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Some claim The Black Panther Party was as a political party that fought successfully for the civil rights of African-American citizens. Others argue the BPP employed or threatened violent action in order to push their political purposes through. To them it was a terrorist organization that was for good reason eventually dismantled. I found it highly interesting to examine whether there is any evidence to proof the latter assumption respectively to disprove it. Therefore this work discusses the question: "The Black Panther Party a civil rights movement or a terrorist organization? ". By doing so, I will either discuss the lawfulness of the dismantling of the BPP nor comment on the accusations brought forth towards the U.S. Government by some individuals and the conspiracy theories that are interconnected with that. Furthermore, this work does not assess the ongoing war on terrorism in the world and its current public debate. Despite this setting of priorities, I hold it worthwhile to slip in recent material that provides us besides books with a distinct depiction of the past. For this reason, I decided to attach the full-length documentary "The Black Power Mixtape", written and directed by Swedish filmmaker Göron Hugo Olsson, to this work. Olssson´s documentary, based on footage shot by several Swedish television broadcasters from the late-1960s onwards involves interviews with many contemporary witnesses associated with the Black Power Movement and the Black Panther Party such as Angela Davis and Stokely Carmichael, to name only a few. Dr. Peniel E. Joseph, Professor of History at Tufts University specializing in African American, Race Relations, Intellectual History, Civil Rights and Black power highly appreciated the appearance of the documentary, recognized its importance for African American studies by naming it a "re-evaluation of the black power period". According to Joseph, it points out the "juxtapositions between the documentary image of black power and our popular memory [of it as an] emotionally charg[ing] and destructive movement".  Stokely Carmichael as an influential figure and in this regard the assumptions of Joseph in his book "The Black Power Movement: Rethinking the Civil Rights - Black Power Era" on the Black Power Movement respectively the Black Panther Party will be of great importance for the given question, as we will see in the cause of this work.
The Black Power Movement was differentiate from the civil rights movement since its distinctive ideology did not explicitly exclude the application of violence as an approach to achieve its political goals. Although this work is chosen by personal interests its results are not lead by it. Instead, it is based on research conducted from a scholastic point of view and the application of principles of scientific work.
Thus, The Loss of Equal Protection discusses violation of civil rights towards African Americans as the breeding ground for the civil rights movement in the United States of America while In the name of God: The modern Civil Rights Movement devotes to the evolution of the modern civil rights movement focusing on the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Black Power and the Class of Values examines how the Black Power Movement evolved from the modern civil rights movement and in this respect for what values it stood. Terrorism - a Definition and Examination of Political Terrorism gives a definition of terrorism by examining the mechanisms of terrorism while The African American terrorist institution seeks to assess whether the Black Panther Party aided by an exaggerated violent form of "Black Activism" eventually became a terrorist organization. Lastly final conclusions are given.
The Loss of Equal Protection
Paradoxically, were the founding fathers of the U.S. Constitution of the opinion that it needs to carry "provisions to protect essential rights of mankind"- having the violation of civil rights towards its citizens by the British during the American Revolution in mind - and consequently enacted a set of policies widely known as the Bill of Rights. 
These laws restricted the power of the U.S. Congress, remained any undistributed legal power to the people, provided basic democratic rights such as freedom of speech, press, religion, press, assembly and petition to them, but most notably named deprivation of life and liberty without due process of law unlawful.  Further amendments to the U.S: Constitution resulted in the abolition of slavery in 1865 as well as they made these policies legally applicable nationwide. Unfortunately, these policies did not protect African Americans from racial segregation. Although the Fourteenth Amendment, a statute enacted in 1868, provided equal protection before the law and same treatment within any state to the U.S. Citizenry, it failed in denying states to discriminate people on grounds of race. Besides the U.S. Legislation, another crucial factor which aided the process of racial segregation and disenfranchisement of African Americans in the United States of America was the principle of stare decisis, the U.S. Jurisdiction with the U.S. Supreme Court leading the way is committed to. Consequently, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson (1890) segregation is no discrimination it literally initiated a century of civil rights violation and caused the loss of equality of Black Americans by creating the very-first precedent case and declaring segregation constitutional. 
