African American Heritage

The Black Panther Party

The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (BPP) was founded in 1966 in Oakland, California by college students Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. It was a revolutionary organization with an ideology of black nationalism, socialism, and armed self-defense.

Newton and Seale began canvassing their community asking residents about issues of concern. They compiled the responses and created the Ten Point Platform that became the foundational guidelines and ideals of the Party. The Black Panther Party also provided free breakfast for school children, sickle-cell anaemia testing, legal aid, and adult education.

Black Panther Party Members

Record Group 21: District Courts of the United States

Criminal Case Files, 1873-1991 National Archives Identifier: 624785

Selected Records
United States v. Dellinger, et al. ( NAID 6210763)
Note Written by Defendant Seale Regarding Blood Circulation ( NAID 6277828
Statement Submitted by Defendant Bobby Seale ( NAID 6277829)

Record Group 59: Department of State

Central Foreign Policy Files, 1973-1979 National Archives Identifier 654098

Selected Records
Electronic Telegrams, 1975 ( NAID 1225392)
Electronic Telegrams, 1977 ( NAID 5665410)
P-Reel Document Index Entries, 1978 ( NAID 16972266)

The electronic records in this series can be searched online via the Access to Archival Databases (AAD) system. The telegrams on AAD include only unclassified, unrestricted files which have been determined to be of permanent historical value. Please search for 'Black Panther Party'.

Record Group 60: Department of Justice

Class 144 (Civil Rights) Litigation Case Files, 1936-1997 National Archives Identifier: 603432

Selected Records
144-11-562 [Murder of Robert James “Lil’ Bobby” Hutton (1968)]
144-57-379 [Mose Wendell Mitchell (1971)]

Subject Files of the Attorney General National Archives Identifier 651799

Selected Records
[Bell, Griffin B.] Black Panthers [Party] ( NAID 4672900
[Levi, Edward H.] Black Panther Party v. Levi ( NAID 3984257
[McGrath, Paul J] Black Panther Case ( NAID 3740809

Record Group 65: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Classification 100 (Domestic Security) Case Files [Mobile, Alabama Field Division] National Archives Identifier: 6014804

Classification 100 (Domestic Security) Case Files [Buffalo, New York Field Division] National Archives Identifier: 6039724

Selected Records
100-10092 (EBF Serial 425- the Black Panther Party) NAID 12336644

Classification 157 (Civil Unrest) Case Files

Please use the Find function in your browser to search for 'Black Panther Party'

Motion Picture Films and Video Recordings, ca. 1936-ca. 1985 National Archives Identifier: 12073

Selected Records
Black Panther ( NAID 12101) Also available for viewing on YouTube
The People and the Police - Oakland ( NAID 12120) Also available for viewing on YouTube

Record Group 233: US House of Representatives

Committee Papers, 1945- 1975 National Archives Identifier: 6924889

Selected Records
Exhibits, Evidence and Other Records of the Investigative Section of the Internal Security Committee During the 79th through 94th Congresses Related to the Black Panther Party ( NAID 7594294)

Record Group 263: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

Audio Recordings of Monitored Broadcasts from Havana and Port-Au-Prince, 1968-1973 National Archives Identifier 104633

Selected Records
Havana International Service in English. Interview with U.S. Black Panther Party Member Eldridge Cleaver ( NAID 104649)
Havana International Service in English. “Message to Cuban People” From Black Panther Party Member George Mason Murry ( NAID 104646)

GRF-0054 - Gerald R. Ford Congressional Papers

Press Secretary Reference Materials, 1965-1972 National Archives Identifier 642095

Selected Records
Black Militants ( NAID 4530105)

RN-SMOF - White House Staff Member and Office Files (Nixon)

John D. Ehrlichman’s Files, 01/20/1969-04/30/1973 National Archives Identifier 954017

Selected Records
Black Panther Party ( NAID 2121984)