Engendering the Black Freedom Struggle: Revolutionary Black Womanhood and the Black Panther Party in the Bay Area, California

  title={Engendering the Black Freedom Struggle: Revolutionary Black Womanhood and the Black Panther Party in the Bay Area, California},
  author={Robyn Ceanne Spencer},
  journal={Journal of Women's History},
  pages={113 - 90}
  • R. Spencer
  • Published 17 March 2008
  • History, Sociology
  • Journal of Women's History
This article explores how black women who joined the Black Panther Party, one of the leading Black Power organizations in the 1960s and 70s, were empowered to challenge racism and sexism in society, in the Panthers, and in themselves. Using oral history and archival sources, it examines such issues as formal and informal leadership, state political repression, gendered guerilla imagery, and debates around child rearing and birth control to reveal how these women were able to shape the Panthers… 

Good Mothers with Guns: Framing Black Womanhood in the Black Panther, 1968–1980

This article examines the Black Panther Party newspaper's frames of black womanhood to explore larger questions about how social movement media construct social reality, create and maintain group


This essay examines the complex gender relations in the Black Panther Party (BPP). At the outset, hypermasculine ideals drove the party forward as an organization of powerful men. This intrigued many

Imagining Revolutionary Feminism: Communist Asia and the Women of the Black Panther Party

Using newspapers, autobiographies, and interviews, this article examines the ways in which women of the Black Panther Party imagined the women of Vietnam, China, and North Korea as radical archetypes

And They Started Sayin’ “Black Power!”

This photo essay attempts to map some of the historical moments that likely influenced the birth of the black panther as an icon and hero in the worlds of both political activism and comic books.

Charting a Long Black Power Movement: Rhonda Williams's Panoramic Concrete Demands

Notes 1. Tracye Matthews, “‘No One Ever Asks, What a Man’s Place in the Revolution Is’: Gender and the Politics of the Black Panther Party, 1966–1971,” in The Black Panther Party Reconsidered, ed.

Women in the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements

Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X are the names that come to mind for most Americans if asked about the civil rights or Black Power movements. Others may point to Presidents John F. Kennedy and

The Woman Question: Gender Dynamics within the Black Panther Party

The BPP’s gendered political praxis was groundbreaking for the era, but, like most human creations, was not without issue. Utilizing a gendered-focused Afrocentric methodological approach, this

The Hidden Narratives: Recovering and (Re) Visioning the Community Activism of Men in the Black Panther Party

The iconography of furious Black men in uniforms prevails in the public’s surface perception of the Black Panther Party (BPP). This article complicates this public image by uncovering the hidden

Centering “Grace”: Challenging Anti-Blackness in Schooling Through Motherwork

Anti-Blackness is global and present in every facet of society, including education. In this article, we examine the challenges Black girls encounter in schools throughout the United States. Guided

"Don't no woman have to do nothing she don't want to do": Gender, Activism, and the Illinois Black Panther Party

The essay is an examination of the gender dynamics in the Illinois Black Panther Party. Scholarship on the Black Panther Party has identified sexism, misogyny, and gender discrimination as critical



Women, power, and revolution

Abstract The relevant way to understand gender dynamics inside the Black Panther Party starts with this question: “How could a young black woman raised during the 1950s find someplace to take

Sisters in the struggle : African American women in the civil rights-black power movement

Women were at the forefront of the civil rights struggle, but their indvidiual stories were rarely heard. Only recently have historians begun to recognize the central role women played in the battle

Liberation, Imagination and the Black Panther Party: A New Look at the Black Panthers and their Legacy

Solidarity:The Black Panther Party in the International Arena Michael L. Clemons and Charles E. Jones 3. A Life in the Party: A Historical and Retrospective Examination of the Projections and

Radio Free Dixie: Robert F. Williams and the Roots of Black Power

A gripping biography of a controversial black activist This biography tells the riveting story of Robert F. Williams (1925-1996). In the late 1950s, as president of the Monroe, North Carolina, NAACP,

The Black woman : an anthology

A collection of early, emerging works from some of today's most celebrated African American female writers When it was first published in 1970, The Black Woman introduced readers to an astonishing

Is it nation time? : contemporary essays on black power and black nationalism

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Black Power movement provided the dominant ideological framework through which many young, poor, and middle-class blacks made sense of their lives and

Autobiography as Activism: Three Black Women of the Sixties

A study of three Black Power narratives as instruments for radical social change Angela Davis, Assata Shakur (a.k.a. JoAnne Chesimard), and Elaine Brown are the only women activists of the Black

Groundwork: Local Black Freedom Movements in America

Over the last several years, the traditional narrative of the civil rights movement as largely a southern phenomenon, organized primarily by male leaders, that roughly began with the 1955 Montgomery

Multiple Jeopardy, Multiple Consciousness: The Context of a Black Feminist Ideology

Black women have long recognized the special circumstances of our lives in the United States: the commonalities that we share with all women, as well as the bonds that connect us to the men of our

Shadowboxing: Representations of Black Feminist Politics

Prologue Introduction Forging Community: From Segregation to Transcendence Protofeminists and Liberation Limbos Radicalizing Feminisms from 'The Movement' Era Contemporary Revolutionary Icons and