosby and Judy Richardson. 2015.
Key points in the history of the 1965 Voting Rights Act missing from most textbooks.

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W. E. B. Du Bois to Malcolm X: The Untold History of the Movement to Ban the Bomb
By | October 7, 2015

Article. By Vincent Intondi. 2015. If We Knew Our History Series.
Intondi states: “African American leaders have long been concerned with broad issues of peace and justice—and have especially opposed nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, this activism is left out of mainstream corporate-produced history textbooks.”

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"Fred Hampton" by Erin Currier.

The Assassination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther
By | December 4, 2009

Book – Non-fiction. By Jeffrey Haas. 2009. 424 pages.
The life and murder of Fred Hampton as told by Jeffrey Hass, co-founder of the People’s Law Office and attorney for the plaintiffs in the federal suit Hampton v. Hanrahan.

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Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama’s Black Belt
By | December 29, 2014

Book – Non-fiction. By Hasan Kwame Jeffries. 2010. 372 pages.
History of the role that activists in Lowndes County played in spurring black activists nationwide to fight for civil and human rights in new and more radical ways.

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The Eyes on the Prize Civil Rights Reader: Documents, Speeches, and Firsthand Accounts from the Black Freedom Struggle, 1954-1990
By | October 30, 2006

Book – Non-fiction. Edited by Clayborne Carson, David J. Garrow, Gerald Gill, Vincent Harding and Darlene Clark Hine. 1991. 784 pages.
Readings to accompany the film, Eyes on the Prize.

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Landmark Cases Left Out of Your Textbooks
By | July 30, 2006

Book – Non-fiction. Edited by Ann Fagan Ginger. 2006. 84 pages.
Short, sharp descriptions of how 43 human rights cases were won, from Haymarket Martyrs of May Day 1886 to Katrina victims in 2005.

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Ready for Revolution: The Life and Struggles of Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture)
By | April 21, 2006

Book – Non-fiction. By Stokely Carmichael and Ekwueme Michael Thelwell. 2005. 848 pages.
Autobiography of Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture).

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The Sky’s the Limit: People v. Newton, The REAL Trial of the 20th Century?
By | September 3, 2012

Book – Non-fiction. By Lise Pearlman. 2012. 800 pages.
Brings to life 20th century court cases and protests that played a major role in U.S. history.

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Voices of Freedom: An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement from the 1950s through the 1980s
By | January 3, 2015

Book – Non-fiction. Henry Hampton and Steve Fayer. 1991. 692 pages.
Oral histories of the Civil Rights Movement spanning three decades.

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Waiting ‘Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America
By | January 31, 2006

Book – Non-fiction. By Peniel E. Joseph. 2007. 432 pages.
A narrative history of the Black Power Movement.

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One Crazy Summer
By | May 28, 2010

Book – Fiction. By Rita Williams-Garcia. 2010. 224 pages.
Chapter book for middle school introduces readers to the Black Panthers in 1960s Oakland.

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The Rock and the River
By | April 10, 2012

Book – Fiction. By Kekla Magoon. 2010. 304 pages.
Coming-of-age story that shows the close connections between the civil rights and black power movements through an intimate and relatable lens.

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The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
By | April 29, 2015

Film. By Stanley Nelson. 2015.
Documentary on the Black Panther Party.

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Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1985
By | October 20, 2004

Film. Produced by Henry Hampton. Blackside. 1987. 360 min.
Comprehensive documentary history of the Civil Rights Movement.

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