Ku Klux Klan and Black Panthers: Similarities and Differences

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The Black Panthers and The Ku Klux Klan

The Black Panther Party Movement for Self-Defense was founded in Oakland California, October 1966.[i] The leaders of this militant group were Huey Newton, and Bobby Seale. The Black Panthers mission was to establish revolutionary socialism through mass organizing, and community based programs. [ii] Newton and Seale challenged the non-violent philosophy established by Martin Luther King, and instead encouraged African Americans living in urban ghettos to take up arms in self-defense against police brutality.[iii] The Panthers were greatly influenced by Malcolm X and his willingness to use violence in order to reach equality with whites. The Black Panthers created a violent reputation for black people, which created the stereotype that all black people are violent. Many peaceful black figures, such as Martin Luther King, lost the respect of white people due to this new stereotype. Another powerful group in American history is the Ku Klux Klan. The Ku Klux Klan was a secret society of multiple groups of mostly Southern Americans that practiced terrorist attacks to put a stop to black and white equality.[iv] The name Ku Klux Klan came from the Greek word “kuklos” which means circle or ring, and Klan refers to a Scottish or Irish “clan” which is a family. They word “clan” was used because most of the founders of the KKK were of Irish or Scottish descents. Ex-Confederate veteran Nathan Bedford Forest and his friends John C. Lester, James R. Crowe, John D. Kennedy, Calvin Jones, Richard R. Reed, and Frank O. McCord established the first Ku Klux Klan in 1865. Although separated in time, these two groups had many similarities. By comparing these two groups histories and tactics, it will be clear that these groups shared many similarities.

Race played a major part in the Black Panthers and The Ku Klux Klan. The Panthers abided to their Ten-Point Program, which was a document that expressed their goals. These goals...
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