Social movement, political party, cultural influencer, government target, and Oakland-born—there are many ways to feel about the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, founded in October 1966. As the Black Panther Party celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, visit the exhibition All Power to the People for a contemporary view on the legacy of this visionary group, told from multiple perspectives. Rare historical artifacts, first person accounts, and new contemporary art show how the Party continues to inspire culture, activism, and community empowerment on local, national, and international levels.
Gain insights from former Black Panthers, artists, scholars, and community members about the Party—and how it continues to impact our lives and give meaning to the places around us. Examine a sweeping array of artifacts from OMCA’s collection and former Party members, along with never before seen photographs highlighting the everyday experiences and moments within the Party’s history. Uncover little-known aspects of this innovative group’s past in sections focusing on unheralded members of the movement such as women and rank and file, the Panthers’ revolutionary social programs, and how secret government programs led to the Party’s demise and influenced how it is remembered today. Throughout, consider why the Panthers remain controversial to some and inspirational to many, and how their political agenda continues to resonate with the social justice efforts today.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website