The Black Panther Party 10 Point Program

October 22, 1966

Black Panther Party
Platform and Program

What We Want

What We Believe

 

1. We want freedom for all black men held in federal, state, county and city prisons and jails.

 

We believe that all black people should be released from the many jails and prisons because they have not received a fair and impartial trial.

 

2. We want all black men to be exempt from military service.


We believe that Black people should not be forced to fight in the military service to defend a racist government that does not protect us. We will not fight and kill other people of color in the world who, like black people, are being victimized by the white racist government of America. We will protect ourselves from the force and violence of the racist police and the racist military, by whatever means necessary.

 

3. We want decent housing, fit for shelter of human beings.


We believe that if the white landlords will not give decent housing to our black community, then the housing and the land should be made into cooperatives so that our community, with government aid, can build and make decent housing for its people.

 

4. We want full employment for our people.


We believe that the federal government is responsible and obligated to give every man employment or a guaranteed income. We believe that if the white American businessmen will not give full employment, then the means of production should be taken from the businessmen and placed in the community so that the people of the community can organize and employ all of its people and give a high standard of living.

 

5. We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our Black Community.


We believe that black people will not be free until we are able to determine our destiny.

 

6. We want and end to the robbery by the CAPITALIST of our Black Community.


We believe that this racist government has robbed us and now we are demanding the overdue debt of forty acres and two mules. Forty acres and two mules was promised 100 years ago as restitution for slave labor and mass murder of black people. We will accept the payment in currency which will be distributed to our many communities. The Germans are now aiding the Jews in Israel of the genocide of the Jewish people. The Germans murdered six million Jews. The American racist has taken part in the slaughter of over fifty million black people; therefore, we feel that this is a modest demand that we make.

 

7. We want education for our people that exposes the true nature of this decadent American society. We want education that teaches us our true history and our role in the present-date society.


We believe in an educational system that will give to our people a knowledge of self. If a man does not have knowledge of himself and his position in society and the world, then he has little chance to relate to anything else.

 

8. We want an immediate end to POLICE BRUTALITY and MURDER of black people.


We believe we can end police brutality in our black community by organizing black self-defense groups that are dedicated to defending our black community from racist police oppression and brutality. The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States gives a right to bear arms. We therefore believe that all black people should arm themselves for self-defense.

 

9. We want all black people when brought to trial to be tried in court by a jury of their peer group or people from their black communities, as defined by the Constitution of the United States.


We believe that the courts should follow the United States Constitution so that black people will receive fair trials. The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution gives a man a right to be tried by his peer group. A peer is a person from a similar economic, social, religious, geographical, environmental, historical and racial background. To do this the court will be forced to select a jury from the black community from which the black defendant came. We have been, are are being tried by all-white juries that have no understanding of the “average reasoning man” of the black community.

 

10. We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice and peace. And as our major political objective, a United Nations-supervised plebiscite to be held throughout the black colony in which only black colonial subjects will be allowed to participate, for the purpose of determining the will of black people as to their national destiny.

 

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
That, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem mostly likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and, accordingly, all experience hath shown, that mankind are disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

 

1966 programme

Black Panther Party Program

March 29, 1972 Platform

When the Black Panther Party was founded in 1966, by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, a program and platform was put forward expressing the basic goals and believes of the Black Panther Party (then, the Black Panther Party for Self Defense). It was not, however, a program and platform by the Black Panther Party, for its ideas expressed the basic desires of Black people, in general. These are not empty words, for the founders of the Black Panther Party investigated and questioned Black people about our most pressing needs and our most burning desires. The words of the people were set to paper and became the basis for action by the Black Panther Party itself, in an attempt to unify and organize Black people for a successful thrust toward liberation.

Because nothing remains the same always, the Black Panther Party has taken note that the masses of Black and oppressed people have begun to stress the need for survival in the face of a reactionary system of government which would destroy the governed themselves, the people, in order to remain in power. With this in mind, our Party has begun many programs designed to satisfy the basic survival needs of the people. From the massive drive to expose and research the genocidal disease Sickle Cell Anemia to providing free food, clothing and other basic needs, the Black Panther Party has attempted to satisfy these existing needs and desires of the people, still maintaining the concept of complete liberation for the oppressed masses.

