DENVER — The Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library in Denver will soon receive more copies of the Black Panther, the official newspaper of the Black Panther Party.
Right now, the library has nine copies of the newspaper, but librarians said the immense interest in those copies inspired them to acquire more.
“It’s really important for us to have this specific collection because the Black Panther Party is an organization (where) there has been a lot of rumors, misinformation, and mischaracterization about. We really want to use their words to discuss what it is that they actually stood for and not what people have made up in their minds that they think that they stood for,” said Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library Senior Librarian Jameka Lewis.
Lewis said there was a Black Panther Party chapter in Denver, but documented information about the chapter is scarce.
“We’ve been combing through the newspapers to try to find any reference to Denver,” Lewis said.
The library will soon have even more resources to look through. Lewis said they recently bought 30 more copies to add to their collection.
“We’re really excited to have these and to be able to teach everyone, not just adults, what the Black Panther Party stood for,” Lewis said. “They were very active as far as mentoring Black males and talking about community control of police.”
Lewis said the party did have plenty of controversy and many Denver residents did not agree with their methods. However, Lewis said a lot of their work resulted in systemic changes.
The library is currently working to preserve the newspapers but hope to make them available to the general public within the next month.