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The Black Panther Party: Media Framing – An Analysis Presented by: Group 5

The Black Panther Party

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  • 1.Presented by: Group 5

2. Fanning the Flames of Racial Discord: The National Press and the Black Panther Party Jane Rhodes is Dean for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and chair of the American studies department at Macalester College. She is the author of Mary Ann Shadd Cary: The Black Press and Protest in the Nineteenth Century. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. 3. Race and the 1960sNews Media Mainstream media was unprepared to report on the Black Panther Party as a whole. Why?In the 1950s and 1960s the national press paid little attention to the daily lives and concerns of Black America.Of the four media outlets analyzed in the study, it was revealed that the New York Times stood alone in their ignoring racial stereotypes towards blacks in their reporting of blacks.Why was that? 4. Who were they?The Black Panther 5. The Black Panther Intercommunal News Service Why: By the time that the Black Panther Intercommunal Newswire wasfounded, the organization was being framed by the mainstream mediain 3 different ways, to be discussed later. What: The newspaper performed multiple functions serving as bothan internal organ and as the partys public vehicle. Who: David Hilliard and Emory Douglas did most of the writing andgraphics. 6. Framing the Panthers 3 major techniquesaccording to Rhodes1.Fear 2.Condemnation3.Celebrity 7. Fear one? Who is the dangerous 8. Fear Often times, the Black Panther Party used rhetorical tools to get their point across. An example of this is the rifle in the iconic photo of Huey P. Newton to be discussed later.Unfortunately, the organizations intentions were often masked by how the mainstream media portrayed them. Capitalizing off of fear as the central and most widely used technique of framing as illustrated in this video. 9. Fear I. New York Times A. Took the Blank Panther party to run into troubles with law enforcement to become recognizedB. The first headline read Armed Negroes Enter California Assembly in Gun Bill Protest.C. Two themes: Panthers fear inspiring militancy and the media spectacleD. It was one of the most unusual incidents in California legislative history, involving grimfaced, silent young men armed with guns roaming the Capital surrounded by reporters, television, cameramen, and stunned policemen and watched by incredulous groups of visiting schoolchildren (Rhodes, p. 7).E. Words used to describe their actions: armed, roamed, barged, and shouted 10. Fear II. The Associated Press (AP) A. Article stated, During the whole incident there was no realviolence and no shooting occurred (Rhodes, p.7). B. A different lead could have used the words: marched,assembled, anddemanded. C. The real story: black men with weapons and therefore the idea of violence D. The Blank Panthers fashioned themselves as a paradox-on the one hand claiming a constitutional right to bear arms, on the hand abandoning the tactics if non violence and reconciliation (Rhodes, p7). 11. Fear Visual introduction As the Panthers lefts the state capital whites in thecrowded stated Niggers with guns, niggers with guns. Demonstrated racialized anxiety when a photo selectedby Times showed the Panthers wearing black berets andholding rifles at attention in a walkway of the capitol Thisimage was a visual introduction to the Blank PantherParty. Image was certain to cause fear and concern 12. Fear Story was shaped and reportedNew York Times said this story had minimal nationalimportance and had minimal firsthand access Northern California newspapers shaped the nationaldiscourse of the event C. The San Francisco Examiner headline Panthers InvadeCapitol with a photo and front page story These new media subjects shared some of the characters ofstudent antiwar protestors and black civil rights activists. Fear Frame the symbolic use of guns 13. Fear Black Panthers anticipated this visual representation of defiance would attract new membersBobby Seale stated they fully intended to use the mass media as a means of conveying the message to the American people and to the black people in particular 14. Fear Rapid AttentionI.Governor Reagan arranged a review of security at the capitolin the stir of the panthers protest II.The recapped story stated the Panthers as an armed bandof Negroes who intruded or stalked or burst into the Assembly,carrying loaded shotguns, rifles, and pistols. (Rhodes, p.7). III.The Panthers were scheduled to show in Court to facecharges of felony conspiracy. 15. Condemna to Was it correct for J. Edgar Hoovertion accuse them of communism? 16. ondemnation NY Times Set tone for how they be treated and viewed in mediaExtreme group in every printInfluenced other media outletsKeys on certain aspects of groups extreme 17. Condemna tionGovernment FBI head Hoover suggested they were conspiring with communist groups Played on American fears 18. COINTELPRO Created by the FBI 19. Celeb the BPP inrity How many days later, were National Press after the Protest? 20. Celebrity Summer 1967 the New York Times deviated from the trend with a lengthy feature titled the call of the Black Panthers that titled helped launch the groups cult of celebrity The article published in the midst of the nations worst urban rioting, it was an obvious effort to respond to the expressions of anger, and despair erupting in the black community. 21. Celebrity After the Panthers began getting national coverage, their speeches and public appearances were highly covered. 22. Celebrity It was written by Sol Stern an editor at Ramparts Magazine.Sterns article offereda generally sympathetic analysis of the Panthers politics, while using personalities particularly Newton and Seale as recognizable symbols.The first page of the article was illustrated with Panthers own iconography, for example: a photograph of Huey Newton seated in a fan chair holding a rifle in one hand and a spear in the other hand, and Bobby Seal in the Panthers Uniform of beret and black Jacket.The time helped make the Newton photo an internationally recognized image. 23. CelebrityFive days later the time reported that a California judged had sentenced some of the Sacramento protesters to up to three months in jailThe Panthers were only mentioned on the New York time for three months, while stories about urban riots, violence over the voting rights from the south, and confrontations between black Americans and the National Guard dominated race news. 24. CelebrityA year later, the Times reported that a young Oakland police officer named John Frey was killed in a shoot-out with Huey Newton.When Newton was arrested and charged with the murder, the national press began to cover the Panthers with vigor, and Newton became a household name. 25. Thank You!