Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of English

Content Description

1 online resource (iv, 66 pages) : illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Derik Smith


Black Arts Movement, Black Panther Party, Black Power Movement, Black Women, Elegy, Poetry, African American women poets, African American women political activists, Black Arts movement, Black newspapers

Subject Categories

African American Studies | Arts and Humanities


Named by the Black Panther Party as the Year of the Panther, 1969 was one of the organization's most tumultuous years. Working harder than ever since the Party's formation in 1966, men and women of the Party sought to demonstrate their dominance in the "sphere of revolutionary politics". With increased efforts, came an increase in opposing forces against the Party, resulting in the death, imprisonment, and exile of a number of the Party's male leaders. Under these circumstances, women began to fill positions of leadership, creating an interesting dynamic within an organization that is often defined by its idolization of masculinity. By examining poetry written by Black Panther women and published in the Party's newspaper during 1969, I will discuss the way a variety of poets used their work to mourn the loss of their comrade Brothers as well as to provide commentary on issues of gender inequality within the Party.