*Each virtual issue collates some of the best writing from our archives, updated with new introductions written by prestigious scholars of black studies, and will be free to read and download for a limited time.*
October of 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of The Black Panther Party (for Self Defense) in Oakland, California. Appropriately, many former and present members will converge there for commemoration, celebration and—no doubt—reflection. Considering that The Black Scholar (TBS) was founded three years later across the Bay in San Francisco, and in the throes of the same fervor that necessitated the BPP, many of our issues carried articles, essays, interviews and profiles by or about the group. Everyone from Bobby Seale to George Jackson to Eldridge and Kathleen Cleaver appeared in the journal; and our commitment to its intellectual and political legacies continue to this day.
Our participation in the imminent commemoration, celebration, and reflection takes the shape of an invocation: after all, the spirit of The Black Panthers is more alive now than at any time since 1966. It is there in the innumerable groups and movements that have emerged in the wake of flashpoints such as Ferguson and Black Lives Matter, but more generally in the increasingly radical spirit of protest and the increasingly militant energies of activism today. Sadly, much of this protest and activism often seems only sporadically informed by its antecedents and precedents. We have therefore bundled here a brief legacy of The BPP in TBS in order to limn a trail. Because the battle for liberation is always a struggle for context, and context without evidence is at worst, posturing and at best, betrayal.
– Louis Chude-Sokei, Editor-in-Chief
Articles are free to view and download through December 2016 and can be found here.