Weekend reading

1971 - Oakland, California, USA: Black Panther children in a classroom at the Intercommunal Youth Institute, the Black Panther school. (Stephen Shames/Polaris) The Children's House, The Intercommunal Youth Institute and the Oakland Community School. In 1970, in Oakland, David Hilliard created the idea for the first full time liberation day school. This school, and its attendant dormitories in Oakland and Berkeley, was simply called the Children’s House. This school concept, directed by Majeda Smith and a team of BPP members became the way in which sons and daughters of BPP members were educated. Staff and instructors were Black Panther Party members. In 1971 this school moved into a large building in Berkeley and then to the Fruitvale area of Oakland. The Children’s House was eventually renamed the Intercommunal Youth Institute (IYI). Under the leadership of Brenda Bay, the IYI served BPP families and a few nearby families in the Fruitvale area, maintaining a day school program and dormitory with 50 children, for two years. The Black Panther Party was one of the most influential responses to racism and inequality in American history. The Panthers advocated armed self-defense to counter police brutality, and initiated a program of patrolling the police with guns and law books. Their enduring legacy is their programs, like Free Breakfast for Children, which helped to inspire a national movement of community organizing for economic independence, education, nutrition, and health care. Seale believed that “no kid should be running around hungry in school,” a simple credo that lead FBI director J. Edgar Hoover to call the breakfast program, “the greatest threat to efforts by authorities to neutralize the BPP and destroy what it stands for.”

Two new photo books bring us unforgettable images of the Black Panthers 

Women’s healthcare clinic established at #NoDAPL camp

Why Donald Trump says “the” before “African Americans” and “Latinos”

Supporting Hillary while reckoning with Bill’s sexual past 

There is a conspiracy to rig the election, and Donald Trump is part of it

Women who hate Trump, but aren’t with her

Black doctor trying to help sick passenger told by flight attendant they were “looking for actual physicians”

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Author: Rebecca Griffin

I am a passionate advocate for progressive causes with over a decade of experience organizing for social change. That organizing experience informs the way I look at the world and the challenges we face in working toward social justice. I started Of Means and Ends to write about social issues I care about and share my thoughts on how we organize in a smart, strategic way. Please visit and join the conversation.

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