From The Black Panther Black Community News Service. In the 1960s the Black Panther Party began organizing a national network of “people’s survival programs.” The party also offered free clothing and shoes, medical care, and legal aid. “A lot of people misunderstand the politics of these programs,” wrote party cofounder Bobby Seale. “The politics are related to people’s needs, to a hungry stomach, or to getting rid of the vicious pigs with their revolvers and clubs.” In 1975 the U.S. government introduced a nationwide free breakfast program.
The Free Breakfast for School Children is about to cover the country and be initiated in every chapter and branch of the Black Panther Party. This program was created because the party understands that our children need a nourishing breakfast every morning so that they can learn.
These breakfasts include every nutrient that they need for the day. For too long have our people gone hungry and without the proper health aids they need. But the Black Panther Party says that this type of thing must be halted, because we must survive this evil government and build a new one fit for the service of all the people. This program is run through donations of concerned people and the avaricious businesses that pinch selfishly a little to the program. We say that this is not enough, especially from those that thrive off of the black community like leeches. All of the avaricious businessmen have their factories, etc., centered in our communities and even most of the people that work in these sweatshops are members of the oppressed masses.
Smith Rescued by Pocahontas, by Edward Henry Corbould, c. 1870. © Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, Virginia, USA/Bridgeman Images
It is a beautiful sight to see our children eat in the mornings after remembering the times when our stomachs were not full, and even the teachers in the schools say that there is a great improvement in the academic skills of the children that do get the breakfast. At one time there were children that passed out in class from hunger, or had to be sent home for something to eat. But our children shall be fed, and the Black Panther Party will not let the malady of hunger keep our children down any longer.
The breakfast has already been initiated in several chapters, and our love for the masses makes us realize that it must continue permanently and be a national program. But we need your help, and that means money, food, and time. We want to turn the program over to the community but without your efforts and support we cannot. We have had a few mothers to come down to the breakfast in the mornings to cook and serve, but not hardly enough. This is the people’s program, for the people, and we want the people to assist in it. Hunger is one of the means of oppression and it must be halted.
POWER TO THE PEOPLE!