The down by the white administration. Sooner than

The Black Panther is a
party that was started in the 1960s by Huey Newton and Bobby seal who were
activists with deep roots from the south in Oakland, California. Both had been
involved in movements for civil rights for some time. Their political
affiliation was more aligned to Malcolm X because of his violent ways as
compared to the more docile Martin Luther King (Bloom and Martin, 2016). Their
ideologies supported the use of physical violent means in order to get freedom
in America. The two ideologies were written down in ten points that were
clearly outlined as a program. To them, it was necessary for the community to
find the courage to defend themselves against the various injustices especially
brutality and harassment from the white police.

Other groups started just
for the local community of the area, soon it spread and more branches were
opened nationwide all against the political undermining, colonialism and most
importantly racial segregation. The Black Panther Party provided the African
American youth community with a sense of purpose and belonging during the harsh
times.

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One individual
commemorated that if anyone needed to join the group, then the opportunity was
open to help in the fight against the cops and the government. BPP had a specific
dress code of cool leather jackets, donned afro hair and most importantly they
had a program of free breakfast for children (Seale, 1991). The program was
later closed down by the white administration. Sooner than later, Newton was
put behind bars for supposedly killing a white policeman in the year 1967. Shortly
after, he was jailed before being acquitted. The following year Seale was also
arrested and jailed in the state of Chicago. Famously, the FBI director Mr. Edgar
publicly referred to the movement group as one of the greatest threats to the
country’s security. The following campaigns were highly monitored.

Furthermore, in the same
year, Seale was arrested, another recruit was shot down in a gunfight with the
Oakland police officers. In a late night raid, another high-ranking deputy
chairperson of the party in Illinois was cold bloodedly murdered by the police
while in his apartment. In the subsequent times, the party became filled with
informants who were regularly harassed by the FBI Director and the new
president of the country Richard Nixon. Eventually, they became overwhelmed by
pressure and strife (Seale, 1991).

Just like the rest of the
freedom fighters before who had been assassinated while fighting against the
American capitalism the group did not survive. By the year 1980, only about 27
members had been left in the Black Panther Party.

The Black Panthers
influence has been underestimated in films considering the fact that it was a
very complex group. However, memorable scenes still exist. For instance, French
filmmaker Valda Agnes was still residing in California the first time that
Newton was arrested. The court trial for the activists was still continuing
when she decided to make two documentary films with regard to the
demonstrations that were going on in Newton’s support. Huey had some atmosphere
of a celebrity and militancy within him as people shouted for his freedom. In
the meantime, the Blank Panthers were carrying own with their investigations of
the parties dynamics in the city of Oakland (Haskins, 1997).

During a cultural
festival of Pan Africa in Algiers 1969, a renowned artist William Klein made a
record entitled Black Panther for the Minister of information of the party who
had already been exiled. It also talks about the murder of Fred Hampton, the
film follows the young man’s life until the time of his death in the hands of
the police. What follows is the uncovering of corruption in the police
department. In 2011, the Black power mixtape was released by Hugo Olson. The
release offered footage obtained from the Swedish archives and shows the modern
day activists like Bobby Seale.

Panther is the only
fiction film that seems to address the real issues. The film is to entertain
although it is very much underrated, produced by Mario Peebles and written by
the father in a novel which bears the same name. Previously, the producer had
directed a song known as Sweetbacks which was highly supported by Huey Newton.
He even went on to comment that it was the true revolutionary film that has
ever been made for black people. The movie basically evokes the various aspects
of self-reliance.

           
Regardless of the Panthers influence, their appearance in terms of dress code
and controversies, they are rather used as a punctuation mark in black civil
movements as portrayed in most historical documentary films. For example, the
film by Lee Daniels was known as the ‘Butler’. The character of the panther
does not seem to have violent tendencies as expected of the group.

