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The Black Panther party was a militant organization of blacks founded in Oakland Calif in 1966 by Huey P Newton and Bobby G Seale Panther leaders called upon blacks to arm themselves for a struggle against their oppressors and collected small arsenals At the same time the party provided free breakfasts financed by donations from local merchants and wealthy sympathizers for children in some ghetto areas It also opened schools and medical clinicsSeveral armed clashes with the police occurred Huey Newton was found guilty of killing an Oakland policeman in 1967 but the conviction was reversed on appeal He was charged with murder in a street brawl in 1974 and fled to Cuba Seale and other Panther leaders were accused of torturing and murdering a former Panther whom they suspected of being a police informer but the jury failed to reach a verdict Another leader Eldridge Cleaver fled abroad to avoid imprisonment for parole violation he later returned abandoned radicalism and became a proselytizer for ChristianityThe Panthers lost a leader in 1969 when Chicago police made an early-morning raid on a Panther residence and killed Fred Hampton in his bed The movement declined after quarrels among its leaders increased and as black radicalism waned in the 1970s Two former Black Panthers were implicated in the Brinks robbery incident in New York in 1981BibliographyBueno Bye
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