The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History Liberation Film Series presents a free screening of The Black Power Mixtape 1967 - 1975, followed by the discussion, Lessons of the Black Power Movement, with Dr. Gloria House and Dr. Stephen Ward, in the Museum's General Motors Theater.
The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975, an extraordinary feat of editing and archival research, takes up a familiar period in American history from a fresh and fascinating angle. In the late 1960s and early ’70s, Swedish television journalists traveled to the United States with the intention of “showing the country as it really is.” Some of the images and interviews they collected have been assembled by Goran Hugo Olsson into a roughly chronological collage that restores a complex human dimension to the racial history of the era. The film begins at a moment when the concept of Black Power was pronounced by Stokely Carmichael, a veteran of the SNCC early in the decade, who, like many young black activists, had grown frustrated with the nonviolent philosophy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Carmichael, who later moved to Guinea and took the name Kwame Ture, is remembered for the militancy of his views and his powerful oratory, but the Swedish cameras captured another side of him. In the most touching and arresting scene in “Mixtape,” he interviews his mother, Mable, gently prodding her to talk about the effects of poverty and discrimination on her family. That quiet conversation is a reminder that the confrontational rhetoric of the Black Power Movement, with its raising the banner of revolution, national liberation and armed struggle, had its roots in bitter experience. And while “The Black Power Mixtape” tells a story of defiance and pride, it is a tale of America’s structural racism, oppression, and increasing societal destruction.
Featuring Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture) and Angela Davis; Written and Directed by Goran Hugo Olsson; Edited by Hanna Lejonqvist and Mr. Olsson; Music by Ahmir Questlove Thompson and Om’Mas Keith; Produced by Annika Rogell; Released by Sundance Selects. Running Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Featured Panelists for the Lessons of the Black Power Movement Discussion and Q&A
Dr. Gloria House (Aneb Kgostitile), Ph.D. is Professor of Humanities and African American Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and Director of the African and African American Studies Program. Dr. House is also Associate Professor Emeritus in the Interdisciplinary Studies Department of Wayne State University, where she was a member of the faculty for 27 years. During her career at Wayne State University, Dr. House won distinction as an excellent teacher, a pioneer in comparative cultural studies, and a leader for more equitable treatment of minority students, staff and faculty.
Dr. House earned her bachelor’s degree in French and Political Science and her master’s degree in Comparative Literature at the University of California at Berkeley. Her doctorate in American Culture was completed at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she was a CEW Scholar and recipient of a Rackham Fellowship.
Dr. House’s research and special interests have led to wide travels - in Europe and the former Soviet Union, Africa, the Middle East, China, Central and South America and the Caribbean. She has always sought to understand other cultures in order to find commonalties with them, to broaden her students’ perspectives, and to build strong international solidarity. From 1992 to 1996, Dr. House was a Visiting Professor in the English Department, and Director of the Partnership with Township High Schools at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Since the 1960’s, when she worked as a student in the Southern civil rights movement (field secretary in the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee in Lowndes County, Ala.), Dr. House has been actively engaged in African American community development and Third World solidarity causes. She has served as a Board Member on the Detroit Council of the Arts and the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights. She is a co-founder of the Justice for Cuba Coalition and the Detroit Coalition against Police Brutality. She has been a major contributor to the development of three African-centered schools in Detroit, the Aisha Shule/W.E.B. DuBois Academy, Nsoroma Institute and Timbuktu Academy. She has taught successfully at all levels of public education - from kindergarten to university, and served as Principal at Timbuktu Public School Academy in Detroit for four years. In the 70’s, Dr. House designed and implemented a humanities curriculum leading to the bachelor’s degree for students at Jackson Maximum Security Prison.
Professor House’s publications include two poetry collections from Broadside Press, Blood River (1983) and Rainrituals (1989), a third book of poems published by Third World Press, Shrines, (2004), a book of commentary on the political uses of environment in the United States, Tower and Dungeon: A Study of Place and Power in American Culture, and a co-edited anthology of major poets of the Black Consciousness era, A Different Image: The Legacy of Broadside Press (Broadside Press, 2005). A Different Image was selected by the Library of Michigan as one of 20 Notable Books of Michigan for 2005. Her most recent publication is the essay, “We’ll Never Turn Back,” in Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts of Women in SNCC, University of Illinois Press, 2010.
Dr. House is a historically significant poet and author, and has played an important role in the continuing prominence of Broadside Press. (She recently edited a great volume celebrating the press; A Different Image: The Legacy of Broadside Press: An Anthology.) Her own experience of the Civil Rights movement began at UC-Berkeley, followed by time in Alabama and Detroit. Her experiences with SNCC and the struggles in the South are very intense, and she finds the voice to express what she experienced powerfully. She has spent decades as a scholar-activist in Detroit.
Dr. Stephen Ward is an Associate Professor in the Department of African American and African Studies (DAAS) and the Residential College at the University of Michigan. His teaches courses on the Black Power movement, black radicalism, urban and community studies, the history of Detroit, and Malcolm X. He serves as the faculty director of the University of Michigan’s Semester in Detroit program (SID) and is the coordinator of the Urban Studies minor. He is also a board member of the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership (BCNCL) in Detroit. He is the editor of Pages from a Black Radical’s Notebook: A James Boggs Reader (Wayne State University Press, 2011) and the author of a forthcoming dual biography of James and Grace Lee Boggs.
Recommended Reading and Viewing
Shrines, poems by Aneb Kgositsile, Third World Press, 2004.
Forty-Four African American Writers on... the 44th President of the U.S., eds. Sonia Sanchez, M. Simanga, Third World Press, 2011.
Home Sweet Sanctuary: Idlewild Families Celebrate a Century by Gloria House, Broadside Press, 2011 (contact Chris Rutherford 313-350-3303)
A Different Image: The Legacy of Broadside Press, eds. House, Weatherston, available from WSU Press.
Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts by Women in SNCC, Univ. of Illinois Press (800-621-2736).
A Circle of Trust: Remembering SNCC, ed. Cheryl Lynn Greenberg, Rutgers University Press, 1998.
The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century, Grace Lee Boggs with Scott Kurashige (University of California Press, 2011) [Paperback Edition is Updated and Expanded, 2012]
Pages from a Black Radical's Notebook: A James Boggs Reader, Stephen Ward (ed.)(Wayne State University Press, 2011)
Revolution and Evolution in the Twentieth Century, James and Grace Lee Boggs (Monthly Review Press, 2010 )
Revolutionaries to Race Leaders: Black Power and the Making of African American Politics, Cedric Johnson(University of Minnesota Press, 2007)
The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History’s Liberation Film Series: 2012-2013 Season entitled An Exploration in Youth-focused Intergenerational Conversations educates the youth, and others, about the real world and the Black people - many unknown - who struggled, globally, to make it better. This series offers the regional community a refreshingly new opportunity to experience a season of culturally important, conscious, enlightening, and engaging films. Immediately following each film, a speaker led interpretation and Q&A session will provide the audience deeper insights. No other theater in the region offers this type of focused programming and premiere educational opportunity. To encourage literacy, a bibliography, supplemental reading materials, and useful links for each film will be accessible on the Museum’s website, and the speaker’s books and related texts available at the venue.