- Gabby Womack
The Black Panther Party: A Graphic Novel History by David F. Walker & Marcus Kwame Anderson
Rating: 5 stars
Ages 14 and up
This 183 page graphic novel really packs a punch!! Walker and Anderson confront the reality that many people have their own perceptions of who the Black Panthers were and what their party did by fleshing out the myths from the start. Rather than diving right into how this organization was created, this book gives the reader an overview of the brutality Black Americans have faced, beginning with enslavement, and how we fought for freedom and equality every step of the way. I'm glad they decided to include this history because a lot of times, those who look down on The Black Panther Party neglect all of the atrocities that led to its creation. Context is important!!
Walker and Anderson break down the backstories of each main player in the organization's creation and those who kept it going after the original leaders couldn't. They do not spend time mulling over whether The Black Panthers were right or wrong. Instead, they present the facts and stories for the reader to contemplate. I love that Walker acknowledges how complicated his feelings are about The Black Panthers and specific organizers within it because he opens the conversation up. Some of the Black Panthers thought they should focus on uplifting their communities while others thought they should fight the abuses of law enforcement. The purpose of this graphic novel is become more informed and see how the issues that The Black Panther Party sought to resolve and/or abolish are still issues today and why that might be.
I highly recommend this book to everyone from the ages of 14 and up as a way to discuss the constant struggle of finding the most effective way to achieve equality and rights.