Thursday, April 16, 2015

         I am so glad we got the chance to learn about the Black Panthers and the Young Lords. When I received notice that that would be the topic, my first thought was "why can't I remember learning about them?" followed by "who are the Young Lords?" At first I was a little embarrassed for not knowing anything too substantial about the Black Panthers; I could only recall the things I've seen in movies. I didn't realize why I had this hole in my historical teaching until Ms. Cruz pointed out that most U.S. History classes run out of time just as they approach the Black Panthers and Young Lords. This though just leads me to question even more what the school system should be stressing on.
           In regards to the reading before hand I found one thing in particular, which I did mention in class, to be very interesting. "We want immediate end to police brutality and murder of black people." Reading this in the article published in October 1966 immediately surprised as that is a demand that could and has been made today. This only shows America's lack of progress since then. Another demand from the article that I did not mention before was "we want education for our people that exposes the true nature of this decadent American society. We want education that teaches us our true history and our role in the present-day society." Reading this demand I feel that this ties in directly with my previous comment on where the education system places its importance. And yes, Universities and colleges offer "Afro-American studies" where this "true history" is taught, but a college education is not accessible all; many of those being members of the African-American community.
          In regards to the Young Lords, they were a group I had certainly never heard of. When I told my dorm parent returning from the class on monday that we learned about the Black Panthers and the Young Lords, she knew who the Black Panthers were, but she had no idea who the Young Lords were. Hearing and seeing the videos of all the activities and protests the Young Lords had, in the heart off New York City, shocked me as to how I could have never learned about this movement which had such an impact. This made me realize that even less than the teachings of true African-American history in America, are the teachings of Latin@-American history. The last thing that I can recall that even relates to Latin@-American history are the conquistadors taking over islands in the caribbean during the slave trade. That being said, it is clear that education of this history should be encouraged.
           The role of women in the Panther party was a little surprising to me. Sure women have been excluded from things before because it may be dangerous or not fitting a woman's role, but the fact that women's leadership in the Panthers was discouraged because women essentially would ruin the Panthers the way they did the African-American household, was very shocking to me. But when women actually put their foot down and fought and spoke out for their rights in the Panther party showed to me how much women can actually accomplish by banning together.
         The role of Women in the Young Lords was very different from what I saw in the video. Although women still weren't making the speeches, there was still a noticeably different amount of female involvement in the Young Lords as opposed to the Panthers. Im not sure if its because of the geographical difference or the difference in population these parties were based in, but I found it very interesting that two parties with almost identical issues had such different stances on the roles and importance of women.

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