After the mayor and eight other city council members approved a plan that would reallocate a portion of the Kansas City Police Department’s funding to violence-prevention programming, the “back the blue” sentiment arose from those who disapproved of the plan and believed it defunded the police.

The Kansas City Revolutionary Black Panther Party (KC-RBPP) says they are tired of hearing “back the blue” while African Americans in Kansas City are getting killed by police without any accountability.

In response, they held their own armed march July 3 called “Back the Black” to bring solidarity in the Black community and show Black power.

More than 50 people participated in the march that began at 63rd and Troost. They group marched just over a mile to the sound of a drum and chanting, “power to the people,” “Black power,” and “no justice, no peace.”

Once the group arrived at their end point, 75th and Prospect, near the KCPD metro patrol division, they blocked the intersection, while the general of the KC-RBPP, Indigenous Xi, spoke about structural racism in KCPD, demanded local control and encouraged the crowd to stay educated and informed politically.

Xi said KCPD and “back the blue” supporters are at war with Black people in Kansas City.

“The problems in our country are not being recognized,” Xi said. “We can’t get local control of our police department. Kansas City needs to stand up. The power truly belongs to the people.”

To further support the community, the KC-RBPP and its more than 10 members continue the mission of the original Black Panthers as protectors, organizing community service events like their weekly Feeding the Seniors Program in partnership with the Justice and Dignity Center Coalition and providing a Cub Club youth program where members teach life skills, writing and financial literacy to local youth. The group also hosts regular rallies in the urban core, like “Back the Black,” against police brutality and stop the gun violence.

KC-RBPP began in 2016 after Xi reached out to original members of the Kansas City chapter of the Black Panther Party to receive their blessings to rebuild the chapter.

Jazzlyn Johnson

Jazzlyn "Jazzie” is the former senior reporter for our team, who joined the company in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, through the Report for America service program. For the past two years, she covered...

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