Eventually, federalism, respectively local governance supported the social, economic and political repression of African American. In my opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court decision grounded on a misinterpretation of the U.S. Constitution, unknowingly what effect on the state legislation it would have. However, in response to the fears that the generation of African American, whose ancestors were slaves, will "not stay in its place", Southern authorities introduced a system of white-supremacy. This system, in our textbooks known as "apartheid", comprised of social customs and so-called "Jim Crow laws" which disempowered African Americans by denying them their dignity and civil rights. Converse to public opinion, Jim Crow was not just a Southern "phenomenon". Black Southerners were facing its most severe form but "Jim Crow in the north was no law though custom". An example for the "Jim Crow Laws" was the denial of African Americans through restrictive requirements such as property qualifications, poll taxes, literacy tests and the such like, measures not required for whites to vote or segregation in public facilities such as schools.  Fleeing from the living conditions they had to endure in the South, many African Americans moved northwards or elsewhere in resistance to Jim Crow and the quest for more promising opportunities.  Though, during the Great Migration (1916-30) and Second Great Migration (1940-1970) millions of people of African American descent left the South, the largest share of them remained there. In 1950 the vast majority of Black Americans in absolute numbers roughly 68 percent resided in the Southern States.  The Diaspora of the African-American community throughout the country was accompanied by its urbanization. While newcomers to the North were awaited by organizations such as the National Urban League [â€¦] and The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People - the first African-American civil rights movement, founded in 1909  - some questions remain: Who mobilized the masses in the South? What values did they embody? Of what means did they make use of?
In the name of God: The modern civil rights movement
Though, this work discusses the question "The Black Panther Party - a civil rights movement or a terrorist organization?", we should devote to the evolution of the modern civil rights movement beforehand. This approach enables to compare it to the Black Panther Movement respectively the Black Panther Party later on. I argue, to fully classify the Black Panther Party as a terrorist organization, it must first and for a start had embodied values divergent to those of the civil rights movement. It then needs to be examined, whether an arm of the Black Power movement of whose the Black Panther Party evolved from was committed to notions and actions equatable with those of a terrorist organization. This in turn requires a prior definition and examination of the hallmarks of terrorism. However, the term "the modern civil rights movement" refers to a Southern-based black civil rights movement in the 1950s, that made us of nonviolent measures such as economic boycotts, street marches, mass meetings and the such like to accomplish their political goals. This movement encompassed civil rights organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the Student Nonviolent Coordination Committee (SNCC) and others.  According to Morris, the African American church served as the "backbone of the black community" and was heavily involved into the civil rights movement. Since many African Americans fled from a hostile external world by engaging in the congregation, the churches by implication mobilized the masses for the civil rights movement. In their local congregations the churches provided the movement - besides a "mass base" - with "financial bases", secure facilities to hold meetings and "charismatic leadership". Furthermore, the church embodied the "core values" of the civil rights movement like "human dignity, [â€¦] personhood and courage" - so Morris. Oppression committed at the hands of whosoever as same as "eradicating" one´s "enemies" was in the eyes of the Black African church morally reprehensible and as a result utterly sinful. Conflicts within the church were always resolved by the minister, so violence was consequently nipped in the bud. On an organizational scale, the predominantly clergymen, who would become the leaders of the civil rights movement incorporated the "division of labor into numerous committees and organized groups into the movement. Morris says, these groups had a task-oriented approach and a coordination of activities through authority structures. 
One of these charismatic clergymen and civil rights activists was Dr Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 - 1968) a Georgian baptist-church pastor. After presiding the Montgomery Improvement Organization (MIA), which successfully coordinated the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a thirteen-months-lasting bus boycott as a response to the imprisonment of Rosa Parks, King founded along with other Southern-based civil rights leaders the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957 and became its president. The SCLC was differentiate from the NAACP in so far that it "served as the political arm of the black church". In addition, it was based on a "mass approach" rather than a "legal approach" as the NAACP, which filed numerous suits against state governments. Further, it was not based on "individual membership". The SCLC which unified and coordinated the local movements, comprised of many affiliates such as "churches or civil leagues". On top of this organization stood King, who according to Morris, practically possessed a "veto power" within the organization.  King was a strong advocate of nonviolent resistance grounded on direct actions and reconciliation with his enemies following by the example set by Mahatma Gandhi in India.  13He shared his sympathy for the "Ghandian ideology" with no one other than Kwame Nkrumah, who won independence for Ghana and became its first black president. Interestingly, the Black Power Movement, a radicalized wing of the civil rights movement would later adopt some believes of African leaders like Nkruma such as those in "Pan-Africanism" respectively "black unity".  Stokely Carmichael, a co-founder of the Black Power Movement nay later changed his name to Kwame Ture "to honor Nkrumah and Touré (another Pan-African), to whom he looked up at.  So, is the evolution of the Black Power Movement explainable as the development which took place in a church-related background? This can either be proved nor disproved at this stage of my.
