Bringing the Vanguard Home: The Role of Children, Home, and Family in the Black Panther Party

Kiran Garcha
UC Santa Cruz

This project explores the role of children, the home, and the family unit for members of the Black Panther Party from 1966 to 1982. By investigating how members with children negotiated their parental and political responsibilities, including an examination of the extent to which the home functioned as a politicizing space for families involved in the Black Power Movement, this study engages with questions that complicate our understanding of the spaces in which social movements unfold. More importantly, moving away from a focus on the Party’s spectacular politics, as played out in the public sphere, allows for a distinct contribution to literature on the Party, particularly studies dealing with the organization’s gender politics. Further, the study expands on general histories of the Party, and literature on social movements more broadly, by highlighting the role of children as conduits of social change.