Tom Wolfe “Radical Chic”


The author shows how journalism can be tied to a detailed novelistic way of providing information. Wolfe provides descriptiveness and plenty of detail, this can be seen in the way he writes the description of the black panthers, down to simple things like the nuts on trays or a black panther member eating.The black panthers successes were based on the public’s fantasy of the black panthers being hip. Like the many minority groups the black panthers were something of an inspiration to their black but was also being used as a new trend by the same individuals they despised this being the rich and powerful. The black panthers are compared to the Jews. The black panthers were very strategic in how they represented themselves and positioned themselves in a manner which demanded respect, the use of white servants is such an example in which they use the servants to boost the morale of members. In the sphere of things the black party members though a popular topic of the media and magazines such as vogue they had their problems and combated probes from the government as well as protecting themselves from propaganda. The black panthers are presented the way Wolfe presents them to show that the black panthers were an organization that took itself seriously while everyone saw them as either a dangerous group or a temporary trend. An example of the black panthers being a trend can be seen when the straight out of Harvard Caucasian guy denotes all important things discussed in the meeting to ask who arrange their party and where can he find this person. The black panther movement was in essence just like the occupy wall street movement we discussed in class in that their were people who took the black panther movement seriously and those who treated it as a trend or a danger to society.


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