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Black Power

In response to:

What We Want from the September 22, 1966 issue

To the Editors:

The problems of poverty, inferior education, unemployment, slum area dwelling, do not fall to the black man’s lot alone. SNCC has recognized the fact that there are poor whites desperately in need of help and that we are fighting an unjust war in Vietnam.

The phenomenon of the Black Panther Party is an outgrowth of the American youth’s awareness of his own self-determination. We, therefore, need this third party desperately to become a vehicle for all the progressive, antibourgeois liberal, desires of our awakening social consciousness.

If the Black Panther Party remains a party solely for “Black Power,” then we will not achieve our goal. Why must we run anti-war delegates in Berkeley, Freedom Party candidates in Mississippi, and allow Dennis Mora to go to jail alone when our cause is the same. It is up to us to consolidate our support under a popular leadership in order to achieve the strength necessary to fight for our common goals.

If the progressive elements of the Negro community do not align themselves with the progressive elements of the white community (who abhor the Negro middle-class liberal as well as his white counterpart), then the Black Panther Party can only be viewed in the same curious light as the Jewish Socialist Bund was seen in pre-Communist Russia. We do not need narrow vision. The outcome of our struggle in this country may well depend upon the vision of the new Negro leaders.

N. N. Staletro

University of Minnesota