Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

I was lucky enough to see this documentary but it was gone from the theater before I could take my daughter to see it.

Among many wonderful stories in the film, there was this one that choked me up with recognition and resonance.  A former member of the Black Panthers describes a 1970s shoot out with LAPD at the Black Panther Headquarters on Central and 41st.  He looks right into the camera with intensity and emotion and said that experience felt like being "free." He said he felt like a "free Negro" in that moment.  

I can totally dig it, brother. The feeling of taking the risk, standing up, not backing down, pushing back, making your own choices. Fuck yes. Freedom.

From the Black Panther 10-point plan:
"...3. We Want Decent Housing Fit For The Shelter Of Human Beings. 
4. We Want Education For Our People...We Want Education That Teaches Us Our True History and Our Role In The Present-Day Society...
7. We Want An Immediate End To Police Brutality And Murder Of Black People...
10. We Want Land, Bread, Housing, Education, Clothing, Justice And Peace." 

Doesn't it seem tragic that these demands sound like basic, simple human rights? And doesn't it seem even more tragic that we still aren't there yet?

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