In no way, was the Black Power Movement powered by the church. The condemnation of any violence was not compatible with the movement´s advocacy of it.
Assuming the church promoted the Black Power Movement would also imply that it not only approved but also financially assisted its acts of violence, which is highly unlikely. To sum it up, the modern civil rights movement advocated a nonviolent approach to fight for the rights of African Americans. This movement heavily relied on the church in all respects. It was lead by charismatic almost exclusively male leaders. Ella Baker, one of the by-then few female activists, would become a household number for a looming trend in the movement: the occupation in one or more civil rights organizations successive or simultaneously. Baker served in the NAACP, the SCLC and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).  The latter was founded in 1960 during a youth conference in Raleigh, North Carolina convened by Baker. Jonothan Holloway, Professor of History, African American Studies, and American Studies at Yale university claims.: "[...] through [SNCC] [at its founding a group of college age individuals who espoused nonviolent ideology, who are absolutely interracial, and who wanted to be organized through a non-hierarchical system] [...] you can actually see the changes, and really quite radical changes, in the movement ideology during the 1960s".  These radical changes, the shift in ideology adopted by pioneers of the Black Power Movement and in the end also by the leadership of the Black Panther Party will be thoroughly discussed in the subsequent chapter. Taking the year 1965 as a starting point for further considerations, the collective successes of the civil rights movement were considerable. In 1954 the U.S. Supreme Court overturned its decision in Plessy v. Ferguson. The verdict, which named racial segregation on grounds of race unconstitutional sounded the bell for the end of racial segregation.  Lyndon B. Johnson, curiously enough himself once a teacher in a "Mexican school" signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a statute of the Kennedy administration that "prohibited discrimination" in public and employment.  20In the end, the Voting Rights Act in 1965 reforged the enfranchisement of American Americans which proved in the long run the SCLC Crusade for Citizenship, a campaign to win back
the vote of African Americans, successful.  To put it in a nutshell, were African Americans not facing rosy future prospects from the mid-sixties onwards? The Watts Riots of 1965 should prove the converse. The same States who enforced a legislation in favor of a white-supremacy would attempt to "[undermine] the new federal law". As a response to legislation intended to "block the fair housing section of the [civil rights] act" the Watts Riots, a six days lasting riot, named after its venue, Watts, a neighborhood in Los Angeles, erupted. Altogether the Riots - rebellions of a deeply frustrated African Americans - caused more than thirty deaths, a thousand wounded individuals, and immense property damages of "estimated $50 - $100 million dollars".  Watts should prove many things at the same time. First, a federal legislation protecting African American from discrimination, segregation, and assuring them the right to vote will be practically of no effect as long as their socioeconomic conditions as well as prevailing behavioral practices towards them such as intimidation will not be addressed in order to meet societal changes. Second, the uprising proved the black community´s potential to adopt and legitimate mass violence for its sake. Third, - and to me most substantial - it was case in point for the incapability of the civil rights movement as a whole to entirely control the "black masses" and finally defeating the uprising. Jonathan Holloway reinforces this consideration in so far that he claims "neither the SCLC nor the NAACP had control over the movement. No single organization could claim they were the group that was running the movement."  Thus, any single figure, group or organization had the possibility to radicalize respectively militarize "the masses" and consequently reach a shift of the nonviolent approach of the civil rights movement to a violent one. The radicalization of the civil rights movement take place from mass protests/boycotts over acts of civil disobedience such as freedom rides, to acts of political violence perpetrated in Watts.  So was Watts overdue? Was it the last straw to break the camel´s back? To my opinion, it not only raised the omnipresence of racial tensions - as a by-product of the decades-long discrimination against African American to the surface but also challenged the effectiveness of the (nonviolent) modern civil rights movement. This "challenge" can be passed for an undermining of the modern civil rights movement .
