New “Black Panther” Trailer is all Motherships and AfroFuturism

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Allies, Artists, Black Resistance Screening List, Students, Teachers

Today director Ryan Coogler and Marvel Studios dropped another edge-snatching preview of the most anticipated superhero film in the diaspora’s history. It seems Coogler’s visionary film crew and talented cast (which includes Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, and Academy Award nominee Angela Bassett) are channeling Parliament Funkadelic and Sun Ra with a side of LaBelle. The trailer’s soundtrack draws from the Godfather of hip hop, Gil Scott-Heron, and his everlasting track The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.

Black Panther arrives in theaters Black History Month 2018.

The Greatest

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Activists, Allies, Artists, Black Resistance Screening List, Prisoners, Scholars, Students, Teachers, Uncategorized
muhammad_ali_dr._king_ap_img
                           Muhammad Ali (l.) and Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. (r.) in Louisville                                 (AP Photo via The Nation)

“Like Muhammad Ali puts it, we are all—black and brown and poor—victims of the same system of oppression.” – Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Happy Birthday Muhammad Ali! Mainstream media continues to revere him for his extraordinary achievements as an athlete and his influential oratory style (How many of us have alleged to “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”?).  However, Ali is beloved to the progressive community and the African diaspora for his candid criticism of racial discrimination and poverty as well as his refusal to be inducted in the US Army during the Vietnam War due to his religious beliefs.  Ali could have exercised his class privilege, entered the army and fought entertaining exhibition bouts without ever being in any physical danger.  Instead, he chose to take a principled stand which in the short run cost him millions of dollars and some of his peak years as a boxing champion.  In the long run, Ali’s example made him a legend.

To learn more about Muhammad Ali, see the Academy Award-winning film When we Were Kings, or read this Dave Zirin article in The Nation.

Andrea Smith, Rachel Dolezal and Reading Realness

Posted on 3 CommentsPosted in #BlackLivesMatter, Activists, Allies, Artists, Black Resistance Screening List, Field Notes, Parents, Prisoners, Scholars, Students, Teachers, Uncategorized
(from l. to r.) Rachel Dolezal, Dorian Corey and Andrea Smith
(from l. to r.) Rachel Dolezal, Dorian Corey and Andrea Smith

I am, in the words of Black twitter, #ActualBlack.  I say this not to endorse “identity policing” but to point out:

  1. I have parents, grandparents and great grandparents who were forced to cope with the following forms of White supremacy (in chronological order): the TransAtlantic Slave Trade, lynching, segregation, mass incarceration, and microaggressions.
  2. My body, skin, hair, voice, accent (or lack of accent), sashay, and personal aesthetics are to some degree disturbing in all public and private institutions (except for prisons and the morgue).
  3. I did not sign up for this club, but I am proud to be a member.

In all seriousness,  I have been thinking a lot about  the question: Why has the outing of Rachel Dolezal and Andrea Smith as  White – allegedly – caused such a sensation?

(more…)

Can a Documentary Change the World?

Posted on 1 CommentPosted in Activists, Allies, Artists, Black Resistance Screening List, Scholars

AssataCheGif

Black and Cuba director Robin J. Hayes discusses “Socially Engaged Art as a Tool for Social Justice” at UnionDocs Socially Engaged Documentary Art Seminar Sunday June 21, 2015 10:30am 322 Union Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211. For filmmakers, artists and cultural producers, the seminar offers vital information about the theory and practice of documentary making with a purpose. Tell them Progressive Pupil sent you and get 20% off conference registration with promocode SEDA15. Learn more at http://www.uniondocs.org/socially-engaged-documentary-art/.  Share with a friend who wants to make films for their communities.

Visionary Organizing

Posted on 1 CommentPosted in #BlackLivesMatter, Activists, Allies, Black Resistance Screening List, Scholars, Students, Teachers, Uncategorized

[vimeo 30514311 w=500 h=281]

Grace Lee Boggs’ message to Occupy Wall Street from American Revolutionary.

At the age of 96, Chinese American grassroots activist, organizer, philosopher and author Grace Lee Boggs has more than seven decades of experience in Civil Rights activism, the Black Power movement, feminism, labor rights, Asian American rights, and environmental and food justice. Boggs, along with her husband and fellow activist, James Boggs, founded Detroit Summer — a multiracial, inter-generational collective based in Detroit. This collective has been working to transform communities through youth leadership, creativity and collective action for over 20 years.

(more…)