, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 249-267
Date: 30 Nov 2011

A Tension in the Political Thought of Huey P. Newton

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Abstract

This article is a discussion of the political thought of Huey P. Newton, and by extension, the theory and practice of the Black Panther Party. More specifically, this article will explore a tension that exists between Newton's theory of Intercommunalism and the Black Panther Party Platform. To that end, there is, first, a discussion of the ideological development of the Black Panther Party, which culminated in Newton's theory of Intercommunalism. Second, there is a presentation of what will be broadly construed as the Party Platform, which articulates the basic principles and practices of the Black Panther Party. Finally, there is a discussion of several ways in which there seems to be a conflict between Newton's ideology and his political practice. While some are only apparent contradictions, there does remain a deep conflict between the dialectical basis of Intercommunalism and the foundational basis of the Party Platform.