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The Black Panther Party: A Graphic Novel History

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  136 ratings  ·  34 reviews
A bold and fascinating graphic novel history of the revolutionary Black Panther Party, from an award-winning comic book writer.

Founded in Oakland, California, in 1966, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was a revolutionary political organization that stood in defiant contrast to the mainstream civil rights movement. This gripping illustrated history explores the
Paperback, 192 pages
Published January 19th 2021 by Ten Speed Press
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Rod Brown
Jan 31, 2021 rated it liked it
A fairly engrossing history about a very complicated group of people. It's a graphic novel that relies heavily on giant blocks of text, but still reads fairly quickly due to the subject matter.

My passing impression of the Black Panther Party reduces them to violent militants, so I was surprised to find that their initial 1966 Ten-Point Program of wants and beliefs is actually a very reasonable starting point for discussion of Black Americans' issues and civil rights. Most of them are rightly sti
Feb 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, comics-manga
"When people consider the Black Panther Party, thoughts are often mixed, and often negative, no matter one’s race. Through The Black Panther Party: A Graphic Novel History, David F. Walker and Marcus Kwame Anderson offer more than enough details to help a reader understand just who the Panthers were and, perhaps, reconsider their views of the party’s legacy. In the wake of a Black Lives Matter world, understanding the history of the group that came before is paramount to understanding where the ...more
Dan Wilcox
Feb 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A good, compact history of the Panthers, gloriously illustrated by Marcus Kwame Anderson. Highly recommended.
Heather V  ~The Other Heather~
When a book of any kind challenges the things you thought you knew, and teaches you things that as an adult you can't believe you didn't know already, it has achieved its ultimate goal. This book does that in such a remarkably straightforward way that I felt like I'd been slapped more than once. In a good way, I guess? (Is there a good way to feel like you've been slapped?)

My comic book club of awesome women read this together, slotted in our February 2021 spot sometime in mid-2020 to observe Bl
Leslie Ann
Feb 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I did not know much about the Black Panther Party other than its militancy. Only recently did I hear about their meal programs for kids. So, I welcomed the opportunity to learn more about this organization. What infuriates me most is how public resources were used to discredit BPP rather than support the social services (food, clothes, shelter, education) provided by the group, and the stark contrast in the way law enforcement agencies treated BPP and current white supremacist organizations. The ...more
Jan 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Powerful, thoughtful, and so timely. Complex, complicated , and insightful look into this much maligned organization. Well researched and developed bios, structures, and challenges faced by the Black Panthers as an organization and as a response to on-going racism in the US. A valuable read for anyone and a well timed educational piece. This book provides a thoughtful start to an expanded exploration of social justice.
Jan 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
An absolutely incredible work of comics history. It’s not afraid to be complicated, and it pulls no punches. It tells the entire history of the party in detail, but it moves quickly enough to read it in one (very intense) sitting. Anyone who’s interested in the BPP should start here, and then dive into the very robust bibliography at the end.
Feb 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The Black Panther Party: A Graphic Novel History

Fred Hampton was barely an adult.

Fred Hampton was trying to create a better life for those in his community and was a successful organizer, effective leader, and charismatic spokesman.

Fred Hampton was only 21 years old when he was considered a threat in the eyes of President Hoover, the FBI, and COINTELPRO. And on the morning of December 4, 1969, after the Chicago Police Department staged a raid in his apartment while he was sleeping, he was shot a
Feb 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
After watching The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Judas and the Black Messiah, I was anxious to learn more about the Black Panthers. This book provides a comprehensive history of the group, highlighting notable individuals and incidents along the way with impressive accompanying artwork. I found it to be well-researched, informative and extremely engaging. While the facts are presented in an unbiased manner, I appreciated Walker's raw afterword reflecting on the major racial events of the past year ...more
Feb 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A lot of text for a graphic novel, but I learned a lot from this accessible introduction to a complex history. The continuation to current issues is heartbreaking (and the COINTELPRO stuff is mortifying - but it all underscores the need to continue the fight.
Heather Culley
Jan 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Plenty of informative text, backed with clear, honest, brilliant illustration.
Feb 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021
I love graphic novels about history. The Black Panthers were heroes to me as a kid and I wanted to be one. I just knew they fought for an end to oppression. I didn't know about the lunches and schools and other services until later in my life. Their story is complex. This graphic novel does a great job informing. ...more
Ben Truong
Jan 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The Black Panther Party: A Graphic Novel History is a graphic novel written by David F. Walker and illustrated by Marcus Kwame Anderson. This nuanced, accessible history of the Black Panther Party doesn't shy away from the complexity of the political movement, nor does it fall into the trap of painting the diverse group as uniformly heroes or villains.

The Black Panther Party was a Black Power political organization founded by college students Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton in October 1966 in Oak
Robert Lee
The history of the Black Panthers is a complicated one and is tackled well by writer David F. Walker. In less than 200 pages, he chronicles the rise and demise of the Black Panther Party, covering the same issues and troubles our communities still grapple with.

