This week I found the Black Panther and the Young Lord movement to be very interesting because it was an entirely new subject for me. I have never heard of these movements and knew very little information about either of the groups. Something I came to notice was that there was many similarities amongst both groups.
The Civil Rights Movement had some impact but Martin Luther king Jr. believed in turning the other cheek and a pilgrimage of nonviolence which wasn't going to cut it. Both groups believed that if you want to start a revolution, everyone must be supported, otherwise there will be no change. They came to the realization that white americans were not doing anything to help them, therefore they had to step up and demand their rights. They had similarities with rules of their groups such as you could not show up to duty under the influence and that there would be no violence. Also, both groups emphasized on giving back and serving their people. Lastly, the women joined these groups in numbers and although they faced sexism within their movement, they were at given small stereotypical leadership roles. As the men in the movement began to be arrested and put in prison, the women stepped up and took ahold of power.
What I found most interesting was that even though the women joined and supported their groups, they were still discriminated against. One of the principles of Black Nationalism was that racial unity is necessary for progress, so wouldn't it make sense that both women and men of all races would join together to fight for their rights? Many of these women changed the direction of these movements for the better by, like I mentioned earlier, serving their people by giving them access to free breakfast, child care, health care and liberation schools. They changed the way women in their society was valued by encouraging women to be leaders, to be strong and with that, they can protect their homes and families.
It almost makes me wonder whether movements today such as the feminist movement and other movements of history focus on picking and choosing sides ex. male, female, republican, democratic, or race. Although the feminist movement is portrayed to many people that women are against men and discourage men from joining the movement, that is simply untrue. Men believe being a feminist means being a man-hater, extremist and sexist. Us humans, no matter gender or race need to believe in equality of the sexes and in general, equal rights. As James Penny once said, "growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together."