If anything is abundantly evident in this photographic tribute to The Black Panthers, it's that Howard L.Bingham is quite the competent, indeed masterful, photo- journalist. And that's clearly evident in his effective compositions capturing the little gestures rife with tension and meaning. The emotion and feel of the era is abundantly ingrained in these images of Panther leaders, their followers- and their adversaries, as well as in more private, intimate portraits behind the scenes. One clearly gets the hope, optimism and militancy that the Panthers evoked and inspired in the late 60s; a positive, progressive, grassroots movement that was tragically cut short by "extra legal" governmental infiltration, persecution (COINTELPRO)- and ultimately, the carefully orchestrated and condoned murder of Fred Hampton by the FBI and Chicago Police.
THE BLACK PANTHERS TEN-POINT PLAN
- We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our Black and oppressed communities.
- We want full employment for our people.
- We want an end to the robbery by the Capitalists of our Black and oppressed communities.
- We want decent housing, fit for the shelter of human beings.
- 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 want completely free health care for all Black and oppressed people.
- We want an immediate end to police brutality and murder of Black people, other people of color, and all oppressed people inside the United States.
- We want an immediate end to all wars of aggression.
- We want freedom for all Black and oppressed people now held in U.S. Federal, State, County, City and Military prisons and jails. We want trials by a jury of peers for all persons charged with so-called crimes under the laws of this country.
- We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice, peace, and people's community control of modern technology.