restricted access Engendering the Black Freedom Struggle: Revolutionary Black Womanhood and the Black Panther Party in the Bay Area, California

This article explores how black women who joined the Black Panther Party, one of the leading Black Power organizations in the 1960s and 70s, were empowered to challenge racism and sexism in society, in the Panthers, and in themselves. Using oral history and archival sources, it examines such issues as formal and informal leadership, state political repression, gendered guerilla imagery, and debates around child rearing and birth control to reveal how these women were able to shape the Panthers' organizational evolution, even as they struggled against misogyny. This article contributes to historical understanding of the Black Power movement from the bottom up.