We took power and control instead of asking for it.
I watched Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution on Tuesday and I learned a lot. The BPP is much more than what I knew of it. It was enlightening to hear actual testimony from members, folks that were in the thick of it-the good, the bad and the ugly. Essentially, they created a party to protect themselves because the police wouldn’t fulfill their job + often practiced the opposite.
And non-violence wasn’t working.
I find it to have been a pretty smart move, organizing to protect and serve your community. Being strategic. Exercising basic human rights. It’s disgusting the great lengths the FBI and J. Edgar Hoover [I’m certain the J. stands for jackass] went to to harm, kill, discredit + dismantle The Party, just for standing up for themselves and demanding equal rights. The nerve of Black humans wanting to just be left alone – to drive/walk/eat/sleep/be in peace! Psshhh! But they were still able to make some major moves for their communities and our people. I watched it on PBS for free, but if you don’t have a TV:
Anyway, I took many things from it, but, an artist I guess, I took a particular interest in Emory Douglas. His artwork was featured in most of The Black Panther newspapers and it is just dope.
Every true artist has the responsibility of expressing the social plight of their generation.
Although it was decades ago, it seems not much has changed. I’m pretty sure it’s gotten worse actually. Every time we unite, somehow we fall. Each time we have a new leader or strong voice, he or she mysteriously comes up dead or in jail. The system was not created for us to be strong, by now I get that, but it is still inspiring to witness a time when we were a united front, even if it was just for a little while.
all artwork ©Emory Douglas