Black Panther: Symbol of Black Power in the Caucasian Paradigm
Submitted by Margaret Brito PhD
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The image of the black panther is a symbol of Black power in the Caucasian paradigm. I use Thomas Kuhn’s definition of paradigm developed in his essay “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions”¹ published in 1962. In this essay, Kuhn, a Harvard scholar, defines a paradigm as a conceptual box which validates and legitimizes the ideas within it, and invalidates and renders invisible whatever is outside it.
A paradigm defines what is known and how it is known. It defines the relevance of what is known. A paradigm dictates what can be known and should be known, as well as that which is not known and should not be known. It dictates what’s included in one’s experience and what’s excluded. It defines how people should understand and respond to their experiences, both those which should be and are included, and those which should be and are excluded.