Breakfast with the Panthers

The Black Panther Party was founded in Oakland in 1966 as a way to address police brutality throughout the city, but its work expanded beyond the streets. In its early years, the Panthers did a lot of work in the community, with many women in leadership roles. At one point, writes Suzanne Cope, the author of Power Hungry: Women of the Black Panther Party and Freedom Summer and Their Fight to Feed a Movement, the Panthers’ Free Breakfast for Children Program fed more kids each day than the state of California did. But why, to this day, is this part of their history not as known?

By late 1969, Hoover was waging an all-out war against the Panthers. Federal and local law enforcement agents were bent on destroying the Panthers’ free breakfast programme and what it represented. They confiscated food meant for poor children or destroyed it by soaking it with water or urinating on it; they spread lies about the breakfasts being poisoned, or the Panthers teaching hate and ‘anti-American’ rhetoric.

The Panthers knew that food was the conduit to the community, a direct line to public health, and a means to model a more just community. Imagine what they could have accomplished if their efforts were supported and not destroyed.

Source: Aeon
Published: May 10, 2022
Length: 11 minutes (2,790 words)

The Power of Shit

Can modern society evolve and see poop as a natural, fully renewable, and sustainable resource? Lina Zeldovich explores the ancient societies that understood and saw the potential in human excrement, and the forward-thinking ways we can use our own dark matter for good.

With so much smart tech, why haven’t we closed our metabolic rift? The problem is that we have to mend another huge fissure in the excremental ideology – not the metabolic but the mindset one. Unlike people in ancient societies, we still think of our excrement as the ultimate waste product that needs to be dealt with. We still don’t view it as an extremely valuable and versatile asset. We spend our efforts and money to remove the dangerous filth rather than to acquire and use a superb product of our metabolic bodies. And that’s the leap of thinking we must achieve, as a 21st-century society, to fix the problem fully.

Source: Aeon
Published: Apr 22, 2022
Length: 15 minutes (3,900 words)

The End of Travel

“Driven by the need for a storied life, I relished the opportunity for endless travel. Is that a moment in time, now over?”

Source: Aeon
Published: Dec 24, 2021
Length: 28 minutes (7,000 words)

Two Land In My Mind

“Imaginary friends, it is thought, are part of the same family — they help children to find a sense of themselves, and accompany them through crucial years of development and adjustment as they become their own individual beings, separate from their mother. They are by definition temporary: there to serve a purpose, and then discarded.”

 

Source: Aeon
Published: Jul 10, 2013
Length: 10 minutes (2,500 words)

Typos, Tricks and Misprints

“Why is English spelling so weird and unpredictable? Don’t blame the mix of languages; look to quirks of timing and technology.”

Source: Aeon
Published: Jul 26, 2021
Length: 13 minutes (3,401 words)

Philosophy with Children

“Curious about aspects of the world that most adults take for granted, children demonstrate a seemingly instinctive capacity to ponder the most basic elements of life and society.”

Source: Aeon
Published: May 10, 2021
Length: 13 minutes (3,400 words)

Accumulation and Its Discontents

“Whether collecting, storing or hoarding, we’ve always had our issues with stuff – not least deciding what’s worth having.”

Source: Aeon
Published: Aug 20, 2020
Length: 13 minutes (3,369 words)

On Matthew’s Mind

An operation to remove a brain cyst changed Matthew’s identity.

Source: Aeon
Published: Jul 17, 2020
Length: 15 minutes (3,900 words)

Kid Culture

Americans have always had issues raising their children as citizens instead of tiny, mighty monarchs.”

Source: Aeon
Published: May 14, 2020
Length: 15 minutes (3,996 words)

We Are Nature

“Even the Anthropocene is nature at work transforming itself.”

Author: Beth Lord
Source: Aeon
Published: Apr 28, 2020
Length: 14 minutes (3,700 words)