History ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 5-14-2022


Building upon French philosopher Michel Foucault’s analysis of Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon, I argue that throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s, the news media and resulting culture nurtured and reinforced the postcolonial narratives that associated Blackness with criminality. I analyze the national newspaper coverage for their narrative portrayal of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (BPP). The national media and U.S. government targeted the BPP and Black Power politics to discredit them and the overall movement for Black Liberation. I argue that this media-state project only intensified during the 1970s and into the 1980s with the country’s turn to neoliberalism and several presidential administrations’ draconian policies that surveilled and punished Black Americans. The War on Drugs and soaring rates of mass incarceration set the stage for the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. The same project evolved to other BLM to maintain the white supremacist hierarchy in the contemporary United States.

Level of Degree


Degree Name


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Tiffany N. Florvil

Second Committee Member

L. Durwood Ball

Third Committee Member

Jason S. Smith




Black Power, Black Panther Party, News Media, 1960s, Black Lives Matter

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History Commons