Jakobi Williams, “​The Black Panthers, Here and Abroad”

Jakobi Williams

Jakobi Williams, Indiana University Bloomington

​Since its founding over 50 years ago, perceptions of the Black Panther Party have varied widely, often shaped by misinformation—about the Party’s motivations, its relations with other organizations, its influence in the U.S. and around the world. In this conversation, ​historian Jakobi Williams discusses ​the challenges facing scholars in reconstructing the history of the Black Panther Party, the common misconceptions that continue to shape views of the movement and its leaders, and the ways that the organization helped inspire resistance groups in other countries.

Jakobi Williams is associate professor of history at Indiana University Bloomington where his research focuses on twentieth-century U.S. history and African American history. This year, as a Fellow at the Center he is working on “Neighborhoods First”: The Black Panther Party as a Model for Community Organizing in the U.S. and Abroad, expanding on his previous work on the history of resistance and social justice revolutions found within the historic African American community.