One of its cornerstones was undoubtedly to bear on respectability intending to not transgressing "certain lines" which could justify denial of some sort - here equal participation in life.  So, who was the first to cross these lines using agitation?
Black Power and the Clash of Values
"This is the twenty-seventh time that I´ve been arrested. I ain´t going to jail no more. The only way we gonna stop them white men from whuppin´ us is to take over. What we gonna start saying now is Black Power!" 
The continuation of the "March Against Fear", a march two-hundred-twenty-miles long march from Memphis, Tennessee to Jackson, Mississippi, conducted by Martin Luther King and a Stokely Carmichael in 1966, originally initiated by James Meredith - in "defiance of white terror and violence", is considered to be the breeding ground of the Black Power Movement. Stokely Carmichael, a young ambitious civil rights activist, who at this time headed the SNCC, a direct affiliate to the SCLC, then broke along with others from the nonviolent approach of the modern civil rights movement, he so long felt committed to. According to Peniel E. Joseph, the march was overshadowed by "[c]lashes over armed self-defense, interracial cooperation, and political tactics [â€¦] [resulting in] [..] ongoing debates between King and Carmichael. Questioned in an interview about the possible outcome of the march, considering the impact of James Meridith´s malicious wounding in the cause of it, "Carmichael "casually proclaimed his tactical rather than philosophical support" as opposed to King, who "professed unwavering commitment to nonviolence." Carmichael - so Joseph - was backed by Willie Ricks, another SNCC activist, who "regaled his friends with tales of the growing militancy of southern blacks [, promoted SNCC`s] new slogan "Black Power" [..] while downplaying the [..] SCLC´s more mainstream "Freedom Now". On June 16, 1966 as a response to police harassment against demonstrators, Carmichael publicized the slogan "Black Power" by giving the above statement to the public.  So, how come that a Stokely Carmichael, once a freedom rider, became the originator of the Black Power Movement and as a result responsible for equipping a terrorist organization with its emblem and ´spirit´ - the Black Panther Party - assuming there is proof to assume of the subordinate question? 
I contend his emotional outburst, his condemnation of the nonviolent ideology of the movement, and lastly his adoption of a radicalized ideology of militant nature is the result of a disillusionment caused by the gap between the political and societal reality of African Americans he ought to witness firsthand after the enactment of legislation I referred to in the previous chapter. In 1965, Carmichael went to Lowndes County, Alabama due to his engagement in the SNCC, to devote to one of its major tasks, political education. Being occupied with the leadership of a voter registration program, he was involved in the foundation of the Lowndes County Freedom Organization (LCFO), a merger of the Lowndes County Christian Movement for Human Rights which joint forces with "Carmichael and other SNCC volunteers", "after being repeatedly refused help by the SCLC". The latter became an independent political party intending to promote the registration of blacks to vote in order to gain control over the local government, by placing own candidates into office through measures such as "organized registration drives, demonstrations, and political education classes". As the emblem of the party, a requirement due to Alabamian election laws, John Hulett the party´s first chairman, choose a "crouching black panther" which stood symbolically for the African Americans of ´Bloody County´ who "had been pushed back into a corner and would come out "fighting for life or death". This emblem should perhaps symbolize the strong resistance of African American against ´the white supremacy´ and not be interpreted as an advocacy of violence. As a result, when in 1966 Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, two Oakland-based individuals, adopted the LCFO`s emblem to use it for their newly-founded Black Panther Party for Self-defense, "Hulett and others resented the use of their symbol to represent an organization that encouraged the use of violence". While the clergymen openly disassociated from the Black Panther Party founded on its own principles of "self-empowerment" and "grass-roots activism", Carmichael would cooperate with ´the Panthers´, by contributing his notions regarding "Black Power" and serving as its prime minister.  Through the Lowndes County general election in 1966, Carmichael once more meet well-known continuities of a white-supremacy such as public discrimination and intimidation, resulting in the failure of their purpose.
