Between Black Fugitivity and Revolutionary Intercommunalism: The Structured Vehicle of the Black Panther Party

Thursday, February 18, 5:30pm7:00pm

In April 1968, the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. triggered a series of internal struggles within the Black Panther Party (BPP) about strategy. Over the next few years, party organizers debated the strengths and weaknesses of spontaneity and organization. Gallatin faculty member Delio Vasquez will speak about how the BPP sought to chart a method for decolonial liberation for the Black community, all while positioned within the center of what Huey P. Newton would later term “American Empire” under “reactionary intercommunalism.” Since their founding, the BPP’s focus on the poor, unemployed, and criminalized meant that it continuously grappled with the political meanings of riots, everyday law-breaking in the Black community, and organized crime. They sought to understand the relationship of these realities to everyday survival, the building of social programs and Black community institutions, the effects of centralized decision-making, and the role of guerrilla militancy. What is the relationship between the everyday strivings for life that are perpetually criminalized under modern society and organized political efforts to bring about liberation?  Vasquez will be introduced by UDL Director Gianpaolo Baiocchi.


New York University and Gallatin provide accommodations to people living with disabilities who wish to attend events at the School, whether in person or virtually. To request accommodations or should you have questions regarding accessibility for an event, please contact Gallatin’s Office of Special Events by emailing