Providing for All
The Black Panther Party is routinely portrayed as an ultra-militant group that was fixated on armed warfare with the police and the government. Yet, an examination of the Black Panther Party in Milwaukee yields a much different perspective of this controversial organization. The Black Panther Party in Milwaukee was a community-oriented organization dedicated to providing a variety of formal and informal programs and services to lowerincome African American residents. For instance, the Party placed great emphasis on community control of the police as part of their larger efforts to improve police-African American relations. The Panthers also initiated a very successful Busing to Prisons Program and they operated their own health center, known as the People’s Free Health Clinic. In addition, the Milwaukee branch of the Black Panther Party provided an array of miscellaneous services and programs to the community illustrating that serving the black community of Milwaukee was of primary concern.