Oct. 15, 1966

by Joshua Bennett

Photo by Rog Walker

Writing Workshop

Workshop Title: Black Panthers

Step 1

Start by watching the short video about the birth of The Black Panther Party. Then discuss why and how The Black Panthers’ legacy lives on today.

Step 2

Read “Oct. 15, 1966” by Joshua Bennett, a poem about The Black Panther Party. When you’re done, briefly discuss how the poem reflects the beliefs and values of the organization.

Step 3

Say, “Take a few minutes to think about how you would compose your own poem about The Black Panther Party. Would you focus on one facet of the organization? Would you try to talk about their values on a broader scale? Take a few minutes to brainstorm.

Step 4

Have your students compose a poem similar in sentiment to “Oct. 15, 1966” in which you offer your own piece about The Black Panther Party and its history/legacy.

Step 5

When the students are done, have them share their responses with one another.

The full presentation may be found HERE.

Analytical Lesson

Area of Focus: Various

Step 1

This lesson allows students to analyze various concepts and skills, so it is recommended that you have covered several of the “standalone” lessons before assigning this one.

Step 2

Start class by showing your students the following photo of members of The Black Panther Party. What does the photo – and only the photo – imply about The Black Panther Party, their members, and their values? Again, make sure your students only refer to the photo in their discussion, not any previous knowledge.

Step 3

Ask your students to open the following document and go over the introduction and directions with your students. The directions for the assignment are somewhat involved, so please make sure to walk through each step (including the viewing of the video and the reading of the poem) with them and go over the example before the students begin their work.

Step 4

When your students understand the assignment, give them time to work.

Step 5

When your students are done, have them share their findings with the rest of the class. Your students do not necessarily need to read from their documents, but they should discuss the newfound knowledge they gleaned while conducting their informal research.

Lesson Details

Lesson Info


  • Various


  • Appreciation
  • Children / Youth
  • Class
  • Community / Culture
  • Criminal Justice
  • Family
  • Friendship
  • History
  • Joy
  • Love
  • Police Brutality / Profiling
  • Race / Ethnicity / Racism
  • Social Movements / Protest

Literary Tags

  • Diction
  • Figurative Language
  • Selection of Detail
  • Structure (Syntax)
  • Tone