What We Need to Learn from the Black Panther Party

BY:Ruben Ramirez| April 2, 2024
What We Need to Learn from the Black Panther Party


In the annals of history, we can learn valuable lessons from the Black Panther Party’s (BPP) community programs, such as the Free Breakfast for Children Program, in order to achieve legitimacy, participation, donations, and overall mass appeal.

An identified problem is homelessness and food insecurity. Similar to the BPP’s Free Breakfast for Children Program, we can establish a Free Breakfast for the Disadvantaged Program. This initiative would not only assist our community by providing individuals with much-needed healthy breakfasts but also educate them about relevant theories and our party’s principles. Like the BPP, implementing such a program would incentivize people to donate to the party as well as airing legitimacy to the party.
There are still needs within our communities that we may not be aware of at the present moment. The CPUSA could identify these needs by conducting surveys, hosting community forums, or collaborating with local organizations to understand the challenges our communities face.

Some examples of potential community needs include a community garden, educational workshops, or even a health clinic. Beyond these examples, it’s important for our party to recognize that our actions should be tangible rather than abstract.

Time and time again, we see that success stems from grassroots organizing. Party members should actively seek to engage with community members, build relationships, and collaborate with local leaders.

The party needs to foster a sense of solidarity among community members while also promoting mutual aid networks. By doing so, we can help build a mass party and gain the support of the community. By doing this, the party will also gain a pulse on the sentiment of the masses, as we will have more avenues to interact with our communities.
The advancement of technology enables the party to achieve greater success. We need to leverage both traditional and digital forms of media to promote our programs and outreach. This includes, but is not limited to, media campaigns, newsletters, newspapers, and radio programs.

We need to actively encourage both party members and community members to participate in our initiatives. This involves holding training sessions, conducting recruitment drives, and recognizing participants for their outstanding performance.
By incorporating these strategies and drawing inspiration from past movements like the Black Panther Party, the party can enhance its legitimacy, increase participation, attract donations, and move closer than ever to achieving a united front, thus gaining mass appeal.



    Ruben Ramirez is an activist in the  Harry Bridges Club, California Greater San Francisco Bay Area

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