Consequently, the fact that it proved impossible to stand a majority of votes on behalf for their candidates, might have utterly frustrated him. First and foremost, since the citizenry in the County comprised of roughly eighty percent blacks, of whom none were prior to the enactment of the Voting Rights Act registered to vote. Probably, the failure gave him the impression that ´whites´ still had a knack of preventing blacks to exercise their right to enfranchise.
So, his scruples about the movement grew continuously. It apparently needed only an actuator which sealed his deal on pursuing a radical, militant ideology divergent to those of the modern civil rights movement. When he experienced how demonstrators were harassed during the March Against Fear it was the final straw. The clash of values broke out and would alter the movement massively.
Despite the fact that the Black Power Movement was a "logical extension" of the civil rights movement the ideology of "Black Power" as well as the movement itself is apparently difficult to interpret. Since, conflicting opinions regarding the theories, believes and principles about the ideology beyond "Black Power" do exist, the movement is considered to be "one of the most misunderstood and understudied protest movements in American History" (as cited in Jeffries, 2006). This lack of possible generalizations makes it hard to difficult to classify these organizations when it comes to the "tactical strategies" as same as the "political philosophy" they were shaped upon. Consequently, some organizations were held as "nationalist", "cultural nationalist" and even "Marxist-Leninist".  Martin Luther King who was well-aware of the existing subjective discomfort in respects of "Black Power" which was to him "essentially an emotional concept [..] mean[ing] different things to different people" while bearing negative "connotations of violence and separatism" he employed measures to achieve an appreciation of the term but ultimately "opposed its use" as cited in King, 32; King, 1966  Due to the subjective nature of "Black Power", it is questionable whether it can be proved that this ideology adopted by the Black Panther Party can be classified as a mindset which fueled terror and eventually lead to acts of terrorism. In Addition, assuming ´the Panthers´ were seen as a de facto communist party, is it on the cards that they were classified as a terrorist organization in order to drop domestic machinations during Vietnam War?
If so, the Black Panther Party was classified as a terrorist organization shaped upon unfounded accusations. I argue further, governments are hardly able to advocate the legitimation of counter-measures against ´these terrorists´ without a citizenry which is persuaded of these aspersions. This consideration should not imply any irregularities regarding the dismantling of the Black Panther Party. It is meant to pay attention to the Fourth Estate, which can effect all parties involved in any imaginable way. Therefore, the role of governments in defining single individuals, groups or organizations ´terrorists´ as well as the impact of the media to the outcome of this process needs to be examined thoroughly in the ensuing chapter.
However, another appealing aspect regarding "Black Power" is separatism. Further, it is argued that "´[including] some´ black leaders perceived the Black Power movement as being not only "separatist" but also "following a similar path following a similar path to that of such earlier movements as Marcus Garvey's [...]", which might also be indicate for a sense of "militancy" promoted by a more militant application of religious believes. While, some organizations could be seen as separatist employing means to achieve social exclusion of white citizens in its bodies in the fear of being negatively "influe[nced]", others were by chance or purpose multiracial, most notable the Black Panther Party. Bearing in mind that SNCC was - with Carmichael at the helm - transformed into an organization which excluded non-blacks from any cooperation, reinforces the "radical changes" with regard to the movement´s ideology, I pointed out previously. Considering ´the Panthers´ did not prohibit whites to engage in its occupations, some other crucial questions with respect to the leading question arise. Is the participation of non-blacks within the party an evidence for the in now way well-founded allegations towards them of being a terrorist organization? Is it possible to set up and maintain a terrorist organization while the ´potential enemy´ is actively involved in the activities against him? Presuming, the Black Panthers were terrorists against whom did they fight, a non-white citizenry or the government that made them to endure their misery? While the advocacy of the civil rights movement looked upon at the eloquent Dr. King the Black Power activists "saw themselves as heirs to [King´s opposite number] Malcolm X". Adopting the notions of Malcolm X concerning black pride, nationalism and calling for independence and "[self-]control of their communities" respectively self-empowerment rather than "[...] integration [and] assimilation [...]" had possibly severe changes of his advocacy.
It needs to be mentioned that their notions towards nationalism and independence were shaped along the lines of a growing number of African States, who fought successfully against colonialism and eventually won independence.
