The Black Panthers Party: Chicago Chapter Celebrates 50th Anniversary of the Organization

In 1966, an organization was formed to protect African American citizens from police brutality in Oakland, California. Two years later, not only would this organization expand its services, but it would also expand to the west side of Chicago, Illinois, under the leadership of Fred Hampton. This organization is best known as The Black Panther Party.

50 years later after the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party was created, artists and members of the community celebrated at Stony Island Arts Bank. ICONIC: Black Panther is an exhibit at the Stony Island Arts Banks of artists interpretation of the legacy of the Black Panther Party. The exhibits made it grand opening last night at the Chicago south side art center with artists at the event to answer questions about their respective artwork(s). All artwork was for sale and the money went towards political prisons and members of the Black Panther party who are still in prison.

Numerous members of the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party were in attendance. Emory Douglas, a fine artist and former member of the Black Panther Party, was in attendance and spoke about his experience in the political party, his artwork, and he wants for the future. As he was speaking, the crowd cheered and more people came in to hear what he had to say.

The opening night of the exhibit was just the beginning of the celebrate. This weekend, the Stony Island Arts Bank will be hosting events to commemorate the 50+ years of the Black Panther Party including free breakfast (like ones they did back in the day), panel discussions, mixers, autograph signings, musical performances and more!

For more information check out the Rebuild Foundation official website! ICONIC: Black Panther will be on display until January 6th.