Black power in the USA, film


This video from the USA is about the THE BLACK POWER MIXTAPE 1967-1975.

By Jeff Sawtell in Britain:

The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 (12A)

Directed by Goran Hugo Olsson

Thursday 20 October 2011

Three years after Martin Luther King Jnr made his famous “I have a dream” speech in 1965 he was killed, after Malcolm X had been assassinated and while African-Americans were being shipped to their deaths in Vietnam.

The Black Panther Party started preparing for revolution, as this documentary evidences.

Along with developing community schools and food halls, it trained soldiers to defend the community, especially after the CIA began distributing heroin in the ghettoes.

Black Panther Stokely Carmichael criticised King’s non-violent tactics by stating that in order for them to work “your opponent has to have a conscience. The US has not.”

Other leading figures – Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, Malcolm X and the odious Louis Farrakhan – are also featured in interviews by a group of Swedish filmmakers, along with communist Angela Davis.

She eloquently explains the dialectics of the fight against institutional racism and why she chose to join the Communist Party.

That struggle led to the party’s leaders being shot, imprisoned or forced into exile.

They included Davis, whose imprisonment was followed by a mass international campaign for her release.

The afro hair on the Free Angela Davis badges became as iconic as Che’s photo.

Davis argued that the only way forward was uniting black and white workers in mass class struggle against capitalism.

Such is the emphasis of the film, which illustrates the conditions of that fight.

Other revolutionaries included are Harry Belafonte, Melvin Van Peebles and the owner of Black Books in Harlem, Lewis H Michaux, in 1973.

Responding to some kids giving the black power salute, he sighs.

“Black is beautiful,” he says, “but black isn’t power. Knowledge is power.”

“For you can be as black as a crow or as white as snow. But if you don’t know and ain’t got no dough you can’t grow.”

The film shows that as the Swedish journalists revealed more, including a trip through Harlem, the US administration went ballistic.

It’s a remarkable document, portraying the participants and the obverse of the American Dream.

The irony is that despite the election of Barack Obama to the White House, policies haven’t changed.

There are still wage slaves and imperialist wars and the communists are still striving for socialism through promoting mass class struggle.

Don’t miss it.

See also here.

The Colored Museum, play on African American history: here.

The Black Panthers didn’t stop at fighting racism. Ken Olende looks at their evolving line on sexism, homophobia and class: here.

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