In January, 1969, The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense launched the Free Breakfast for Children Program. Their motto was “Serve the People, Body and Soul.”
Panther Jerry Dunigan, known as “Odinka”, serves breakfast to children at Panther Free Breakfast Program
“…If you read the FBI files you will see that even Mr. J. Edgar Hoover himself had to say that it was not the guns that were the greatest threat to the internal security of the United States of America; it was not the guns, it was the Free Children’s Breakfast Program that was the greatest threat to the internal security of the United States of America. Grits. Now why was it the Free Children’s Breakfast Program?
It was the Free Children’s Breakfast Program because the Free Children’s Breakfast Program engendered a certain following on the Black community’s part, a certain respect on the Black community’s part. I mean, nobody can argue with free grits. So Hoover saw it as a kind of… infiltration.
That’s ridiculous isn't it? Infiltration? How are Black people, who are born and raised in the Black community, who live and work in the Black community, going to infiltrate their own Black community? If anybody’s infiltrating I think its J. Edgar Hoover.” -Roger Guenveur Smith, A Huey P. Newton Story
One of the children they fed would grow up to be Public Enemy front-man, Chuck D.
It marked not only the first program of its kind in the US, but indicated a sharp shift in the political direction of the Black Panther Party. For its first few years the Party had been focused on Voting Rights, armed self defense, and Self patrolling our own neighborhoods, while patrolling the police. The shift toward survival programs was caused by multiple factors. The arrest and death of party militants, the inadequacy of community based services in their neighborhoods, and seeing the need to connect more deeply and practically with the community. Not without internal struggle, the Black Panther Party moved, in the words of scholar Alondra Nelson, "From Self Defense to Self Determination".
The work became so effective, it drew the ire of the director of the FBI:
Tam Babies of the Black Panther Party's Free Breakfast Program
the same conditions of city and private harassment and infiltration that tore the Panthers apart, also prevented their social programs from being sustained. As their programs folded, some ideas, like the Breakfast program were taken up by the state and institutionalized, like Head Start.
The Black Panther concept of "revolutionary intercommunalism" involved the strategy of building community service programs or "survival programs", meant to develop Black autonomous, non religious, positive institutions within neighborhoods to help individuals meet their needs. The Panthers developed over 60 such community programs.
The Panthers focused their attention on the construction of institutions that provided for the communities needs. Because they knew the state and local religious institutions' response would be inadequate or non-existent, because it was an arena to politicize Black people, and because they were interested in the development of a new society.
I’m reminded of Angela Davis’ words about meeting the people’s needs where they are otherwise they will never listen to you. This program made a real difference in people’s lives and few things are more noble than making sure children are healthy and fed. I agree, this serves as a real lesson about what is radical and threatening to the system that oppresses us all.
At Amen Par Ankh, We are launching our own Free Breakfast program of foods from locally grown black growers! EVERY MORNING From 6:00am-8:00am
We must Teach our own youth and Feed ourselves to return to our own Black autonomy. We must grow our own Farm to Homeschools, and establish our own grass roots Black Autonomy organizations and private schools... Amen Par Ankh is a STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics , Medicine) Home school. For More Information Please Contact: Nuta Beqsu firstname.lastname@example.org
Amen Par Ankh (Sacred House of Life) and Amen Ankh Urban Farm; is a local Urban Farm nestled around a Spiritual Outreach and Education Center in the heart of midtown Kansas City, Missouri. Contact Us and become a member, as We Celebrate the Cycles of Life! Email: email@example.com , or firstname.lastname@example.org, and Call: 816-304-7240 to sign-up for courses and support: http://www.gofundme.com/amen-urban-farm , information: http://emwot.ws/Amen_ParAnkh , http://amen-parankh.blogspot.com/ , Look for us on Twitter & LinkedIn. We Celebrate the Cycles of Life, Wellness and Balance in our everyday existence on earth. We assist in Wellness for Physical Fitness, Mental Health, and Spiritual Attunement - to realize the fullest capacities of life, health, prosperity and strength. We provide Whole Life Coaching, Energy work, A Par Ankh Reading Room, Org-Ankh Electric food Boxes, an Herbal Tea House & Juice bar, Outdoor Experiences, classes such as Cultural Headwrapping, Natural Hair oils, beading and Lox twisting, Cosmetics, and Herbal products. We offer Classes in ASCAC (The Association for the Study of Classical African Civilization), Art Healing Mandalas, Jewelry Making, Gentle Yoga, Canning and preserving food, Health and Wellness Study Courses. We make Gifts and Accessories. We Celebrate and show our respect of nature with Cultural Ceremonies, Workshops and special events. Amen Par Ankh means sacred House of Life. We Celebrate Life! We provide a space for your own personal discovery with quiet reflection and time for internal work, as well as an active space for expressions of our original ways of life. Ceremony, Counseling, Coaching, Cleansings, & Classes Amen Ankh Urban Farm is an urban agricultural enterprise with the goal of achieving environmental justice and sustainability by Healthy local food production and improving local neighborhood access to healthy Foods. We run Aquaponic Systems of farm raised fish, Herbs and microgreens. We sell Org-Ankh Electric Food Boxes! We also provide Farm-a-See tours of successful Local Farmers with the “Green Griot” Sasteh Meter Mosley. We grow selected local indigenous Herbs, Fruits, Vegetable and plant life of the Three Sisters: Corn, Beans, and Squash/Melons and cruciferous vegetables: Cabbage, and Kale, With Wheat Grass and other Sprouts, Herbs: Basil, Sage, Chives, Rosemary, Parsley, Peppers, with Moringa nutritional drink supplements, -From our foods we produce Baked Goods, cosmetics, & liniments to provide Healing and Sovereignty: Through the inspiration of Kujichagulia (Self-determination) for all Original peoples. Feel free or Contact the Amen Ankh Urban Farm... email@example.com or call: 816-304-7240 Please like our facebook pages: https://www.facebook.com/Green.Griot https://www.facebook.com/PARANKH , https://www.facebook.com/Amen.Ankh.Farm , https://www.facebook.com/Adenike.Art , https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ankh-The-Way-of-Life-Communities/140162689375565 Dua (Th-ankh you!) ♥.