Name: Ameena Johnson
Instructor: Timothy Alborn
Course: HIS 350
Date: December 5, 2017
The two texts presented in this essay marshal historical evidence on how African
Americans fought for the recognition of their rights in America. To start with, Alondra Nelson, a
sociologist, bases her argument on the fact that the women and black Americans obtained their
social rights through the civil rights path while health benefits were received through getting
employment. For instance, Alondra (1) starts by acknowledging how medicine could fail the
poor communities in America which was mainly comprised of the blacks. In a special account, a
black child is reported to have died after doctors in a local hospital failed to pay sufficient
attention to its condition. On the other hand, Robyn Spencer was very interested in the Black
Panther Party that Huey Newton helped build. In her book she wants her readers to understand
that the BBP was the first black liberation organization that fought for social change for African
Americans. To illustrate, Robyn (143) appreciates that African Americans knew that
participation and representation in politics would enhance their power and bargain of rights.
However, most of them lacked this opportunity until after the introduction of the civil Act of
1965 by President Johnson.
In Mind Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight against Medical
Discrimination, Alondra Nelson, proofs that the blacks, women and other minority groups
gained social rights through the rights of civil rights while health benefits were received through
getting employment. This author starts by appreciating that in the past, African Americans did
not enjoy medical rights. To illustrate this condition, the author utilizes the case of James
Anthony, an African American child who lost his life to cold and chest congestion (Alondra, 75).
According to the author, the child was allegedly taken to a local dispensary but was later sent
home with some medications after a hurried examination. To further illustrate this point, the
author noted that the black, who were mainly unemployed and uneducated were discriminated
because services were expensive for them. To quote, “The drug companies, the doctors and the
insurance companies take huge profits from large private hospitals and they do not have to deal
with the poor.”
On the side of civil rights, there is no doubt that the panthers played a great role in
winning equality. Indeed, Alondra (75) confirms that the party viewed its self as a representative
of the marginalized black persons. In one instance, Alondra (76), records that the party’s
healthcare agenda was taken as a representative of the people. This claim is further supported at
Alondra (78) where PFMCs arose directly from the perspective of the Panthers. Through this
feature, the poor blacks had the advantage of pursuing their rights through the political platforms.
On the other hand, In The Revolution Has Come: Black Power, Gender and The Black
Panther Party In Oakland, argues Robyn Spenser that the BBP was the first black liberation
organization that fought for social change for African Americans. Indeed, the black politicians
are reported to have come together in 1971 with the aim of creating synergy to support the
political rights of the black (Robyn, 144). Thereafter, “Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman
elected to congress launched a formidable grass root campaign for a nomination with the
Democratic Party’s nomination” (Robyn, 144).
This particular author believed that Black Panther was the starting point for later
developments that ended up offering liberty to African Americans. For instance, the author
shows how the National Black political Assembly was formed with the aim of advancing black
politics. However, this decision was greatly opposed by the Black Panther due to the fact that
they were significantly left out of the discussions leading to its formation. Despite the opposition,
the Black panthers prepared a document and submitted it to their leader for analysis. This
argument is supported by the author where she states that “the attendance of the convention
placed the panthers as part of the nationwide electoral politics” (Robyn, 144).
To further support the endeavor, Robyn Spenser used the speech delivered in a
conference by Black Panthers. Of note, the speech clarified that the movement was breaking
barriers preventing the black from participating in the political system. Indeed, the speech quoted
that its aim was to “challenge the white man’s monopoly on the country’s political affairs”
(Robyn, 145). The author adds that on the 24
of June 1972, the panthers held another
conference that was labeled as the Anti-war African Liberalization Voter registration
Conference” (Robyn, 145). In the same year, Martin Kenner, a leading member of the committee
furthered his commitment to internationalist politics. To add, the panthers circulated a survival
petition stating that the struggles waged in Vietnam, South Africa and the United States were all
aimed at uniting the blacks for their liberation and survival (Robyn, 147).
To continue the illustration that the black panthers were struggling for black’s
liberalization, the author provides that the whites of Oakland opposed the efforts of the panthers.
To specify, it was alleged that the panthers intended to overturn the authority. According to the
author, a memo was circulated with this information stating that on behalf of Oakland’s business
people, the idea would not be tolerated (Robyn, 147).
To show that the panther community attained significant victory, the author quotes that
their candidates had received support from “the lesbian and gay communities” (Robyn, 154). In a
memo, the panthers noted that their president had held talks with the gay community and a
coalition was proposed. To add, the memo noted that the black leaders elected into office lacked
the support they needed from the black community.
To summarize, the two texts discussed in this essay are sufficiently different. To start
with, Alondra Nelson focuses on sociological approaches to the recognition of African
Americans while Robyn Spencer pays special attention to historical accounts. Here, sociological
approach implies that the recognition of African Americans’ rights were recognized through the
occurrence of social problems that demanded for solutions. For example, Alondra (75) reported
that an African American child died from chest congestion, a condition that would have been
cured if the child was not of an African origin. The author further supports that the developments
were social on the same page by arguing that the Black Panther piece, motivated by James’s
death sought to understand the issues surrounding his death. To further illustrate the issues,
criticism extended to the social service system which was blamed of having failed to serve the
minorities. To resolve the issue, Alondra (77) states that the Black Panthers established a clinic
with the aim of serving the discriminated minorities.
Comparatively, Robyn Spencer accords attention to the historical perspective of African
American’s rights. To illustrate, Robyn (144) shows that the journey to the recognition of
African American’s rights started in 1964 when President Kennedy scouted a civil rights Act.
After his assassination, scouting was furthered in 1965 by President Johnson. Thereafter, the
recognition continued to the 1970s when the participation of African Americans in the country’s
politics became significant. Indeed, the year 1972 had 25% of the voters as blacks while about
12% of the legal counsel was black. During the same periods, the African Americans came
together to form the Conventional Black Caucus which pushed the representation of the blacks
further ahead. Also, Robyn (144) reports that the black begun to organize survival conferences
that were expected to connect the blacks to through speeches, music, food giveaways and
ultimately through voter registration.
On the side of similarities, the two texts share special features. First, the two authors
show that the liberation of the blacks from oppression was through social organizations. In the
case of Alondra (80), the social movements are said to have focused on health. By advancing the
health politics, the group was able to secure the assistance of doctors even who were not
members of the group. Examples of such contributors include the NHCR and Tobler Small. At
Alondra (81), the author adds that community clinics movement was also advancing at a speedy
Similarly, Robyn shows the importance of social organizations through the black
panthers. At Robyn (145), the author supports this claim through a speech where food and the
right to vote are seen as vital to the survival of a population. Notably, the speech also highlights
that before the oppression of the blacks was worsened, the blacks organized themselves into a
block of voters. To top up these arguments, Robyn (146) states that on Saturday 2
June 1972,
the panthers held the second conference called the oppression Anti-war aimed at enhancing the
liberation of America. Surprisingly, Robyn (147) reports that the war attracted over five
thousand black Americans.

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