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Body and SoulThe Black Panther Party and the Fight against Medical Discrimination$
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Alondra Nelson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816676484

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816676484.001.0001

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Serving the People Body and Soul

(p.1) Introduction
Body and Soul

Alondra Nelson

University of Minnesota Press

This introductory chapter provides a background to the radical political organization that emerged in Oakland, California called the Black Panther Party. It talks about the Black Panther’s survival programs, which were established to help poor African Americans cope with the surveillance and harassment caused by agents of a “law-and-order” state and provide a stopgap solution to the weakened provision of social services. The chapter also discusses how and why health issues became an indispensable element of the Black Panther’s politics, describing ideological foundations, historical continuities, and tactical demands that triggered the Black Panther’s commitment to medical and health concerns.

Keywords:   Black Panther Party, survival programs, African Americans, social services, health issues, Oakland

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