October 15, 2016 will mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, which started in Oakland, California. The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was one of the most important and impactful Black revolutionary organizations of the 20th century. We are honoring the legacy and contributions of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense with this timely film showing and discussion.
One critical dimension of the program and practice of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense were its “Serve the People” or “Survival” programs. Although ideologically inspired by the Great Chinese Cultural Revolution of the 1960’s, these programs harken back to the self-help, self-reliant, and self-determining cooperative initiatives and traditions of the Black Liberation Movement in North America that can be traced back to our very first Maroon and Free Communities.
Cooperation Jackson and its work is in the tradition of these programs, which we still have a lot to learn from and build on to strengthen our work to build a democratic economy in Jackson and beyond.
On Thursday, October 15th we will be showing various portions of the “What We Want, What We Believe” documentary that highlight the work of the “Serve the People” programs of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. We will also have a discussion on what we can learn from and apply to the development of our cooperative work here in Jackson.