( ENSPIRE NEWS ) The World Watched the Black Panther Documentary
Last night the world watched The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution by Stanley Nelson on PBS. It was the number 1 trend on twitter. What do you think it was that made the world pay attention? Another topic of concern is that no one recalls learning any of this “history” in elementary or high school. Why was this not taught during black history month since it seemed to be the only time African American history was taught?
In the turbulent 1960s, change was coming to America and the fault lines could no longer be ignored — cities were burning, Vietnam was exploding, and disputes raged over equality and civil rights. A new revolutionary culture was emerging and it sought to drastically transform the system. The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense would, for a short time, put itself at the vanguard of that change.
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution is the first feature-length documentary to explore the Black Panther Party, its significance to the broader American culture, its cultural and political awakening for black people, and the painful lessons wrought when a movement derails. Master documentarian Stanley Nelson goes straight to the source, weaving a treasure trove of rare archival footage with the diverse group of voices of the people who were there: police, FBI informants, journalists, white supporters and detractors, and Black Panthers who remained loyal to the party and those who left it.
There was a lot to take away from watching last night. It was amazing to see how effective the illustrations were to the followers of the Black Panther movement. The Black Panther publication was used to reach communities near and far to spread the message of wanting equality and ending injustice. A lot of these communities included Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. Seems coincidental that these are the same cities today that still have a systematic issue between their police force and it’s community.
This was a time that people knew the difference between protesters and revolutionaries. This documentary gave so much information to be shared among generations who were present and not knowledgeable, those who were not present and no knowledge, and those who knew nothing, wasn’t there but have their own opinion. I hope that to those who know nothing and judge negatively can see who the government planned a clear unconstitutional breakdown of the Black Panther Party. All colors of oppressed people saw it then but feared to be targeted by the government, but there were more who chose to fight no matter what. I was proud to see the unity and more so the uplifting of the black woman in a time where strength and support was needed.
“You didn’t have to be a member of the Black panther party to be with us, all you had to be was human”
I will not lie, not surprised but it pains me to see this about the Black Panthers now and compare to my own knowledge and what has been circulating society for years. The incarceration of African Americans and the way they were to be set up seems to be a specific blue print embedded in our judicial system and law enforcement. The United States government created a plan to take down this movement, literally ordered assassinations on Black Panther leaders and then they covered it up. How could this have not been a repetitive practice within our government when it comes to specific individuals who stand for something?
So many acquired lessons through their separation. “Never allow internal dissension to dominate discussions. That’s how groups die.” –Roland Martin
Even in a court of law freedoms were stripped without a care of repercussions. How can a human being be chained and gagged in a court room because he is choosing to exercise his constitutional right?
You see the transformation in the leaders from when they are young until they get older. Another reason why truthful education and opportunities are vital to our youth. As time went on the movement changed with it as well. There were no gray lines, we saw the good, the bad, the progression, the attack and demise of the Black Panther party. We also saw media’s crucial role in it as well. Black Panthers used it to their advantage and media used it to exploit their troubles and separation.
“All power to the people. Peace and freedom to the world.”
I think some of us should just take a step back, think about these maneuvers that were taken. Imagine them applied to not just organizations but popular culture. At that time the Black Panther party was a main source for a large group of people to gather their thoughts against the government. The gathering of oppressed people threatened the government. There were poor white people, poor latino people joining this revolution..TOGETHER
In the end we can all take something from this. We can learn how to better unite, strengthen our voices and stay together. Will this make a difference? Only time will tell.