TO DIE FOR THE PEOPLE by Huey P. Newton

TO DIE FOR THE PEOPLE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Executive mandates, speeches, and miscellaneous polemics by Chairman Hney written between 1967 and 1971. The earlier ones, which predate Newton's release from prison, chant the familiar litany of ""racist America,"" ""power to the people"" and resistance to the fascist ""pigs."" Internal Panther party documents strive to place Panther theory and practice from breakfast programs to urban guerrilla warfare in a Marxist-Leninist frame while exhorting party members to uphold their vanguard consciousness-raising responsibilities to the masses. Later position papers show a general softening of rhetoric and greater willingness to cooperate with reformist elements within the black community. Newton urges the creation of links to the black churches and greater respect for ""spiritual elements."" Denouncing ""revolutionary cultism"" he blames Cleaver for maneuvering the Panthers into a stance which ""gave the community no alternatives for dealing with us except picking up the gun."" In contrast to earlier blanket condemnations of Black Capitalism, a limited accommodation is now deemed possible; a friendly hand is extended to ""our friends"" in Women's Lib and Gay Lib. Unexpectedly Newton turns film critic to produce a persuasive ""revolutionary analysis"" of the recent, controversial Sweet Sweetback's Baadasss Song: only oppressors will see it as a ""sex film or the sexual scenes as actual sexual acts."" (Andrew Sarris, move over!) A 1970 Panther offer to send an undetermined number of troops to the NLF is included along with Nguyen Thi Dinh's return letter saluting this gesture of international solidarity. A good barometer of the shifting party line, though an introduction and editorial notes would have been helpful.

Pub Date: May 31st, 1972
ISBN: 0872865290
Publisher: Random House