cover image Freedom! The Story of the Black Panther Party

Freedom! The Story of the Black Panther Party

Jetta Grace Martin, Joshua Bloom, Waldo E. Martin Jr. Levine Querido, $19.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-64614-093-0

In this extensive history of the Black Panther Party written for young readers, debut author Martin and academics Bloom and Martin Jr. present the 1960s origins of the BPP through to the 1982 shuttering of its final office, detailing “the women and the men of the Party” and their supporters and allies, as well as “what it takes to be free.” Organized into six sections, the book begins with the Oakland, Calif., childhoods and early association of Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, then transitions into the birth and growth of the BPP, the assassinations of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., and multiple state and federal attempts to infiltrate and bring down the party. The text highlights the BPP’s pride in being a party for the people, including the many community programs it created and ran, implementing breakfast programs for schoolchildren and their families, for example, as well as getting Black Studies into school curriculums. In tracing multiple people’s stories, the precise telling doesn’t shy away from internal party conflicts ranging from sexism to ideological splits, while detailing the context behind and legacy of the Black Panther Party’s activism. Photographs appear throughout; back matter includes a comprehensive timeline, glossary, and source material for further reading. Ages 12–up. (Jan.)