For the past month, historians, teachers, scholars, artists, students, and residents from all over the Bay Area and the state have gathered in Oakland to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party's founding here. Local visual artists, art historians, deejays, dancers, political activists, and academics have hosted events that celebrated the legacy of this revolutionary group. Many of the economic and political issues they addressed--police brutality, poverty, job and housing discrimination--remain unresolved today. The Oakland Museum of California hosted a weekend conference, "Where Do We Go From Here?," that drew hundreds of people.
Though most of the commemorative Panther programs occurred in October, there are a few events you can still catch:
Oakland Museum of California: "All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50"
The Museum has mounted an extensive exhibit that probes the impetus for the group's founding and the continuing social issues that keep the Panther's mission to empower disenfranchised communities relevant fifty years on. While you're at the Museum, don't forget to get a code to take the interactive walking tour.
Oakland Symphony: "Let Us Break Bread Together: Music from the Era of the Black Panthers"
Oakland Symphony will pay homage to the Panthers by performing music from the 60s and 70s, including Motown classics, gospel, and protest music. The program will be performed on December 11, 2016, 4 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre.
Oakland History Room, Oakland Main Library: "Revolution is a Daily Struggle: remembering the Black Panther Party's Social Programs"
Chronicling the various "survival programs" the Panthers initiated to assist poor communities in Oakland with basis needs, this popular exhibit has now been viewed by over 300 people. It continues till November 30. Many of these progressive programs (like the Free Breakfast Program for Children and Senior Escort Service) were later replicated by the California state government.