Black Panther 56th Commemoration: Jalil Muntaqim
Stark against a black background, outlined in red stood the words “We Still Charge Genocide.” These words — never introduced or directly explained — provided the setting for Jalil Muntaqim’s two hour talk on the plight of the African-Americans, his fight for freedom as a Black Panther and what Cornell students can do to pursue systemic change in America.
Muntaqim was welcomed October 27 in Klarman Hall for a commemoration of the Black Panther Party— hosted and put together by Brice Roundtree ’24; Prof.Russell Rickford, history; the Pan-African Students Association; the International Students Union; and the Department of American Studies — which marked the 56th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party in Oakland, California on October 15, 1966 by Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton. The audience of the talk was diverse, with Muntaqim speaking to students, professors and practicing law professionals. In Muntaqim’s talk, he described how he grew up in Oakland and San Francisco, California and his being exposed to an influx of racial tension in California as a teen. These national tensions prompted him to speak out against racism, joining the Black Panther Party in his teen years. When asked by Rickford how he was radicalized, Muntaqim said the aftermath of the assassination of Malcom X made him curious about the different parts of the 1960s struggle for civil rights.