Out of Oakland: Black Panther Party Internationalism during the Cold War (The United States in the World)

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In Out of Oakland, Sean L. Malloy explores the evolving internationalism of the Black Panther Party (BPP); the continuing exile of former members, including Assata Shakur, in Cuba is testament to the lasting nature of the international bonds that were forged during the party's heyday. Founded in Oakland, California, in October 1966 by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, the BPP began with no more than a dozen members. Focused on local issues, most notably police brutality, the Panthers patrolled their West Oakland neighborhood armed with shotguns and law books. Within a few years, the BPP had expanded its operations into a global confrontation with what Minister of Information Eldridge Cleaver dubbed "the international pig power structure."Malloy traces the shifting intersections between the black freedom struggle in the United States, Third World anticolonialism, and the Cold War. By the early 1970s, the Panthers had chapters across the United States as well as an international section headquartered in Algeria and support groups and emulators as far afield as England, India, New Zealand, Israel, and Sweden. The international section served as an official embassy for the BPP and a beacon for American revolutionaries abroad, attracting figures ranging from Black Power skyjackers to fugitive LSD guru Timothy Leary. Engaging directly with the expanding Cold War, BPP representatives cultivated alliances with the governments of Cuba, North Korea, China, North Vietnam, and the People’s Republic of the Congo as well as European and Japanese militant groups and the Palestinian Liberation Organization. In an epilogue, Malloy directly links the legacy of the BPP to contemporary questions raised by the Black Lives Matter movement.

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About the Author:

Sean L. Malloy is Associate Professor of History/Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Merced. He is the author of Out of Oakland: Black Panther Party Internationalism during the Cold War and Atomic Tragedy: Henry L. Stimson and the Decision to Use the Bomb against Japan, both from Cornell.

Review:

"Out of Oakland is an exciting and robust narrative of black internationalism as told through the rise and fragmentation of the Black Panther Party. Sean L. Malloy writes in an engaging manner and offers a complex, nuanced study of how the Panthers used Third World, anti-imperialist, and anticapitalist politics to conceptualize the colonized status of African Americans in the United States and to develop political connections globally. Malloy takes seriously the internationalist political ideas and diplomacy of Panther leaders, particularly Eldridge Cleaver. Out of Oakland will be of great interest to readers interested in black internationalism, the Black Panther Party, Third World politics, and the Cold War."

(Judy Tzu-Chun Wu, University of California, Irvine, author of Radicals on the Road: Internationalism, Orientalism, and Feminism during the Vietnam Era)

"The foreign policy of the Black Panther Party has not received the attention it deserves, and Out of Oakland fills that gap more than ably. Indeed, what most struck me while reading this book is the degree to which Sean L. Malloy has crafted a narrative that, while focusing on the transnational dimensions of the Panthers, simultaneously offers a comprehensive and outstanding overview of the party's history writ large. In that way, Malloy succeeds where many transnational histories fail―to interweave the transnational with the national and even the local."

(Nico Slate, Carnegie Mellon University, author of The Prism of Race: W. E. B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, Paul Robeson, and the Colored World of Cedric Dover)

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9781501702396: Out of Oakland: Black Panther Party Internationalism during the Cold War (The United States in the World)

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