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Tue, 04.25.1967

The Black Panther Party Newspaper is Published

BPP Newspaper (first issue)

*On this date in 1967, The Black Panther Newspaper was published. 

This was the official newspaper of the Black Panther Party (BPP). It began as a four-page newsletter in Oakland, California, and was founded by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale.  The newspaper distributed information about the party's activities and expressed through articles the ideology of the Black Panther Party, focusing on both international revolutions as inspiration and contemporary racial struggles of African Americans across the United States. 

The newspaper, also known as The Black Panther Intercommunal News Service, Black Panther Black Community News Service, and Black Community News Service, was most popular from 1968-1972 and, during this time, sold a hundred thousand copies a week.  A (then) undergraduate student at San Francisco State, Judy Juanita, served as an editor at the newspaper during the later 1960s. In 1969, two-thirds of Black Panther Party members were women. In its later years, it was used to rally support for members of the party who became political prisoners. 

It was the main publication of the party and was soon sold in several large cities across the United States, as well as having an international readership.  From 1968 to 1971, The Black Panther Party Newspaper was one of the most widely read Black newspapers in the United States, with a weekly circulation of more than 300,000.  The BPP newspaper grew from a four-page newsletter to a full newspaper in about a year, and [537] issues were printed.  It ceased publication in 1980 and sold for 25 cents.

Every member of the BPP was required to read and study the newspaper before they could sell it. As it became nationally circulated, The Black Panther Party Newspaper's national distribution center was located in San Francisco, with a distribution team led by Andrew Austin, Sam Napier, and Ellis White. Other distribution centers were in Chicago, Kansas, Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle. 

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