Women of the Black Panther Party

Get in formation.


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Get in Formation


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Chaka Khan

Photo By Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Assata Shakur - The activist joined the party while she was living in Oakland, Calif., and continued her organizing work when she moved to Harlem. She helped create the free breakfast program and worked to establish a free community clinic. She was a target of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Program, and currently lives in exile in Cuba.(Photo: Bettmann/CORBIS)

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Assata Shakur


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Kathleen Cleaver

Photo By Photo: New York Times Co./Getty Images

Elaine Brown - She joined the party in 1968 and quickly took over as the Los Angeles chapter’s minister of information. By 1974, she was second in command for the entire organization, serving as chairperson behind co-founder Huey P. Newton (seated next to her). In that role, she expanded the party’s programming to include electoral politics, education and civic engagement, while also working to move more women up the ranks in the organization. She left in 1977.(Photo: Bettmann/CORBIS)

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Elaine Brown


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Fredrika Newton

Photo By Photo: Vince Bucci/AFP/Getty Images

Charlotte Hill O’Neal - Known affectionately as “Mama C,” O’Neal was a leader in the Kansas City chapter, which was chaired by her husband, Pete O’Neal. They fled to Tanzania when Pete was accused of illegal gun transport. There, they launched the United Africa Alliance Community Center.(Photo: Charlotte Hill O'Neal via Facebook)

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Charlotte Hill O’Neal