The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense Ten-Point Platform and Program — “A combination of a Bill of Rights and a Declaration of Independence” (1967)

Editor’s note:    This document is characterized by Huey P. Newton, co-founder in 1966 with Bobby Seale of the radical Black Panther Party, as a “combination of a Bill of Rights and a Declaration of Independence.” Officially called “The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense Ten-Point Platform and Program, it was crafted and then published by the […]

The Declaration of the Rights of the Negro Peoples of the World (1920)

Editor’s note: On August 13, 1920, this declaration of black grievances, rights and principles was drafted and adopted at a convention of the Universal Negro Improvement Association, presided over by Marcus Garvey, a leading advocate of Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism. Garvey had a sizable following of disenfranchised black Americans — as demonstrated by the more than 20,000 […]

Negro Declaration of Independence, 1876

Editor’s Note: Crafted and issued on February 28, 1876 by the National Independent Political Union, headed by Garland H. White, a Baptist Minister and political activist from Weldon, North Carolina, this declaration was printed as a four-age leaflet in the immediate post-Civil War aftermath at a time when Black Americans were already becoming increasingly embittered […]

The Black Declaration of Independence (1970)

Editor’s Note: Though in some respects an adaptation of our July 4, 1776 Declaration, this time the tyrant is not King George but the endemic system of oppression and segregation that prevented Black Americans from being part of “all men are created equal.” The public proclamation issued by the National Committee of Black Churchmen on […]

Declaration of Independence — Commonwealth of Liberia (1847)

Editor’s Note: Liberia’s declaration, issued on July 26, 1847, is modeled after our July 4, 1776 document. It asserts that Liberia is a “free, sovereign, and independent state” and that “all men certain [have] inalienable rights; among these are life, liberty, and the right to acquire, possess, enjoy, and defend property.”  Liberia  distinguishes itself as the first […]