Do You Know the 10 Point Program for the Black Panther Party for Self Defense?

by | Dec 23, 2017 | Did You Know, DYK, History | 2 comments

In the 1960s, the Civil Rights movement in the United States is remembered for the demonstrations and attempts at peaceful protests against racism and segregationist policies.

At the forefront of this movement were Dr. Martin Luther King and his approach to effect real change through non-violent protests. But there were many other organizations that strived to achieve the same goals. They included the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and King’s own Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to name a few. But one group that promoted a different, more militant, path was the Black Panthers.

The Black Panthers were founded in 1966 by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. The group was created as a reaction to the assassination of Malcolm X and the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager in San Francisco.

In the beginning, the Black Panthers were known for organizing police monitoring activities in Oakland, CA and other cities. They also believed in the arming of citizens for self protection.

The philosophy of the Black Panthers drew its influence from Marxist ideology. This was reflected in their “Black Panther Party for Self Defense Ten-Point Program.” The Program contained ten demands and ten beliefs. What are presented here are the ten demands in full:

  1. We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our Black Community.
  2. We want full employment for our people.
  3. We want an end to the robbery by the white men of our Black Community.
  4. We want decent housing, fit for shelter of human beings.
  5. 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 day society.
  6. We want all Black men to be exempt from military service.
  7. We want an immediate end to POLICE BRUTALITY and MURDER of Black people.
  8. We want freedom for all Black men held in federal, state, county and city prisons and jails.
  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.
  10. We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice and peace.


As part of the Program, the Panthers promoted several social programs which were not as well known. One example was the creation of several free health clinics within African-American communities across the United States.

However, due to several internal controversies, shootouts with police, and heavy investigations by the FBI as a “communist organization,” the Panthers were gradually worn down and were officially dissolved in 1982.




Black Panthers. (n.d.). Retrieved on December 11, 2017 from

Black Panther Party for Self Defense Ten Point Program. University of Texas El Paso (n.d.). Retrieved on December 11, 2017 from

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  1. Peter Morrison

    The FBI were and are well known for using entrapment and character assassination as means to achieve their goals.

  2. Ron Mosely

    Some of it was good but not all! There was nuff , Pimps , Killers and Drug Lords in the joint back then that were a detriment to the community and made everyone know they refused to take the route Malcolm Little , took to redemption! Getting decent housing , and decent jobs from who?? Who is president 2018! Even Elder Bobby Seale will tell you that the focus now should be “Do For Self” and Black Nationalism as we see basic non welfare elated programs being deleted from the federal state and city government! Unless we rely on our Black millionaires , and our trillion dollar spending power, and focus towards Black economic unity, we will get no where !


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