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If you think the Black Lives Matter movement has been vehement, consider what the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense did in response to a similar litany of police brutality, institutionalized racism and social injustice. In May 1967, 26 members walked into the California State Assembly openly carrying weapons. It made quite a scene and loudly announced to the country that black people were no longer going to be passive victims of state-sponsored oppression.The B

lack Panthers were different and broad based. The image of young, armed black men standing assertively in legislative chambers is indelible, but the Panthers also sponsored breakfast programs, organized voter-registration campaigns and ran for office. They were one of the most potent political organizations of the late ’60s and early ’70s. [read more on]