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New Black Panther Documentary Film


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The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

This looks like it will be really interesting, not simply a nostalgic sugar coating of the organization.  Here is Kam's review.

 

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I stumbled across this film on Youtube, the person who posted it did not attribute the source I recognize the narrator's voice so it looks legitimate.

 

 

 

Edited by TroyJ
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David Hilliard the executive director of The Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation, founding member of the BPP, chief of staff and leader of the Party during the time Huey and Bobby Seale were incarcerated says, "The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution is not the story of the BPP, like many other academic and mainstream media interpretations of the Black Panther Party it is an inaccurate, external description of the BPP and it’s legacy." http://aalbc.it/bppreaction

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All i know is that I was around during the Black Panther's hey day.  As I have mentioned many times, Fred Hampton the martyred  Minister of Defense of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party which was located in Chicago, came from my home town.  I didn't know him well because we weren't the same age. To me, he was a sincere person, skilled at spewing inflammatory rhetoric but as far as the party of which he was defense minister was concerned, its impact  stemmed mostly from the threat local law enforcement perceived the membership to be - even if all they ever did of note was establish school breakfast programs for inner city school children and other ones who were enrolled in the schools the Panthers set up where the kids were taught to hate whitey.   

Anyway, to me and my associates, the Black Panthers were romanticized revolutionaries who we never took that seriously because we knew damned well "these niggas were not gonna overthrow the U.S. government".  We did, however, like and were amused by how the Panthers shook up The Establishment, especially that psychopathic ogre, J. Edgar Hoover.

When I worked at the Post office, one of my co-workers was a Black Panther sympathizer.  He was very smart and quite militant and he told me the reason he decided not to join this organization was because they were paper tigers all on ego trips and their reach exceeded their grasp,  He was more drawn to the SLA which blew up government buildings and robbed banks and killed cops. During that time, the Fruit of Islam arm of the Black Muslims were a force also to be reckoned with.

Just my recollections.

Edited by Cynique
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Cynique, are saying you used to see Fred Hampton around the neighborhood?  

Sure we tend to romanticize the Panthers, Malcolm, and Martin.  One day I'm sure Black people will wax poetically about the Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, this is natural.

Still, Hampton was only 21 when the government murdered him--younger than my youngest child. One can't help but be impressed and admire the impact he had on his people in his short life.  Imagine if he'd lived as long as MLK,  Who know what the Panthers could have accomplished?

Throwing over the government, no I'd agree this would not be realistic, or even desirable if you ask me. But given time the Fred and the BPP could have achieved some of the goals on their 10 Point Program, which would have benefited us all.

Frederick Douglass wrote;

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” 

The Panthers, helped change what we would take.  They were brave enough to stand up to opposition.  Perhaps if they understood how brutal the government reaction would be they would have adopted different tactics.  The BPP is worth remember the stood up a tried to did something to improve things 

Today we bend over and apply the vaseline ourselves.

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The Black Panthers were the militant arm of the civil rights movement.  They rejected non-violence but were basically demanding the same thing that MLK and Malcom were: equal justice under the law and the end of discrimination toward Blacks or - Negroes as we were also called then.  All of these factions played a role in the struggle.  And they all were taken seriously by the FBI.  People rant about the media, the media, the media.  But the Media made all the civil rights leaders larger than life and elevated them to places of prominence in history and pop culture.

 As an aside, it should be noted that during the civil rights era not all black people were dedicated activists. Only core groups participated in the much publicized sit-ins and picketing and marches. The average people, those in the barbershops,beauty salons, bowling leagues and social organization had their own opinions about their leaders and did not necessarily walk in lock step with everything  they advocated, although everybody agreed on the common goal of racial equality.  The black ministers in Chicago frowned on MLK coming there and stirring things up by demonstrating for open housing in hostile white neighborhoods.  The Black Muslims and their stringent life style were not a popular movement although Malcom X was greatly admired because of his fiery rhetoric denouncing white devils.  Yes, Blacks  gave moral and financial support to the civil rights movement but activism was the exception not the rule.  I, myself, registered my protests by utilizing the editorial pages of local newspapers, to whom I would fire off angry letters denoucimg racial discrimination.  In the meantime, like the majority of Americans, I was sitting wide-eyed in front of the TV watching  Bull Connor hose down determined demonstrators and sic the dogs on them. Or watching MLK deliver his famous "I Have A Dream Speech" with a lump in my throat. I cannot testify with certainty that my spectator experience was a microcosm of the black community at large during this period. I can just relate how it was in my environment and this environment was wide spread.  

In Chicagoland,  the Panthers did not have a large enthusiastic following and Fred Hampton became more popular after he was killed than when he was alive. Fred first came to my attention when my niece was a student at the local high school, where he incited rioting because, as the black student enrollment increased, its members wanted more representation, beginning with a black homecoming queen.  This dispute escalated and the school became a battle ground, which was put on lock down by the police.  Around that time, Fred was president of the local NAACP Youth Council.  But he eventually outgrew this tame group and moved on to the Black Panthers who were just coming into prominence. The white Liberal element in our hometown loved Fred because he was in the vanguard of the "radical chic" phenomenon  wherein these sinister brothers in their black tams, huge afros,  dark glasses, and leather jackets became the darlings of the bougeoise white cocktail circuit who held fund raisers to support "The Cause" because it was the "In" thing to do..  

Today, the swimming pool at the local park is named after Fred Hampton who has become a hometown legend. 

I recall co-founder and ex-Panther Bobby Seale whose politics moved to the center, kinda deflating the image of the Panthers, himself, almost amused by their history.  Eldridge Cleaver also became diffused and detached in his later years.  Bobby Rush, who was  a member of the hierarchy of the Panther's Chicago Chapter is now a preacher and Congressman from Illinois who, incidentally, defeated Barak Obama when he ran against him for this office. I'd be interested in hearing the real facts about Huey Newton who I have heard so many rumors about...  

Edited by Cynique
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I meant to say Bobby Rush not Bobby Seal as being a former member of the Chicago hierarcy of the Panthers who later became a preacher and Illinois congressman who defeated Barak Obama when he ran for that office!!  

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  • 2 months later...

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