Journal of African American Studies

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 249–267 | Cite as

A Tension in the Political Thought of Huey P. Newton

  • Joshua AndersonEmail author


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.


Huey P. Newton The Black Panther Party Intercommunalism Ten-Point Platform and Program 



I would like to express my appreciation to all those who provided helpful comments and suggestions on earlier versions and drafts of this article. In particular, I would like to thank Mary Brown, Dale Anderson and an anonymous reviewer for this journal.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophySaint Louis UniversitySaint LouisUSA

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