Black Panther Party Minister of Culture, Emory Douglas, and Black Arts Movement co-founder Marvin X at screening of Stanley Nelson's Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution,
at the San Francisco International Film Festival. photo Aries Jordan
Marvin X Notes on Slave Catchers/Slave Resisters, Part Two: Black Panthers/Vanguard of the Revolution, directed by Stanley Nelson In consideration of the request from director Stanley Nelson, i.e., I should delay the release of a review until September, 2015,
when the film is released to general audiences, and in consideration that I have requested the outtake footage of myself in the film,
I will not attempt a review but submit some notes or impressions of the film. Firstly, I refer the reader to that excellent documentary on the History Channel “Slave Catchers, Slave Resisters” (on Youtube).
A viewing of this film will give the viewer the roots of the police in the form of the slave catcher. Of course the response to
the Slave Catcher was the Slave Resister. The film noted the significance of the literary document David Walker’s Appeal, 1829,
in building the resistance. We know Brother David Walker had a bounty on his head for writing his Appeal. He was found murdered
in Boston a year after the publication of the Appeal. This reveals the power of the word, the power of art and propaganda.
Mao taught us all art is propaganda of one class or another. Walker’s literary art was for the liberation of his people, enslaved
North American Africans. We must note Nelson’s film is an inflammatory document. It will either advance the revolution or render us deeper down into the
dungeon of Americana. Although it is refreshing to see a new generation on the road to carrying out their destiny: the liberation
of our people, North American Africans, we only ask this generation to study the past carefully before proceeding down the road to
freedom in a serious manner. Yes, liberty or death should be our mantra, for why should we permit ourselves to continue being
relegated to the lowest rung on the societal ladder? Just as Slave Catchers, Slave Resisters, offered us a model from the American slave system, Black Panther/Vanguard of the Revolution
presents a model from the past, a radical model for sure, but a model from our most recent experience, i.e.,the 1960s. We must study carefully the positive and negative points presented. We should note our internal flaws and the vile nature of external
forces, not only the awesome fire power of the military/corporate complex, but the additional bags of tricks that were almost insurmountable
to the 60s revolutionaries, especially in the Black Panther Party, but the Nation of Islam as well, along with all the civil rights groups
and radical organizations, including the Christian liberation movement lead by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and those who came after his
transition to the ancestors.
L to R: Director Stanley Nelson, Black Arts Movement co-founder Marvin X, Black Panther Party Cub, Fred Hampton, Jr.
photo Aries Jordan
Disinformation, defamation, infiltration, surveillance and other tactics were in the bag of tricks administered by the military/corporate state.
What methods will be employed by the present generation to resist? It is for them to decide. Will they be able to fight by not fighting?
Or will the 60s model be unavoidable. Ultimately, we must come to terms with death and transcend it or there can be no bold forward motion.
Arrest, jail and prison is the natural and normal response from the Slave catcher state, now modern America in 2015. So the revolutionary
must transcend death, imprisonment, exile and other consequences of striking down the freedom road. But, for sure, revolution is a family affair. When all forces unite, all classes that are progressive, the deal is done. We saw this in the
Slave Catchers, Slave Resisters as well as in Black Panthers, Vanguard of the Revolution. In 2015, half a centuray later, The Black Panthers
Ten Points what we want and need are the same: decent housing, education, release from the jails and prisons, recovery from drug addiction
and addiction to white supremacy mythology; economic independence to transcend the mythical job for life syndrome that is suicide and partly
responsible for the high incarceration rate as a result of joblessness and the resultant criminal route as a survival technique. In conversation with the producers Stanley Nelson and Laruens Grant, I wanted them to stress the dynamic connection between the Black Arts
Movement and the Black Liberation Movement. I am happy to say the art of Black Panther Minister of Culture, Emory Douglass, satisfied by
thirst for BAM inclusion. It was of even more significance to hear Emory explain his functional art that focused on the common people in
their daily round and new found radical persona, especially in harmony with the Black is Beautiful theme. We were seated behind Fredericka Newton, Huey’s widow, so we saw her reaction to the film that ended with Huey depicted as a madman.
But we can say that was his essential personality, for sure revolution made his condition more pervasive, but all of us have been forced
to don the mask of psychopath. But Dr. Franz Fanon and Dr. Nathan Hare tell us revolution is the only way to regain our sanity or mental
equilibrium. Again, these are just some notes on the connection between Slave Catchers, Slave Resisters and the film Black Panther/Vanguard of the Revolution.
At this present moment, the brothers and sisters in Baltimore are in the resistance mode to the present day slave catchers, i.e. police, aka pigs..
As Rev. James Cone would say, little brother Freddie Gray (RIP) was crucified on the cross and the lynching tree!(See Rev. Cone's interview with
Bill Moyer's, PBS archives).
Marvin X was invited to participate in the opening ceremonies of the Tommy Smith Track this Sunday, Edwards Stadium, University of California, Berkeley. Tommy Smith and Marvin X grew up in the Central Valley of California; Marvin X in Fresno and Tommy Smith in Lemoore. They played against each other in high school basketball. Marvin and The Edison Tigers beat Tommy's team--he was the only North American African on his team from Lemoore High School.