'The Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975' Review PDF Print E-mail
By Kayah Franklin -- Black College Wire   

Black Power Movement stories originally told by parents and found in the textbooks of African-American studies classes have now been documented in the film "The Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975."

Directed by Göran Olsson, the documentary depicts the Black Power Movement through the eyes of Swedish broadcast journalists and features footage that has been sitting in Sweden's archives for three decades.

ImageThe film highlights include speeches, conversations and interviews with prominent Black Nationalist leaders such as Angela Davis and Stokely Carmichael – also known as Kwame Ture, who attended Howard University in 1960 – and commentary from popular figures including Erykah Badu, Talib Kweli and Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson.

Other highlights included the rebuilding of the Nation of Islam with Minister Louis Farrakhan, the gang presence and crack infestation of Harlem in the 1970's, and footage of young girls learning songs like "Guns, Guns, Guns" over their meals provided by the Free Breakfast for Children program initiated by the Black Panther Party in Oakland, Calif., in 1969.

Areeayl Yoseefaw Goodwin, a senior acting major at Howard, was one of many students who attended the documentary's opening weekend.

"It was definitely refreshing to see videos of past freedom fighters with commentary of the relevance of its exposure today. I enjoyed seeing the activists I read about, in video and seeing their thought processes and explanations for their approaches and theories," Goodwin said.

Interest in African-American history among younger generations was a surprise to some audience members. Southeast resident Gail Garnett, 57, was enthused by the amount of students in attendance by choice.

"I didn't expect to see so many kids…sure, they talk about Dr. King, but there were a few girls in there as attentive as could be listening to Stokely [Carmichael], and there was no notebook in sight," Garnett said.  

"The Black Power Mixtape: 1968-1975" is screening through Oct. 13 at the E. Street Cinema in Washington, D.C.

Kayah Franklin writes for The Hilltop, the Howard University student newspaper, which originally published this article.

Posted Oct. 18, 2011
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