Natl Park Service Gives UC Berkeley Nearly $100K to ‘Honor' Black Panther Legacy

The FBI labels the BPP as advocates for "the use of violence and guerilla tactics to overthrow the U.S. government."

The National Park Service is awarding the University of California, Berkeley nearly $100,000 for a research project seeking to "honor the legacy" of the Marxist revolutionary group, the Black Panther Party.

According to the Washington Free Beacon, the National Park Service announced it was giving the university a $97,999.70 grant for the project, outside of the normal competitive bidding process. The funding announcement reads, in part,

This cooperative research project between the National Park Service (NPS) and the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) on the Black Panther Party (BPP) is anchored in historical methods, visual culture, and the preservation of sites and voices. The project will discover new links between the historical events concerning race that occurred in Richmond during World War II and the subsequent emergence of the BPP in the San Francisco Bay Area two decades later through research, oral history, and interpretation.

Committed to truthfully honoring the legacy of BPP activists and the San Francisco Bay Area communities they served, the project seeks to document the lives of activists and elders and the landscapes that shaped the movement. Producing an annotative bibliography that includes scholarly texts, newspaper, and magazine articles will be useful for future scholars of the movement. Equally significant, the project will document how the BPP impacted the visual arts, music, dance, and styles of the 1960s, 70s and 80s [and] will underscore the vastness of its impact on American culture.

"Bay Area sites that shaped the BPP will be identified in an effort to memorialize a history that brought meaning to lives far beyond the San Francisco Bay Area," the NPS added.

The Black Panther Party was founded in 1966 and dissolved in 1982. It began as a movement promoting self-defense for blacks in California, then became radicalized for "revolutionary intercommunalism" and abolishing capitalism. The FBI labels the BPP as advocates for "the use of violence and guerilla tactics to overthrow the U.S. government."

The National Park Service said the goal of the research project is to create a "model for bringing diverse voices and communities together to understand their collective past and inspire a better future." The NPS announced that it awarded the grant without competition because Berkeley is "uniquely qualified" to produce a history that honors the Black Panther Party.