The Black Panthers in the Midwest
The Community Programs and Services of the Black Panther Party in Milwaukee, 1966–1977
By Andrew Witt
Routledge – 2007 – 162 pages
This book analyzes the community programs of the Black Panther Party, specifically those of the Milwaukee branch, with the aim of dispelling many of the existing stereotypes about the Party. Misconceptions range from the Party being labeled as bent on the violent destruction of the United States to it being an overwhelmingly sexist group. This book challenges stereotypes such as these by examining the community programs of the Party and by looking at the role of women in the Party. Witt argues that the Party was not an extremist group dedicated to overthrowing the government of the United States, but rather an organization committed to providing essential community services for lower-income and working-class African American communities around the nation.
"A welcome addition to recent scholarship on the Black Panther Party… Witt's study offers a valuable model for scholars undertaking micro-histories of the Black Panther Party, and should prove engaging for non-specialists as well."
- Jakobi Williams, The Journal of African American History
Introduction. 1. "Picking up the Gun’ and Serving the People" 2. "To Serve and Protect" 3. "The Black Panther Party in Milwaukee: A Case Study" 4. "Providing for All" 5. "Leading by Example" 6. "Romanticizing the Past?". Conclusion. Epilogue. Appendix A: "The 10-Point Program of the Black Panther Party". Appendix B: "Rules of the Black Panther Party". Appendix C: "Membership of the Milwaukee Branch". Appendix D: "A Proposal of the Milwaukee Branch for Community Control of the Milwaukee Police Department". Appendix E: "A Sampling of Locations of Black Panther Party Community Programs Nationwide"
Andrew Witt received his BA in African American Studies from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1996. He received his MA in African American Studies from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1999, and his PhD from Loyola in 2005. He is currently an Associate Professor of History at Edgewood College.