The Black Panther Party’s Ten Point Plan
The speakers of the 10-point program or plan are Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. Both of these men were the founders of the Black Panther Party. The party was founded for the sake of providing self-defense to the Black community and especially with focus on armed self-defense, nationalism and socialism of the Black community at a time when racism was at its peak. Its formation was in October of 1966. The establishment of the Black community’s destiny was at the forefront of the direction of the party and the motivating factor amidst the ongoing racial issues.
The speakers are trying to communicate the need and importance of freedom and access to rights for the Black community as a way of bringing equality for them in a similar manner as the White community enjoys it. They are trying to convince those in power that they are just as entitled to all these rights as everyone else who gets to enjoy them freely. While communicating this, the speakers are also trying to bring to light the line that exists between the Black and White communities, identifying how racism remains pronounced for the Black community and how this has made it difficult for them to live at ease and in peace (Calloway).
This topic is of great concern to the speakers since they have been the victims of racism before and they are, therefore, creating a platform for all members of the Black community where their needs and difficulties can be heard. It is a matter that they have had enough of and they are hoping that the mobilization of the Black folk would mean that the creation of this platform would increase the volume for the change that they need and want as a way of creating equality across the United States. The topic is also of a great concern since it affects the livelihood of the Black community members and how they get around their lives on a daily basis. Airing this concern and having adjustments made as a result would mean more freedom for the community on their day to day lives and being placed on the same pedestal as the White community. This would eventually lead to communities that work together for the good of themselves and the country at large.
The speakers of the Ten Point Program are addressing the White racist government of America, which has been continuously victimizing the Black community within the United States of America. The demands that the speakers make within the plan are all those that the government is required to meet for its people without bias. However, these needs are only being met for the White community while leaving out the Black community to fend for its self while enabling the White community to remain racist in all views. The government is supposed to help out its people by ensuring that there is freedom for all, employment is provided to all, provide compensation for those who have suffered in the hands of the government, provision of decent housing and provision of education. On top of this, the government is required to end brutality by the police, to try all men fairly and provide the basics of life to all. The speakers want to be heard by the government that has been biased against their community while making it clear that color ought not to be the reason for divide or treating others differently (Courtright).
The mode or medium of communication that has been applied by the speakers is the written version. The speakers took to an approach that would be easy for the people from the black community and others to subscribe to. At the same time, this written option would easily have access by the public given the fact that it was published within the party’s newsletter, accessible by many, if not all, of the members. This greatly relates to their purpose of being heard and seeking freedom while putting across the message of equality to the government. Having the written work published would mean that both the members of the Black community and the public at large would catch a glimpse of the writing so that the government would know that it is in the limelight and it would not get to deny facts put across.
The three types of appeal are evident in the ten point program. Logos is used in the case of the demand for the forty acres and two mules, the speakers are trying to bring sense to the table by sharing the fate that the Black community suffered, comparing this to the case of the Jews who suffered an ill fate and were compensated. It would then only make sense if so many Americans suffered a fate that the government was liable to, thus demanding an overdue debt for their troubles. Ethos has been used in the case of the plea of exempting the Black men from military service for defense with the White men already exempted, for the sake of killing other people of color. This is morally wrong since the government is using victimized Black people to kill others who have been victimized too, while excluding the Whites in the process. The speakers use pathos to show the audience the pitiful sight that the Black community has to go through. In the process, the appeals have been used to the pain and trials that the Black community goes through and identify why these struggles have to come to an end given that they are inhumane.
Calloway, Carolyn R. “Group Cohesiveness in the Black Panther Party.” Journal of Black Studies 8.1 (1977): 55-74.
Courtright, John A. “Rhetoric of the gun: An analysis of the rhetorical modifications of the Black Panther Party.” Journal of Black Studies 4.3 (1974): 249-267.