We knew from the beginning how critical it was to have our own publication, to set forth our agenda for freedom...to urge change, to use the pen alongside the sword, writes David Hilliard in the preface to this stunning collection of pages from the original groundbreaking editions of the Black Panther Party's official news organ and original essays by Hilliard, Elaine Brown, Dr. Stan Oden, Craig Laurence Rice, Kumasi, and Joshua Bloom. First called The Black Panther Community News Service and then The Black Panther Intercommunal News Service (BPINS), the weekly periodical was nationally and internationally distributed. It was "sold in small stores in black communities, through subscriptions, and, mostly, on the streets by dedicated Party members," writes Brown, a party leader and author of A Taste of Power, in this edition. In its heyday, the Party sold several hundred thousand copies of the newspaper per week and was highly regarded for the quality of its content by media professionals and its legion of readers alike.
It ultimately became the most influential independent black newspaper in the United States, known not only for its fearless reportage and analysis but its stunning photographs and illustrations, including provocative and humorous political cartoons. Published in time to mark the 40th anniversary of the BPINS, this book is, at once, an invaluable document of a little-known aspect of American history and a celebration of one of the most stunning accomplishments of a cultural and political movement that changed the nation. The original DVD, included in the back of the book, makes this a multimedia package that readers across generations can appreciate, documenting events and leaders of the past who still resonate and influence culture and politics today.