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Up Against the Wall: Violence in the Making and Unmaking of the Black Panther Party Paperback – 30 Apr 2008


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Review

"[Austin's] energically researched, deeply passionate book will be indispensable for students and scholars of the era."

"We desperately need good historical scholarship about the Black Panther Party, and this strong history is a good place to start. Austin's focus on violence is a shrewd decision." -- Tim Tyson

"This book powerfully demonstrates the centrality of violence in the historical trajectory and our historical memory of the Party . . . a serious, sober, and probing contribution to the ongoing project of historicizing and understanding the Party and its importance." -- Waldo Martin

Choice Outstanding Academic Book

"[Austin's] energetically researched, deeply passionate book will be

indispensable for students and scholars of the era."





"We desperately need good historical scholarship about the Black Panther Party, and this strong history is a good place to start. Austin's focus on violence is a shrewd decision."

--Tim Tyson, author of Blood Done Sign My Name and Radio Free Dixie





"This book powerfully demonstrates the centrality of violence in the historical trajectory and our historical memory of the Party . . . a serious, sober, and probing contribution to the ongoing project of historicizing and understanding the Party and its importance."

--Waldo Martin, author of Civil Rights in the United States: An Encyclopedia and The Mind of Frederick Douglas

Choice Outstanding Academic Book "[Austin's] energetically researched, deeply passionate book will be indispensable for students and scholars of the era." "We desperately need good historical scholarship about the Black Panther Party, and this strong history is a good place to start. Austin's focus on violence is a shrewd decision." --Tim Tyson, author of Blood Done Sign My Name and Radio Free Dixie "This book powerfully demonstrates the centrality of violence in the historical trajectory and our historical memory of the Party . . . a serious, sober, and probing contribution to the ongoing project of historicizing and understanding the Party and its importance." --Waldo Martin, author of Civil Rights in the United States: An Encyclopedia and The Mind of Frederick Douglas

Choice Outstanding Academic Book [Austin s] energetically researched, deeply passionate book will be indispensable for students and scholars of the era. We desperately need good historical scholarship about the Black Panther Party, and this strong history is a good place to start. Austin s focus on violence is a shrewd decision. Tim Tyson, author of Blood Done Sign My Name and Radio Free Dixie This book powerfully demonstrates the centrality of violence in the historical trajectory and our historical memory of the Party . . . a serious, sober, and probing contribution to the ongoing project of historicizing and understanding the Party and its importance. Waldo Martin, author of Civil Rights in the United States: An Encyclopedia and The Mind of Frederick Douglas"

From the Inside Flap

Curtis J. Austin's Up Against the Wall chronicles how violence brought about the founding of the Black Panther Party in 1966 by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, dominated its policies, and finally destroyed the party as one member after another--Eldridge Cleaver, Fred Hampton, Alex Rackley--left the party, was killed, or was imprisoned. Austin shows how the party's early emphasis in the 1960s on self-defense, though sorely needed in black communities at the time, left it open to mischaracterization, infiltration, and devastation by local, state, and federal police forces and government agencies. Austin carefully highlights the internal tension between advocates of a more radical position than the Panthers took, who insisted on military confrontation with the state, and those such as Newton and David Hilliard, who believed in community organizing and alliance building as first priorities. Austin interviewed a number of party members who had heretofore remained silent. With the help of these stories, Austin is able to put the violent history of the party in perspective and show that the "survival" programs, such as the Free Breakfast for Children program and Free Health Clinics, helped the black communities they served to recognize their own bases of power and ability to save themselves.

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Amazon.com: HASH(0x93d887ec) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x93d8e9f0) out of 5 stars Seize the Time, Griot!!!! 3 Feb. 2009
By pachamama - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"......Sky's the limit!" said a young Black Panther while on the steps of the Alameda County Court House in Oakland, California (1968). He was responding to a question put upon him by a curious filmmaker about what the Panthers and community would do if Huey P. Newton, The Black Panther Party's Minister of Defense wasn't released from prison. Newton had been jailed after being accused of murdering a Policeman on October 28, 1967. Panthers proposing "no limit," anything might-could happen if Newton was not released was a tactic used to provoke awareness in the general public. This same tactic though is what mainstream media turned into a proposition for violence and articulated this misinformation to millions of Americans via television, radio and newspaper.

Curtis J. Austin's exhaustingly thorough and captivating UP AGAINST THE WALL speaks to the subconscious of American history and its 40 some years of fibs and tall tales to dispel the uncountable myths and false accusations about the Black Panther Party. Austin elaborates on the obvious and subtle discriminatory practice many government agencies and just plain red neck mentality that led to the evolution of the Panther Party. Various members from the Party's 16-year history account for the historic accounts in every chapter of this book. One might even consider the missing pieces of a puzzle to be located through the retelling of events by those who were there and those who were there. Writer/activist bell hooks once spoke of the ability to re-consider the word we accept and the one we read in between. This truth manifests itself many times in UP AGAINST THE WALL. The humanity the US Government took away and brutality it created, instilled on people of color is articulated here but this is not an academic reading. No, this is an "autobiographical-biography" of a group, a people, a movement, a Black Panther Party whose radical ideology worked and for this reason it was repressed.

Still, there are more chapters to the history of the Black Panther Party. Their influence in politics, popular culture, drug rehabilitation, public education, social services and video technology are a few that need to be further researched, written about and included in the public education system.

In my conclusion, Curtis J. Austin is a Griot who spent over 10 years researching the history of the Black Panther Party by reaching out to the source. It's rank and file, those who stayed in the trenches, who still remain in the frontlines. The Panther cadre, whose ability to retain process and assess their own historic life and maintain its facts is a humbling experience for anyone who reads this book.

"not everyone can be a revolutionary, but everyone can commit a revolutionary act"
-Fred Hampton Jr.
HASH(0x94139c0c) out of 5 stars This is an excellent book for those who want to understand the tragic ... 25 April 2015
By Lynne Carrier - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This readable, well-researched account of the Black Panther Party offers important insights into the movement and the government's efforts to stamp it out. This is an excellent book for those who want to understand the tragic role that violence played in ending the BPP.
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