The iconography of furious Black men in uniforms prevails in the public’s surface perception of the Black Panther Party (BPP). This article complicates this public image by uncovering the hidden story: one of nurturing male community workers. The authors excavate the lives of three rank-and-file members: Austin Allen, Reginald “Malik” Edwards, and Steve McCutchen, who were assigned to Survival Programs between 1968 and 1979. The authors utilize a range of primary and secondary sources, including interviews, to offer insight into their activism, BPP women’s impact on their intellectual growth, and the ways they confronted gender role stereotypes. The interviewees’ accounts are critical for providing multifaceted histories of their experiences and a nuanced perspective of their engagement with gender dynamics. Finally, connections are drawn between the BPP and the Black Lives Matter movement.


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pp. 63-89
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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