In 1966 the Black Panther Party was started in Oakland, CA. The party saw historic growth as chapters sprung up in urban cities throughout the United States. In 1968 the Los Angeles Chapter was created and in a short time became a leader within the Party. These are a few images of the Los Angeles Chapter (or where they would have been located). The recent movie “Judas and the Messiah” (about informant O’Neil and the murder of Fred Hampton) and the documentary “41st & Central” has created awareness from many. The Black Congress building was the first official office of the Southern California Chapter. The organization’s owner, Walter Bremond, Jr. provided space for many fledgling community groups. It was located on the corner of 72nd Street and Broadway (one block south of Florence Avenue) in what is known as South Los Angeles. The Panthers eventually secured a permanent location near 41st & Central – 4115 Central Avenue. In December 1969 they were raided by the LAPD and had a noted shoot-out. Today, the actual building is no longer but the pictures below give you an idea of where it was located. Also, the mural on 41st & Central (northwest corner) pays homage to the Panthers presence.
In 1969 Bunchy Carter and John Huggins were killed at UCLA. As students they were attending a meeting in Campbell Hall and an altercation took place. Members of the US Organization were implicated as the killers. Over forty years later the University finally placed several markers noting the incident.
(special note – the Black Congress picture was taken from a book in our library – “Howard Bingham’s Black Panthers 1968” as he was also the official photographer of the organization. The building is also referenced in the 41st & Central documentary).