The Afrofuturism Behind ‘Black Panther’


“Black Panther” made his first appearance in a “Fantastic Four” comic in 1966, just as the traditional civil rights movement was giving way to black power. The comic has been inescapably identified with black radicalism, but it was clearly finished and ready for distribution before the now famous voting rights organizers in Lowndes County, Ala., adopted a snarling black panther as the ballot symbol for their new political party. And the issue reached stores months before Huey Newton and Bobby Seale founded the Black Panther Party in Oakland, Calif. — which originally was conceived of as a vehicle to protect black citizens from police brutality but evolved into a Marxist revolutionary group.

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Black Panther’s first appearance, in 1966.

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