The Black Panther Party
A Guide to an American Subculture
by Jamie J. Wilson
February 2018, 134pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-39253-5
$43, £34, 38€, A59
eBook Available: 978-0-313-39254-2
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

At the height of its influence, the Black Panther Party had more than sixty chapters and affiliates throughout the United States.

This compact volume offers a compelling introduction to a group once deemed the greatest threat to the internal security of the United States, the Black Panther Party.

In a time when African Americans’ widespread tactic of direct, nonviolent protest was seen as the most effective way to fight for racial justice, the Black Panthers’ confrontational style and critiques of local law enforcement throughout the nation defied both civil rights orthodoxy and white authority.

The Black Panther Party: A Guide to an American Subculture situates the Black Panther Party within the shifting political terrain of the African American freedom struggle of the late 1960s and early 1970s. In an era when African Americans were assumed to have secured their basic constitutional rights, the Black Panther Party stood firm to remind black people and the nation that despite the gains of the Civil Rights Movement, social, economic, and political equality had not been achieved for large segments of African Americans, and that more needed to be done locally and nationally.

Organized geographically, the book examines Black Panther Party chapters and affiliates throughout the United States. It covers the Panthers’ most important developments and challenges, paying particular attention to local realities as they varied throughout the nation—from Oakland, California to New Haven, Connecticut.


  • Synthesizes the latest scholarship on the Black Panther Party
  • Explains topics clearly and in accessible language
  • Offers a compelling narrative that examines in depth the breadth of Black Panther Party politics and political activity
  • Examines the ways in which the Black Panther Party has been depicted in popular culture, including in films and in hip-hop culture
  • Includes biographical sketches of the most significant Panther members, along with a selection of primary documents
Jamie J. Wilson is professor of history at Salem State University in Salem, Massachusetts. He is author of Greenwood’s Civil Rights Movement.


"The only 'reference' source on the market and is thus a useful addition to all African American and cultural history collections."—ARBAonline, July 1, 2018
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