The Black Panther Party Was Founded on This Day in 1966: Here’s What We Don’t Learn About the Black Panther Party in Our Schools — but Should

If US textbooks mention the Black Panther Party at all, they erroneously associate them with violence and black separatism.

Rethinking Schools

By Adam Sanchez and Jesse Hagopian

On Monday April 1, 1967 “George Dowell and several neighbors from North Richmond, California . . . heard 10 gunshots. Sometime after 5:00 a.m., George came upon his older brother Denzil Dowell lying in the street, shot in the back and head. Police from the county sheriff’s department were there, but no ambulance had been called. . . . [The] sheriff’s office reported that deputy sheriffs Mel Brunkhorst and Kenneth Gibson had arrived at the scene at 4:50 a.m. on a tip from an unidentified caller about a burglary in progress. They claimed that when they arrived, Denzil Dowell and another man ran from the back of a liquor store and refused to stop when ordered to halt. Brunkhorst fired one blast from a shotgun, striking Dowell and killing him. . . .

For the Dowells, the official explanation did not add up, and…

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6 thoughts on “The Black Panther Party Was Founded on This Day in 1966: Here’s What We Don’t Learn About the Black Panther Party in Our Schools — but Should

  1. All I ever read when I was in school was about how benevolent whites where when they confronted other groups and cultures. There was never any mention of slavery so I am certainly NOT surprised at this.

    And to make matters worse, we’ve got textbook publishers now attempting to re-write history yet again to remove slavery and in its place, state that slaves were sitting somewhere on deck with Irish immigrants coming to America to seek good paying jobs and other books are suggesting that happy slaves baked birthday cakes for presidents. The lies just never stop coming but the truth will never rear its head either. No surprise there given who is doing the storytelling.


  2. Shelby, I worked as a substitute teacher in inner city schools before I went to medical school. It was during the inner city riots in Milwaukee and with my pasty white face, I never would have survived without the support of the Panthers who patrolled the school. On the first day, when the class was getting a bit rowdy, one of the kids volunteered to go get a Panther. The children admired them deeply (perhaps because of the free breakfasts) and always settled down right away when one came to sit in the front of the class. The Panthers who came never even scolded or corrected them.

    That was my first initiation to the Black Panther Party, and all the bullshit propaganda put out by the FBI and media never made a bit of sense to me. Thanks for your comment.


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