Fifty-one years ago this week the Black Panther Party was formed in Oakland California by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. The Panthers have experienced a new appreciation in recent years, with numerous articles, books, and documentaries praising their activism in the late sixties and early seventies. The Black Panthers were a radical resistance movement that opposed police oppression and economic exploitation in Black communities. Where the civil rights era’s leaders came primarily from church pulpits, the leaders of the Black Panthers came from the streets. Often misunderstood, and miscast as thugs with guns by their detractors, the Black Panther Party was an important political movement in the late 1960s and into the early 1970s.