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The Black Panther Party for Self Defense was founded in 1966 by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale to address police oppression of African Americans in Oakland, CA.  The Party’s 10 Point Plan and Program was written as a set of guidelines for Party members and states its ideals and ways of operation to live by and actively practice every day. 

Because community members also turned the Panthers for help with economic and social problems, the Panthers started critical social programs to build community self-determination.


Although the Party was widely depicted solely as gun-toting militants, they implemented the 10 Point Plan through robust community services like its Free Breakfast Program. Within two years, the daily Free Breakfast Program for school children had spread to 36 cities, feeding thousands of children.  In a 1969 U.S. Senate hearing, the nation’s School Lunch Program administrator admitted that the Panthers fed more poor school children than did the state of California. 

The 10 Point program was released on May 15, 1967 in the second issue of the party’s weekly newspaper, The Black Panther and was printed in all succeeding 537 issues. 


In 1972,  the amendment for “completely free healthcare for all black and oppressed people” was added to the original due to the success of the Panther Party’s People’s Free Medical Clinics which providing multiple social health care initiatives within African American communities.)  

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