What made the Black Panther Party successful, as well as politically dangerous? In his very personal talk, activist and historian, Dr. Curtis Austin tells his story of being labeled a ‘felon’ as a result of his research on the Black Panther Party. Dr. Austin details the major successes of the Black Panther Party and the key action behind those successes. Using his personal experience, years of research, and some gruesome realities, Dr. Austin contextualizes the recent outcry by people across the United States against the legacy of the Black Panther Party and the Black Power Movement.
Dr. Curtis Austin is an Associate Professor in the Department of African American and African Studies (AAAS) at the Ohio State University. He received his B.A. and M.A. in U.S. History from the University of Southern Mississippi and his Ph.D. in American History from Mississippi State University. While serving as Director of Undergraduate Studies in AAAS, Austin teaches courses on the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements, the Black freedom struggle, and the history of American race relations. He is currently writing a book on the Black Power Movement and conducting research for a book that examines the history of radicalism in Black liberation movements. Dr. Austin has won numerous awards that honor his work including the C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Award. In 2007, his book, “Up Against the Wall: Violence in the Making and Unmaking of the Black Panther Party”, won the Choice Library Journal’s Outstanding Academic Book Award.