Reginald Major provides a vivid eyewitness account of the conditions leading to the formation of the Black Panther Party. Major knew these conditions first hand—unemployment, poor housing, police brutality and a Black community held in bondage by white business leaders and politicians. He also knew the young Black men and women of the Panthers who, armed with guns, challenged those conditions. Writing from this vantage point, Major captured events as the Panther challenge set the example for Black resistance across the country.
A Panther Is A Black Cat records the birth, growth and early years of the Panthers, and offers a valuable context for understanding the Black Power Movement as a national phenomenon. It was first published in 1971 as an insider's portrait of the rapidly expanding Panther movement. Major was an associate of Eldridge Cleaver, who introduced him to Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, and captures the Panthers pre-1971, unified with nationwide support, and viewed by many as the vanguard of the new American revolution.