Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution 

Wednesday, Sep 30 2015

Unsurprisingly for a documentary distributed by PBS, Stanley Nelson'sThe Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolutionis a straightforward history lesson. Not that straightforward is bad, and the picture does a good job of summarizing a complex subject, one that's as relevant as ever: the response of the black community to harassment and marginalization. Through plenty of archival footage, as well as new interviews with former Panthers, police, and FBI agents,Vanguard of the Revolutioncharts the rise and fall of the Black Panther movement from the late 1960s to its disintegration in the 1970s. This collapse was caused by both the clashing egos of its leaders and subterfuge by the FBI, whose leader J. Edgar Hoover called the Panthers the greatest threat to America and lived in fear of the rise of a black messiah. (A second black messiah, anyway.)The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolutioncovers all the important bases, while also suggesting other places for future documentarians to go, such as Hoover's COINTELPRO operations (the infamous and quite fake Black Panther Coloring Book is not mentioned), as well as the role of women in the self-consciously macho movement. ButVanguardis a good place to start.


About The Author

Sherilyn Connelly


Comments are closed.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"