Written in 2020 while Black Lives Matter protests filled our newsfeeds, the story of the struggles the Black Panthers were addressing is still relevant. Of course, there is some dark history behind the Panthers which is addressed, but wha
Molly Walker
Feb 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
Since reading Rita Williams-Garcia's One Crazy Summer, I've wanted to learn more about the history and work of Black Panthers beyond the oversimplified narrative often found in history books. Written in the wake of the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, Walker's impeccable research is grounded in the present and brought to life with Anderson's vibrant artwork. I appreciated learning more about the origins of the party, its leaders, and the many community programs they launched. Though v ...more
Feb 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I loved reading this book, and I have every intention of teaching with it in coming years - I'm already developing lesson plans around it as a middle school class read. The nuance - taking real humans to be real humans who are not perfect - is appealing for a reader (me) who is always worried that I'm about to be had by someone whitewashing (excuse the term) violence and imperfect actors involved in complex historical events and social phenomena. This book pulls no punches on the founders of the ...more
Feb 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
On one hand, this is an incredibly thorough and complex history of the Panthers that formal education has deprived us of, and is therefore somewhat essential (dare I say required) reading to anyone who might not check out a closer read of any particular Panther-centric moment in history. That said, the book is SO thorough that it does not feel like there is much of a throughline, which I do understand takes a touch of editorializing for a non-fiction book, but that still felt somewhat missing. T ...more
Feb 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic. This fills a much needed gap in my knowledge of African-American history, and I'm pretty sure I am not alone. Beautiful summary of what led up to the forming of the Black Panther Party, and tells both the strengths and failings of the people in the party. But what I love the most is the artwork. Every single person (and there are quite a few) is uniquely drawn and instantly recognizable. I've read a few graphic novel histories, and I have to say, this is rare. I have a book about the ...more
Danielle Masterson
Feb 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bio-nonfic
Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for this eARC of the Black Panther Party.

This graphic novel explains and outlines the history of the Black Panther Party. David F. Walker shows a complete history of the BPP, from its community survival programs to the violence and strife within the organization.

Where this graphic novel really shines, though, is in Marcus Kwame Anderson’s illustrations. Every page is truly a work of art.

My only frustration was reading this in electronic form — the word
Feb 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A powerfully drawn and informative history of the Black Panther Party that both makes me admire and feel troubled by them. A good, nuanced history of a group that was, in my opinion, more good than bad but **definitely** had its problems.

Reminder: the US federal government assassinated Fred Hampton while he was sleeping in his apartment. Fuck COINTELPRO; Fuck Ronald Reagan; Fuck J. Edgar Hoover; and Fuck the power systems that make old, rich white men with only one selfish perspective on human e
Feb 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book because it did a very good job explaining how the black panther party started, what they stood for, how they helped the community,and the people of the black panther party. It was very nice because they went into detail about all of these things and divided it equally so you got a good understanding about some of the people and there backstories. I also really liked the book because of what I learned from it because I didn’t really know a lot about the bpp and now I know ...more
Feb 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A graphic history isn't a comic book and this one is more educational than a movie. In 170 pages the creators cover the Black Panthers from the beginning to the end. It hits the 10 Points, the People Programs, and the people who were part of the party. It is honest so it addresses the negative aspects also, and since it's honest you best believe that Hoover and Cointelpro are part of the story. I recommend this book. ...more
Eric Burnside
Jan 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
David F. Walker does it again! What a great way to tell the complex history of a controversial and often misunderstood politcal group that fought for the liberation of black people in America and whose impact was felt around the world. Bravo! Bravo to Walker and Marcus Kwame Alexander for this work.
Aimee Dars
I loved the content and artistry of this book. In a compact, easy-to-digest format, David H. Walker not only captured the rise and fall of the Black Panther Party and profiled key members but summarized racial dynamics in the United States leading to the Party's formation. The COINTPRO activities of the FBI didn't surprise me but still sickened me.

Highly recommended!
Feb 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A very engaging thoughtful and beautifully illustrated history of the Black Panther Party. The book takes the time to move through history documenting how the Panthers came to be. David Walker tells the complex and compelling history of the Panthers in a clear and honest way. Marcus Kwame Anderson's art and lettering compliment the narrative brilliantly. ...more
Andrew Hall
Jan 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This should be required reading for all high school students. It is so much more than the story of the Black Panthers. It is a visual history lesson on race and oppression in America. And the sickening continuation of it for generations.
Feb 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
Anyone who lives in Oakland this is a must read. Beautiful illustrations, and comprehensive bios of each Party member. Would be a good read for high school students interested in Black History. Well done.
Feb 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-grade
A brilliant, beautifully illustrated, engaging graphic novel history of the Black Panther Party that’s accessible for all ages (6 and up). Read this with my 7 year old for home school, and she was so captivated that she wanted to read it before bedtime too. Highly, highly recommend.
CJ Juntunen
Feb 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
A nice, succinct history of a very misrepresented group. I appreciate that the author didn’t shy away from the negative actions taken by some group members and I liked the in-depth profiles of the members. It did feel more like an illustrated nonfiction book than a graphic novel, though.
Feb 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
Excellent overview of the rise and fall of the Black Panthers, with mini-biographies of many of the major players. Great format, great drawing, great bibliography.
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David F. Walker is a writer, filmmaker, and award-winning journalist. He teaches Writing For Comics at Portland State University.

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