Book details

The Black Panthers

Portraits from an Unfinished Revolution

By Bryan Shih, By Yohuru Williams, Introduction by Peniel E. Joseph

About the Book

“Brilliant, painful, enlightening, tearful, tragic, sad, and funny, this photo-essay book is at its core about healing, and about the social justice work that still needs to be done in the era of hip-hop, Black Lives Matter, and the historic presidency of Barack Obama.” —Kevin Powell, author of The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy's Journey into Manhood

“A brilliantly conceived volume. Bryan Shih and Yohuru Williams demonstrate why the Panthers' story—its lessons and failures—even fifty years after its founding remains key to understanding national and international struggles for freedom and justice today.” —Cheryl Finley, professor and director of visual studies, Cornell University

Even fifty years after it was founded, the Black Panther Party remains one of the most misunderstood political organizations of the twentieth century. But beyond the labels of “extremist” and “violent” that have marked the party, and beyond charismatic leaders like Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, and Eldridge Cleaver, were the ordinary men and women who made up the Panther rank and file.

In The Black Panthers, photojournalist Bryan Shih and historian Yohuru Williams offer a reappraisal of the party's history and legacy. Through stunning portraits and interviews with surviving Panthers, as well as illuminating essays by leading scholars, The Black Panthers reveals party members' grit and battle scars—and the undying love for the people that kept them going.

About the Author

Bryan Shih is a photojournalist based in New York. A former contributor to the Financial Times and National Public Radio in Japan, he is a graduate of the University of California-Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and a former Fulbright scholar. His work on the Panthers has garnered him one of the highest rankings among entries in the LensCulture 2015 Portrait Awards competition, and has led to his selection for the New York Times inaugural portfolio review.

Yohuru Williams is a historian and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University. He is the author and or editor of several books on the Black Panther party, including Black Politics/White Power: Civil Rights Black Power and Black Panthers in New Haven (Blackwell, 2006), In Search of the Black Panther Party, New Perspectives on a Revolutionary Movement (Duke, 2006), and Liberated Territory: Toward a Local History of the Black Panther Party (Duke, 2008). He has appeared on Al Jazeera America, Ebru TV, Fox Business, C-SPAN, and NPR.