Birth of the Black Panther Party
Other names to know:
Lil’ Bobby Hutton
Ebert “Big Man” Howard
“The Lil Red Book”
These are the names of people we will be discussing.
Watching Panther (1995) worksheet:
Take a look at the Panther 9ilm, made in 1995 and directed by Mario Van Peebles.
Some of the important events in the Panther narrative are carefully reconstructed,
usually denoted by the date given at the start of the scene. However a lot of the
dialogue and most of the characters are 9ictionalized. Think about the “hollywood”
conventions used in the 9ilm.
Still, close family ties depicted, the opportunistic ‘street hustlers,’ the “ma9ia” type
mobsters in suits, and the FBI and police portrayals, were realistically imagined
from real characters of the time. However, only Huey, Bobby, Eldridge and Little
Bobby are developed from actual Panthers. (I may have missed one or two).
Think about the 9ilm and respond to the following questions. It’s ok if you refer to
the 9irst hour of the 9ilm only.
1) How do the portrayals of Huey and Bobby conform or detract from what you
know of Huey and Bobby? What scene or scenes to they bring the Panther “power”
out? (the excitement, the reason the Party grew so rapidly?)
2) What did you think of the portrayal of Huey Newton? Was his charisma and
complicated personality approached in a believable way?
3) What did you think of the portrayal of Bobby Seale? (I thought he looked a bit old
for the role). Was he convincing as a Party leader?
4) How was “the movement” characterized? Any mention of Martin Luther King? Of
Malcolm X? Can you identify any mentions of the 60s movements taking place?
There were moments folded in, slipped into the dialogue, what did you think of
5) What scene(s) from Panther history would you have liked to see re-enacted or recreated? (think of a missing character they could have included)
6) Overall, how do you compare what you “learned” from Panther 1995, with the
documentary on the Panthers we saw the first week? Was it appropriate to
fabricate so many other people and stories? (the attached file is the same as this