Civil Rights movement had several successes before the black panthers were even a thing.
These are two of the most important successes of the civil rights movement and both of them happened before the black panthers even existed.
Black Nationalism, in general, predates the Black Panther Party by almost 20 years. Letter from Birmingham Jail was written in 1963.
I only mentioned the Black Panthers specifically because they were involved in cop-watching and preventing police brutality by being armed.