Assuming that in the eyes of the Black Power activists government officials were responsible for the assassination of Malcolm X, they could have as a response turned their backs against it while justifying ´legitimate´ counter-measures such as an increased militancy in the fashion of violence against the state respectively terrorism. Furthermore it is against this background questionable in what way statements such as those of Huey P Newton who stated "You got your gun [â€¦] I got mine [..]. If you shoot at me, I will shoot you" should be judged.  Was the Black Panther Party a form of self-protection of a feared black community proclaiming self-defense? Regarding Black Power, King once said "[...] [it] was born from the wombs of despair and disappointment" [â€¦] It is in fact a reaction to the failure of White Power to deliver the promises and to do it in a hurry [â€¦]. 
This assessment, supports the remarks I initially made about the possible motives of Carmichael. His perception of "Black Power" respectively the positions he represented were undoubtedly exaggerated. Equipped with eloquence and a high degree of determination and self-awareness, he gave speeches that might come across as agitation.Due to the fact that he was "[...] appointed the Chairman of SNCC short time after the March Against Fear, he was able to catch on with a large share of people particularly students like Newton and Seale, who were probably his major floor.
Before I continue discussing terrorism thoroughly I would like to briefly point out some of Carmichael´s ´radical´ visions regarding Black Power, since I contend that the Panthers adopted most of his values. In a 1966 speech "to a mostly African American audience at Cobo Auditorium in Detroit" Carmichael addresses the notion of a "serious coalition" between black[s] and "their white liberal friends", an alliance which in his is eyes not capable to "get together" and "overcome". As a result he slashes the modern civil rights movement by condemning its grass roots approach of "reconciliation" carried by the song "We shall overcome", which is according to Holloway considered to be one of its major"anthems".  He further says, "one has to examine [these] white liberal[s]" who "come to Mississippi and march with [blacks]", for many reasons. First, "they can afford to march" while "[black] mothers" are being deprived of their ´own´ families by taking care of house and farm in white households. Second, due to the fact that these "white college kid[s] [are] joining hands with [..] [impoverished] black[s]" for distinct aims such as "the right to bear a beard [â€¦] , smoke[ing] pot, and fighting for [the black man´s life]. To Carmichael, the basic approaches of whites to enhance the living conditions of "the black community" are threadbare due to the fact that the present socioeconomic differences in respects of "economic[..] secur[ity] makes it unable to form a "coalition" with them. Since "[white] college students [â€¦] [who] already got their [own] wealth" do possess a high degree of economic security, winning a fortune for blacks means "tearing down their system" a system of whites who "are not willing to work for their own destruction".
As a consequence "Black Power" is so Carmichael a notion which is "presumptuous for any white man to talk about. His criticism against ´the system´ which apparently encompasses the social as well as the political system of the United States of America is eventually carried by the firm belief that a dishonest Kennedy family won and will continue to win elections through "the voice of the black man". 
The latter assumption is possibly an allusion to a hypocritical John F. Kennedy who allegedly offered King any possible protection after being arrested for a traffic offense prior to the election that eventually made him president by support of the ´black vote".
As turned out in the course of this chapter, assessments about "Black Power" are to a certain degree founded on subjective opinions rather than facts. Therefore it might be difficult to prove that the Black Panther Party were a terrorist organization with no doubt. In each and every case we should now devote to terrorism. Seeking a definition of terrorism, examining the use of terrorism as a strategy to achieve certain goals as well as pointing out mechanisms terrorists do employ and lastly the role of media are themes that are being addressed in the following chapter.
Terrorism - a Definition and Examination of Political Terrorism
"Although it is never going to be possible to arrive at a definition of terrorism which suits all people it is nevertheless essential to attempt approximations [â€¦]." 
The attempt in this work to define terrorism is carried by the notion of employing its characteristics to answer the given subordinate question. Thus, we need to seek a
definition of terrorism whose approach is applicable to examine a "movement" in general, notwithstanding of what sort this "movement" might be. So how can we scour any
sort of "group" for evidence of acts of terrorism? We need a definition which bears its landmarks. had to step down because of a conflict with the "New Way." In the fall of 1966, a position paper, written by dissident members, clearly showed that the organization's new "Black Pow