Photoz of the Black Panther Party Stir Memories at the Norton

2 Aug

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Photos of the Black Panther Party Stir Memories at the Norton

1968 was a tumultuous time for America: the Vietnam War ground on; cold war tensions rose; Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy were assassinated.

Also that year: The Black Panther Party, a nationalist organization that sought to empower African-Americans, was 2 years old and on the rise. The group encouraged blacks to seize political and economic power by organizing, exercising their right to carry firearms, harnessing the media, and taking care of their own through social programs like free breakfasts for inner-city children.

Issues of race have dominated headlines so far in 2015, bringing an unexpected cultural resonance to the Norton Museum of Art’s exhibit “The Summer of ’68: Photographing the Black Panthers.” This selection of about 20 powerful photographs provides a fascinating look back at a key but underexplored piece of history. The images hint at conundrums of race, power, identity, and violence relevant still…

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