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The Black population of the 60s in the US faced discrimination from federal law enforcement agencies, especially the FBI. In August 1967, the FBI organized a program COINTELPRO to fight with ,,Black Nationalist Hate Groups”: the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and others. However, the Black Panther Party (BPP), which was not named in this list, became the center of attention. The Bureau measures included individual terror, discrediting of groups in front of the general public, and provoking clashes between different Black organizations.
Fred Hampton, the chairman of the Chicago affiliate of the Black Panther Party (BPP), called upon a revolution against the system, which was very dangerous for local authorities. In April 1969, he was shot at his home by police officers during the raid. Other active members of the BPP were killed or imprisoned, for example, Geronimo Pratt, Dick Gregory, and Stockely Carmichael (Wolf, 2004). The FBI officials started a real war against BPP and the Black community in general.
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The FBI took steps to decrease public support for the BPP. In Florida, some TV programs showed the BPP as a criminal structure. The FBI officials also tried to discredit the Panthers’ ,,Breakfast for Children” program. According to their view, the BPP created an image of civility and assumed control of blacks (Wolf, 2004).
Moreover, the FBI intended to provoke a gang war between the Panthers and other organizations, such as the United Slaves (US) and the Blackstone Rangers. On January 17, 1969, the authorities killed two representatives of the BPP. The FBI office in Chicago sent an anonymous letter from the BPP to the Blackstone Rangers’ leader. The letter read that the Blackstone Rangers could not represent the interests of the Black community. As a result, both organizations ended up in confrontation (Wolf, 2002).
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