December 1965: Lowndes County Freedom Organization

     Black voters in Lowndes County, Alabama, using a provision in state law, form an independent political party: the Lowndes County Freedom Organization (also known as the Black Panther Party). The party fields a slate of 7 candidates for county offices in the November 1966 general election.
     Until 1965, not one black person was registered to vote in Lowndes, though blacks made up 80% of the county's population. By October 1965 -- following a series of voter registration drives and the enactment of the Voting Rights Act in August -- nearly half the black population had registered to vote.
     -- Image from LCFO pamphlet: @
    -- Note: The LCFO based its symbol on the Panther mascot of Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia. In turn, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (formed in October 1966), took its name and symbol from the LCFO.

May 3, 1966: Nominating convention

-- Photo by Flip Schulke: @

November 8, 1966: Election
-- Image from "The Story of the Development of an Independent Political Movement on the County Level" (Jack Minnis, 1967): @

* "Student Rights Group Lacks Money and Help but Not Projects" (New York Times, December 10, 1965): @
* "Negro Party May Be Formed In Alabama" (Associated Press, December 16, 1965): @
* "Lowndes County Forms Local Political Group" (The Student Voice, December 20, 1965): @
* "The Same Tuesday, But A Different Election" (The Southern Courier, May 14-15, 1966, page 3): @
* "Lowndes County Negroes Work To Take Over County" (The Movement, June 1966): @
* "High Hopes In Lowndes" (The Southern Courier, November 5-6, 1966): @
* "A Good Day to Go Voting, but Black Panther Candidates Lose" (The Southern Courier, November 12-13, 1966): @
* "Sold His People for a Coke" (The Southern Courier, November 19-20, 1966): @

* "Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama's Black Belt" (Hasan Kwame Jeffries, 2010): @
* "Race and Racism in the United States: An Encyclopedia of the American Mosaic" (2014; summary written by Jeffries): @
* "Carry It On: The War on Poverty and the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama, 1964-1972" (Susan Youngblood Ashmore, 2008): @
* "The Selling of Civil Rights: The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Use of Public Relations" (Vanessa Murphree, 2013): @

Other resources
* LCFO pamphlet: @
* "The Black Panther Party" (The King Center, June 1966): @
* "Background Information on Freedom Elections" (Stokley Carmichael, May 3, 1966): @
* "What Would It Profit A Man ......" (SNCC pamphlet): @
* Entry from Encyclopedia of Alabama: @
* Entry from SNCC Legacy Project: @
* Entry from BlackPast.org: @
* Entry, links from Teaching for Change: @
* Links to summaries and articles (Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement): @
* Holdings in The Freedom Archives (San Francisco): @
* "Lowndes County and the Voting Rights Act" (Zinn Education Project; article by Hasan Kwame Jeffries): @
* "SNCC, Black Power, And Independent Political Party Organizing in Alabama, 1964-1966" (Jeffries, The Journal of African American History, 2006): @
* "From Stokely Carmichael to Kwame Ture" (Africa News Service, 2000): @
* "Origin of the Black Panther Party logo" (H.K. Yuen Social Movement Archives, University of California Berkeley): @
* "From Selma to Black Power" (Benjamin Hedin, The Atlantic, 2015): @
* Photos from Jim Peppler Southern Courier Photograph Collection (Alabama Department of Archives and History): @
* "The Voting Rights Act ... the first months" (U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1965): @
* "Political Participation" (U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1968): @ 

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