An examination into history of African American communities in the San Francisco Bay Area illuminates how and why black poverty became fixture of urban life in northern California, and understanding of origins of the Black Panther Party reveals limitations and nature of black responses to urban crisis. The Panthers’ challenge to traditionalism was wildly popular among the younger generation of African Americans, who were the most willing to adopt the new style offered by the Black Power revolutionaries. One of the most enduring legacies of the Black Panthers was their contribution to African American culture. Among historians, the Black Panthers are most often applauded for creating a new image of black men and women during the 1960s and 1970s. Although the Panthers pressed for solutions to the crises facing urban African Americans in the late 1960s, their radicalism swept away the foundations of the limited reforms the liberals were willing to offer.