|On The Historical Significance Of The Black Panther In Struggle
ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE!
This coming Monday, November 7, 2005 will mark the historic 61st Anniversary of the U.S. Army's 761st "Black Panther" Tank Battalion entering into combat against the racist and fascist military forces of Nazi Germany.
In 1944 the All Black soldiers of this heroic unit used the "Black Panther" as it's logo and; backed up it's motto to "Come Out Fighting" by spearheading General George Patton's liberation campaign through europe; which included the famous W.W. II Battle Of The Bulge in France.
If not for a combination of the Supreme Allied Commander Dwight Eisenhower's politics and good old amerikkkan racism, these "Black Panthers" would not been put on hold in Austria. A decision which ultimately led to the Russian army entering the German capital of Berlin ahead of the other allied forces. But this is only one of the many examples of our people utilizing the "Black Panther" as a symbol of struggle and resistance to racist european oppression, imperialism, colonialism and genocide.
In West Afrika during the 1940s the warrior Leopard Secret Society of Bassaland spread fear and terror to the invading European by dressing in "Black Panther" leopard skins and utilizing steel claws to kill and mutilate White oppressors in what is now known as modern day Nigeria.
These Black guerilla attacks also took place during the very same decade by "Black Panther" Leopard Men in Tanganika. Even earlier, during the 30's, the Makanga of Central Afrika and the Anyoto in the Belgian Congo carried out similar " Black Panther" attacks against the European and his "Negro" sellouts.
Historically, our people can even go back thousands of years in the Afrikan Motherland to the Nubian Goddess Bastet. Because of both her gentle and fierce nature, this "Egyptian Black Panther" was worshipped in the ancient city of Bubastis as a great symbol of the Nubian Kings. Or as Comrade Huey used to say: "the nature of a Black Panther is that it will never attack; but if cornered or provoked then the Black Panther will come up to wipe out the oppressor absolutely, totally and completely".
Because she epitomized the protective aspects of motherhood, the "Black Panther Goddess Bastet" was honored by the ancient Nubians as the mother of Kings and the protector of the people.
As we return to this continent we find that throughout North, Central and South Amerikkka that the indigenous peoples, AKA as "Indians", also revered the Black Panther as a respected symbol of spirituality and struggle. First and foremost it must be understood that the color Black is respected and honored by the entire Red Race; and thus the Black Panther is believed to have great medicine powers for healing. Among Oklahoma's Caddo Nation, which was originally from Louisiana, the Black Panther Clan was also known as the Midnight or Black Jaguar. The Caddo believe that through dreams, the Black Panther teaches us to look inside of ourselves in order to embrace uncomfortableterritory (Oppression) through self discovery and; then courageously face the unknown (Struggle).
More recently, during the United States civil rights era of the 60's, the Black Panther logo continued it's legacy as a symbol of struggle against the oppression for our people. First the Black Panther was used as the symbol by the late Kwame Toure (Stokely Carmicheal) for the Lowndes County, Alabama Freedom Organization's struggle against racist voter registration attacks by the White minority. That same Black Panther logo was then shortly picked up and adopted by the Oakland, California based Black Panther Party For Self-Defense, which was Co-Founded by Bobby Seale and the late Dr. Huey P. Newton.
Since that time the Black Panther has and; always will remain the historic symbol for righteousness, liberation, freedom and resistance for our people from genocidal oppression. Neither the Pittsburgh or Carolina "Panthers" football teams can ever change that legacy nor; can the racist courts and fascist laws of the U.S. government and it's sell out "knee- grows" in the Huey P. Newton Foundation.
In the final analysis, the Black Panther symbol cannot be owned by anyone, because it belongs to the people.
Sadiki "Shep" Ojore Olugbala
(s/n Shepard P. McDaniel)
Sadiki "Shep" Ojore Olugbala attended the City University Of New York's Hunter College from 1974-1980. Double majoring in Black/Puerto Rican Studies and Political Science; he was blessed to have studied under Dr. Marimba Ani, Dr. Ben and the late Dr. John Henrik Clark.
Brother "Shep" also was a member of the original Black Panther Party in New York City from (1974-1979) Working under the supervision of Pam Tilman he assisted in distribution of the Black Panther Newspaper from out of the Seize The Time bookstore in Harlem.
Later, after losing the bookstore and when the remainder of the Elaine and Huey cadre in N.Y. left the Party; he continued to work out of the Hunter College B.S.U. as a student organizer and the Regional Distribution Manager for the paper until it ceased publication. He then reported directly to Bro. Tex, who was supervised by Bro. Flores, who reported to Bro. Larry Henson in Oakland, California.
Bro. "Shep" then continued to work with the Black Panther Newspaper when it resumed publication in 1991 under the Black Panther Newspaper Committee which was supervised by Bro. Landon Williams in Oakland, California.