Newsweek: Does Black Lives Matter pick up where the Black Panthers left off?

By Sean Elder

Nelson_Body coverThe real Black Panther Party (BPP) was a lot more than superfly costumes. It was a group of utopian visionaries who sought to serve the oppressed and underserved communities not with guns (though they had those) but by demanding food, housing, education and so on. “There have been these blaxploitation cutouts [that stand in for] the way we think of these historical figures,” says Alondra Nelson, author of Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination. “These were human beings; they weren’t angels. There’s lots of complicated stuff. There was gun violence. People were murdered…. This was a complicated organization. But there’s still lots we don’t know about the breadth of the party.”

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