Sunday, March 29, 2015

Juche in the United States: The Black Panther Party’s Relations with North Korea, 1969-1971 by Benjamin R. Young


Abstract
In 1969, the Black Panther Party (BPP) established a relationship with the North Korean leadership that was based upon the principle of self-reliance (under the rubric of the Juche ideology), the transnational goal of Third World revolution, and a mutual antagonism toward American intervention around the world. Although the U.S. government forbade its citizens from travelling to North Korea, BPP leader Eldridge Cleaver along with other Panthers bypassed travel restrictions and visited North Korea to join anti-imperialist journalist conferences in 1969 and 1970. In North Korea, officially known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the Panthers found a new ideology and a government that was critical of the U.S. government. The Panthers established an alliance with North Korean leaders who they recognized as an independent force within the world communist movement. They believed that the “Black colony” inside the United States could learn from the DPRK’s self-reliant stance in political, economic, and cultural matters. This study adds to recent scholarship on the global influence of the BPP and opens a new field of inquiry, as the BPP-North Korean relationship has not been analyzed in-depth.
Introduction

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