All Power to the People

All Power to the People: The History and Legacy of the Black Panther Party

Co-presented with The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles in conjunction with MOCA’s exhibition Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas. The exhibition is curated by CalArts School of Art faculty member and MOCA Ahmanson Curatorial Fellow Sam Durant on view through February 24 at MOCA Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood.

This program tracks the history and legacy of the Black Panther Party, its revolutionary politics, grassroots ideology, irrepressible leaders and the struggle for justice that continues today. The program begins with newsreel footage from the 60s documenting interviews with Huey P. Newton and Eldridge Cleaver and the Party’s ten-point program, and continues with a powerful film about the charismatic leader of the Illinois chapter in Murder of Fred Hampton. Legacy of Torture chronicles the case of the San Francisco 8, who face charges from 1971 involving police torture. The screening is followed by a discussion with some of members of the SF8 and their current struggle to fight prosecution. All Power to the People and Bastards of the Party examine the void left in the wake of the Black Panther Party through the lens of the Los Angeles uprising in 1992. These films will be accompanied by a trailer for the forthcoming film, 41st & Central: The untold story of the Southern California Chapter of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense.

Thursday, January 10, 7:30pm

Off the Pigs and Repression
Dir. Roz Payne, Newsreel Films
Filmed in the 1960s, released 2006

The Murder of Fred Hampton
Dir. Howard Alk and Mike Gray, 1971
RT 00:89:00
In person: Chairman Fred Hampton Jr. (chairman of Prisoners of Conscience Committee), Emory Douglas (former Minister of Culture and artist for the Black Panther Party), Dr. Akinyele Umoja (Professor, Georgia State University)

Synopsis: This film documents the life of Fred Hampton, the charismatic leader of the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party. Midway through production, Hampton was killed by police. Directors Howard Alk and Mike Gray’s crime scene footage, included in this documentary, was later used in court to contradict police testimony. This film depicts Hampton’s brutal murder and its subsequent investigation, but also documents his activities in organizing the Chapter, his public speeches, and the programs he founded for children during the last eighteen months of his life.

Friday, January 11, 8:30pm

Legacy of Torture: The War Against the Black Liberation Movement
Dir. Andres Alegría, Claude Marks and the Freedom Archives, 2007
RT 00:28:19
In person: Hank Jones, Ray Boudreaux, and Richard Brown of SF8, attorney John Philipsborn, activist/actor Danny Glover. Moderated by Sam Durant.

Synopsis: Legacy of Torture chronicles a case that began in 1971 when thirteen alleged “Black militants” were arrested and tortured to obtain confessions. In 1975, a Federal Court in San Francisco threw out all of the evidence obtained in New Orleans. 34 years later, in 2005, two lead San Francisco Police Department investigators from over 30 years ago, along with FBI agents, have re-opened the case. Rather than submit to proceedings they felt were abusive of the law and the Constitution, five men chose to stand in contempt of court and were sent to jail. They were released when the Grand Jury term expired, but have been told by prosecutors that "it isn't over yet."

Saturday, January 12, 5pm

All Power to The People
Dir. Lee Lew-Lee, 1997
RT 01:55:00

Synopsis: Working as a TV cameraman during the 1992 L.A. riots, Lee Lew Lee became curious about the history of American race relations and the Black Panther Party. His research led to this fast-paced documentary made with a transfer of video to 16mm. Archival footage is combined with interviews, from ex-CIA officer Philip Agee, journalist/filmmaker Gordon Parks, and former FBI Special Agent W. Swearingen to various Panthers and political radicals. The film covers slavery, civil-rights activists, assassinations in the '60s, and it explores methods used by police, the FBI, and the CIA to divide and destroy the key figures in the Black Panthers. The film expands beyond the Panther history to more recent times, covering Reagan-Era events, privacy threats from new technologies, and the failure of the War Against Drugs.

Saturday, January 12, 7:30pm

Bastards of the Party
Dir. Cle Sloan, 2006
RT 01:35:00
Preceded by trailer for 41st & Central: The untold story of the Southern California Chapter of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense
Dir. Greg Everett, Forthcoming
In person: Cle Sloan, Greg Everett, Roland Freeman (Former Black Panther, Los Angeles Chapter)

Synopsis: Bastards of the Party explores the political roots of two of Los Angeles’s most notorious gangs, the Crips and the Bloods from the 1950s through the 1990s. The film presents a humanizing view of this history from the perspective of past and current gang members from the Bloods and Crips, LA historian Mike Davis, whose book "City of Quartz" sparked Sloan's own project, former FBI agent Wes Swearingen, and Geronimo Pratt, the former Black Panther Party minister of defense, among others. The title of the movie, Bastards of the Party comes from a passage in City of Quartz (Mike Davis) that reads: "The Crips and the Bloods are the bastard offspring of the political parties of the 1960s. Most of the gangs were born out of the demise of those parties. Out of the ashes of the Black Panther Party came the Crips and the Bloods and the other gangs."

Synopsis: Interviewees included L.A. Panther Ronald Freeman, Oakland Panther and former girlfriend of L.A. Chapter founder Bunchy Carter- Tarika, and photographer Jeffrey Blankfort. Upon returning to Los Angeles interviews were conducted with former Panther and Central Commitee member, Secretary of Communications- Kathleen Cleaver and 41st & Central shoot out survivor, L.A. Panther Wayne Pharr. In her interview Kathleen speaks about her husband Eldridge Cleaver's relationship with Bunchy Carter, her observations of the L.A. Chapter, and how the expulsion of the leader of the Southern California chapter, Geronimo Pratt, by Minister of Defense Huey P. Newton, was one of the events which indirectly lead to the split of the entire party.

Each screening: $9 [students/MOCA members $7, CalArts $4]

All Power to the People is co-curated by Durant and REDCAT acting Gallery Director & Curator Clara Kim and is made possible with support from Martha T. Kim, Esq and the CalArts Schools of Art and Film/Video.

Associated Images: 

THU 1/10
7:30 pm
FRI 1/11
8:30 pm
SAT 1/12
5:00 pm
SAT 1/12
7:30 pm

G - General Audience

M - REDCAT Members

ST - Students

CA - CalArts Students/Faculty/Staff