Interview with Anne Wild

Can you talk a little bit about the style of the Black Panthers. Describe what they were wearing, and what you thought about it when you saw it, just the style.


Well, I, the style of the Panthers was, I think, extraordinary. For an indigenous American, what became a revolutionary movement, they had this incredible creativity. This creative flair or style. I mean, from the name, the Black Panther Party. I mean, there's no other left group or political radical group that's named themselves after a panther, right? But that had great symbolic value. It's sort of like this is a serious cat, you know, it's going to really defend its family, whatever. And I think the jackets, it was part of a, you know, the media is the message. And I don't think it was calculated in the same way that obviously these people calculate to represent themselves in a very, sort of, you know, I don't know, very stylized way. But they had this, uh, creativity. It was like an imagination. I think reflected in both Huey Newton's thinking, and in Eldridge's thinking and writing. I mean, Eldridge is outrageous as a person. I mean, if you read some of his speeches from that period, he, not only does he use a lot of profanity, but his thinking, and, and Huey, too, and to some extent even Bobby. I mean, there's an incredibly high energy, creative, stylistic, uh, exciting kind of character to them that sort of started at the beginning.