The Black Panthers Are Finally Getting Air Time
The Black Panther Party, a revolutionary Black Nationalist and socialist party with a large and radical agenda based around activism of all sorts, is getting a documentary.
PBS will air The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution tomorrow, February 16, at 9PM/8 CST. The documentary explores the Black Panther Party by focusing on “its significance to the broader American culture, its cultural and political awakening for black people, and the painful lessons wrought a movement derails.”
Stanley Nelson, a famous documentarian, drives home the point of the movie that the Black Panthers should not be ignored as an important stake of American culture. In order to do this effectively, he draws upon a collection of exclusive archival footage from a diverse group of people including police, FBI agents, journalists, white supporters and detractors, Black Panthers who have since left, and others have not left.
Specifically, the documentary features people like Kathleen Clever, Jamal Joseph, Ericka Huggins, and footage from the late Huey P. Newton and Eldridge Cleaver.
The documentary, which has attracted tremendous reviews from The New York Times, Buzzfeed, Village Voice, The Root, and many more, is also on a viewing tour. Tonight, alongside its television premiere, the movie will be played at The Intersection – Indie Lens Pop-Up in Athens, Georgia and the Vancity Theater in Vancouver, Canada.
The New York Times crowned it the Critics’ Pick, noting that it was “like any good work of history, sticks close to the facts, plotting complex events into a packed, fast-moving timeline… The film captures the drama of their rise and fall without sacrificing the nuances… The bulk of the testimony –rousing, rueful, funny and frank – comes from within the Black Panther rank and file… Mr. Nelson makes a strong case for their importance as both a political and cultural force… Sober yet electrifying.”
Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale founded the party in October 1966 in Oakland, California. The Panthers practiced self-defense of minority communities against the American government; they fought to create socialism through organizing and community programming. The Black Panther Party’s practices were rooted in the Malcolm X’s foundations of dignity and self-respect for all oppressed minorities.
(Photo By Steve Larson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)