In 1966, Huey Newton and Bobby Seale set up the Black Panther Party in Oakland, California.
The party was supposed to be an African American self-defence group within the Oakland ghetto.
They attracted national attention when a group of Black Panthers invaded the California State Legislature to protest against a new gun-control law that was being discussed.
They were popular with young African Americans and most American cities had a branch of the party by 1968.
In the ghettos, the Black Panthers organised self-help groups for black American communities that included free breakfast clubs for children and free health clinics.
In 1969, 27 Black Panthers were shot dead by the police in several gunfights, and over 700 Panthers were arrested for various offences. By the middle of the 1970s, the Black Panthers had all but disappeared.