- Peniel Joseph: By 1968 the Black Panthers became a global phenomenon
- The Panthers articulated a structural critique of racism, he says
- Panthers were hobbled in part by illegal surveillance, internal battles drug abuse
Peniel Joseph is the Barbara Jordan Chair in Political Values and Ethics and the Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is also a professor of history. He is the author of several books, most recently "Stokely: A Life." The views expressed here are his.
(CNN)Fifty years ago today, the Black Panther Party for Self Defense was founded in Oakland, California, by activists Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. The group quickly shortened its name to the Black Panther Party (BPP) and emerged as the most iconic revolutionary organization to come out of the Black Power era and the larger global political maelstrom of the 1960s -- and one whose causes still resonate today.