Black Panther: Vanguard
of the Revolution film mainly strives to give the viewers a better account of
how the party rose and how it eventually came to its downfall. It was directed
by the celebrated Stanley Nelson over a period of almost seven years and funded
in part by a campaign.

The director was then
only 15 years old when the group was formed. He goes on to remember how Huey
Newton told him about how the group was discussing matters that concerned him;
they also donned a different look compared to what had been seen before. To him,
it was a good story of a youthful revolution from a film maker’s
perspective.  The members of the party were very young such that the
average age of the group was somewhere around twenty years.

The director of the movie
uses a very conventional way to bring out the story using a well-ordered
narrative based on good research obtained from various archives and even face
to face interviews. Conversely, the film takes a pro black panther point of
view as the director involves former white police officers, journalists of the
time and even historians to provide the viewer with rich content with a clear
objective.

However, one can note
that Bobby Seale was not involved even though he is still a political activist
despite his age. The other person not featured in the documentary is Angela
Davis who maintained a close relationship with the Panthers in spite of her not
being a member.

The movie tries to
downplay some of the Black Panthers most notable aspects; The organizer of the
party Kathleen Cleaver avoids talking about the group’s way of recruiting and
the lack of any measure of control (Murch, 2010). She simply tells off that
they did not even know who some of the group members were. The former member of
the Blank Panthers, Ronald Freeman, deeply talks about the celebrity status
that the party attained.

The chauvinistic nature
of the party is also well illustrated in the movie even though most of the rank
and followers were women. The former leader of the group Elaine Brown
sarcastically suggests that they did not get the men from a revolutionary
paradise. Since then,  Brown has come to
criticize the movie. 

Such highly controversial
matters always result in heated debates. However, everyone can come to an
agreement that the movie is well produced. The director understands the various
events witnessed in both Baltimore and Fergusson not forgetting the increase in
cases involving the police and the African American Community. These events
have resulted in a total shift of perspectives on the movie. Just a few years
back critics would have been able to argue that the Black Panthers were just a
group of violent people and dismiss the seriousness of the issue (Newton et al,
2006). Now people are able to understand how the issue of police brutality
against the black community has been going on for such a very long time.

The film has a strong
theme of what is going on today in our society in connection with racist cops
against African Americans. The director went on to confess about how he was
surprised by the timing of the movie release just as the Black Messiah was
being released by Vanguard. The people interviewed in the documentary continued
to insist that the FBI had been trying to prevent the rise of the black
community. This is the main cause of death of the young Black Panther leader
Fred Hampton.

The movie also shows a
close relationship to Straight Outta Compton NWA despite the fact that it does
not adequately defend itself. It shows the real racism that has manifested
itself in police departments against African American communities. Straight out
of Compton seems to be more vocal than the film. Black civil movement groups
today much depend on the legacy left behind by the Black Panther. Only the
slogan has changed to a more sensible Black Lives Matter. They are all formed
on the basis of social injustice and equity in society. In some sense, the
group may have been dealing with a lot more dominating systems of patriarchy
and even violence which most of the groups today try to resist. It is safe to
conclude that even in peaceful demonstrations people still end up getting
killed by the police. It is important to note that the Panthers operated in a
very different and controlled environment. The Panthers represented a very
large set of ideologies and were not focused on one program. What was started
by the Panthers is increasingly being witnessed on campuses across the world as
students demand justice.

The film is able to
succeed in being both informative to the audience while maintaining the
entertainment atmosphere. Some choose to argue that the group somehow provides a
way for other younger activists in the contemporary world. The film reminds
activists that civil rights movement require some form of organizational
culture in order to be effective in the process of negotiating for reforms. The
same trends that were witnessed during the Black Panther reigning days are
being witnessed in today’s movements. Similarly, they are using free programs
to attract people into the groups. As a filmmaker, Nelson knew that the movie
was going to have a positive impact because he brings out the various ways of
ensuring a movement survives and does not die out like the Black Panther.