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Remembering the Black Panther Party newspaper, April 25, 1967- September 1980

May 4, 2015
Panthers Fred Bennett and Judi Douglas sell papers. Note the Panthers on every corner.

Panthers Fred Bennett and Judi Douglas sell papers. Note the Panthers on every corner.

by Billy X Jennings

Black Panther newspaper first issue 042567 cy It's About Time, web

The front page of the first issue of The Black Panther, published April 25, 1967

The Black Panther Party newspaper was founded by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale in 1967. The BPP newspaper was created to inform, educate and organize the people and promote the 10-Point Program and Platform.

The BPP newspaper grew from a four-page newsletter to a full newspaper in about a year and about 500 issues were printed. The first cover featured the case of Denzil Dowell, a brother murdered by the Richmond police. The BPP was called in by his family to investigate what happened to him. You can read the story in Bobby Seale’s book, “Seize the Time.”

Bobby Seale, Elbert “Big Man” Howard and Eldridge Cleaver were the early editors.

After Huey Newton was shot and jailed in October 1967, the BPP newspaper grew along with the Black Panther Party. The paper was being sold not only in the Bay Area but around the world. It came out every Wednesday and was printed in San Francisco by Howard Quinn Printers.

The BPP newspaper became the No. 1 Black weekly newspaper in the country from 1968-1971, selling over 300,000 copies each week. It contained both national and international news. The paper sold for 25 cents. In the beginning, each person selling the newspaper got a dime from each copy.

Every Panther had to read and study the newspaper before selling it. Big cities like LA, Chicago, NY, Seattle and Kansas City were distribution centers for the BPP newspapers in their regions.

A young Panther sells The Black Panther newspaper. This issue of the paper is elegantly and powerfully designed by Minister of Culture Emory Douglas, now world renowned.

A Panther sister sells the paper in a laundromat. Panthers were passionate about informing the people.

A Panther sister sells the paper in a laundromat. Panthers were passionate about informing the people.

Sam Napier, Andrew Austin and Ellis White from National Distribution in San Francisco were the heart and soul of the newspaper. They worked endless hours making sure the paper reached its destinations and were always looking for new locations to “get the paper out.”

Wednesday night was when the paper came out. Every Panther in the Bay Area came to help “get the paper out.” When the paper came off the press, it went to the SF office and we packed it up in boxes by region and BPP offices. We had 48 offices in 30 major cities. Students from SF State Black Student Union, UC Berkeley, SF City College, Merritt and Laney BSUs and a lot of high school students showed up to work those nights.

This photo essay was provided by It’s About Time Archives. We have an extensive collection of BPP memorabilia and our mission is to preserve and promote the legacy of the Black Panther Party. For more information, visit www.itsabouttimebpp.com or, on Facebook, go to itsabouttime/BPP or Bill Jennings.

All photos are from It’s About Time Archive/BPP Alumni. They were taken by Ducho Dennis, Stephen Shames and Jeffery Blankfort.

Panthers John Bowman and Emory Douglas talk with people in front of the Fillmore office, located on Fillmore and  Ellis, the corner Yoshi's later made famous.

Panthers John Bowman and Emory Douglas talk with people in front of the Fillmore office, located on Fillmore and Ellis, the corner Yoshi’s later made famous.

 

3 thoughts on “Remembering the Black Panther Party newspaper, April 25, 1967- September 1980

  1. Robert

    Does anyone know what happened to the photographs that Comrade/Sister Dale took for the Ministry of Information? Is anyone in touch with Jonina?

    Reply
  2. service

    I've been browsing on-line more than 3 hours as of late, yet I by no means found any interesting article like yours. It's lovely price sufficient for me. Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made good content material as you probably did, the internet shall be much more helpful than ever before.

    Reply
  3. blindjustice1966

    CAN ANYONE HELP ME-find a picture/article in the black panther newspaper??? I have been searching for years! The picture is of ME. It was taken in Chicago, in the housing project around 1968-1972. probably closer to 1970. The picture shows a white little girl & a black little girl side by side .I think they both are holding gallon of milk, that the Black Panthers were giving out to all the children in the housing projects. And The very blond headed little girl, who is around 4 or 5 years old in the picture is ME. (there might be some other children in the background also getting free milk) My mother kept this article for a long time, then it was destroyed when my house burnt down. IT WOULD MEAN THE WORLD TO ME IF I COULD SEE THIS ARTICLE AGAIN! if anyone could help I would REALLY REALLY APPRICIATE IT! please email me at awmuyyo@live.com

    Reply

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