Black Panthers denounce 'new' Panthers

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The New Black Panther Party catapulted itself to national attention during the November 2008 presidential election when two of its members, one brandishing a nightstick, were captured on videotape intimidating voters at a Philadelphia polling place.

But the original Black Panther Party, which famously advocated black power and preached self-defense through confrontation in the 1960s and 1970s, is not happy with the new upstart. It has condemned the New Black Panther Party and its tactics, saying the NBPP "stole" the party's name for its "own misguided purposes."

The Huey P. Newton Foundation Inc., created in 1993 and co-founded by Fredrika Newton, Black Panther leader Huey P. Newton's widow, said in a statement that the original party was "never a group of angry young militants full of fury toward the white establishment ... but operated on love for black people, not hatred of white people.

"As guardian of the true history of the Black Panther Party, the foundation, which includes former leading members of the party, denounces this group's exploitation of the party's name and history," the statement said. "Failing to find its own legitimacy in the black community, this band would graft the party's name upon itself, which we condemn.

"There is no New Black Panther Party," the statement said, describing the NBPP as "a small band of African Americans calling themselves the New Black Panthers." It said the NBPP has "no legitimate claim on the party's name" and that it "only pretends to walk in the footsteps of the party's true heroes."

The denouncement by the foundation, which now operates community-based literacy, voter outreach and health-related programs, is not the only challenge facing the NBPP...

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