On March 29, 1972, the largest gathering, since the time of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, of Black and poor people came together in Oakland, California to participate in the Black Panther Party’s Black Community Survival Conference. Nowhere could the point have been clearer that the masses of our people are uniting around survival, programs for survival. No words could make that expression more indelible. As a result of this, the Black Panther Party membership discussed the 1966 Platform and Program, saw that only a few changes were necessary, to express the people’s present needs, goals, dreams and desires and ratified that program, based on the concrete example of March 29, 1972.

We present this 10 Point Platform and Program, not arrogantly proposing to speak for the people, but in the firm belief that the ideas it expresses represents the true interests of the masses of Black and oppressed people inside the United States of America.

 

1. We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our Black and oppressed communities.

We believe that Black and oppressed people will not be free until we are able to determine our destinies in our own communities ourselves, by fully controlling all the institutions which exist in our communities.

2. We want full employment for our people.

We believe that the federal government is responsible and obligated to give every person employment or a guaranteed income. We believe that if the American businessmen will not give full employment, then the technology and means of production should be taken from the businessmen and placed in the community so that the people of the community can organize and employ all of its people and give a high standard of living.

3. We want an end to the robbery by the capitalists of our Black and oppressed communities.

We believe that this racist government has robbed us and now we are demanding the overdue debt of forty acres and two mules. Forty acres and two mules were promised 100 years ago as restitution for slave labor and mass murder of Black people. We will accept the payment in currency which will be distributed to our many communities. The American racist has taken part in the slaughter of over fifty million Black people. Therefore, we feel this is a modest demand that we make.

4. We want decent housing, fit for the shelter of human beings.

We believe that if the landlords will not give decent housing to our Black and oppressed communities, then the housing and the land should be made into cooperatives so that the people in our communities, with government aid, can build and make decent housing for the people.

5. We want education for our people that exposes the true nature of the decadent American society. We want education that teaches us our true history and our role in the present-day society.

We believe in an educational system that will give to our people a knowledge of self. If you do not have knowledge of yourself and your position in the society and the world, then you will have little chance to know anything else.

6. We want completely free healthcare for all Black and oppressed people.

We believe that the government must provide, free of charge, for the people, health facilities which will not only treat our illnesses, most of which have come about as a result of oppression, but which will also develop preventative medical programs to guarantee our future survival. We believe that mass health education and research programs must be developed to give all Black and oppressed people access to advanced scientific and medical information, so we may provide ourselves with proper medical attention and care.

7. We want an immediate end to police brutality and murder of black people, other people of colour, all oppressed people inside the the United States.

We believe that the racist and fascist government of the United States uses its domestic enforcement agencies to carry out its program of oppression against Black people, other people of colour and poor people inside the United States. We believe it is our right, therefore, to defend ourselves against such armed forces, and that all Black and oppressed people should be armed for self-defense of our homes and communities against these fascist police forces.

8. We want an immediate end to all wars of aggression.

We believe that the various conflicts which exist around the world stem directly from the aggressive desires of the U.S. ruling circle and government to force its domination upon the oppressed people of the world. We believe that if the U.S. government or its lackeys do not cease these aggressive wards that it is the right of the people to defend themselves by any means necessary against their aggressors.

9. We want freedom for all Black and poor oppressed people now held in U.S. Federal, State, County, City and military prisons and jails. We want trials by a jury of peers for all persons charged with so-called crimes under the laws of this country.

We believe that the many Black and poor oppressed people now held in U.S. prisons and jails have not received fair and impartial trials under a racist and fascist judicial system and should be free from incarceration. We believe in the ultimate elimination of all wretched, inhuman penal institutions, because the masses of men and women imprisoned inside the United States or by the U.S. military are the victims of oppressive conditions which are the real cause of their imprisonment. We believe that when persons are brought to trial that they must be guaranteed, by the United States, juries of their peers, attorneys of their choice and freedom from imprisonment while awaiting trials.

10. We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice, peace and people’s community control of modern technology.

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political hands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect of the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and, accordingly, all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

 

For more from the Black Panther Party, check out our archive of original articles published in The Black Panther Intercommunal News Service.

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