Change was coming to America and the fault lines could no longer be ignored—cities were burning, Vietnam was exploding, and disputes raged over equality and civil rights. A new revolutionary culture was emerging and it sought to drastically transform the system. The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense would, for a short time, put itself at the vanguard of that change.
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution is the first feature-length documentary to explore the Black Panther Party, its significance to the broader American culture, its cultural and political awakening for Black people, and the painful lessons wrought when a movement derails. Master documentarian Stanley Nelson goes straight to the source, weaving a treasure trove of rare archival footage with the voices of the people who were there: police, FBI informants, journalists, White supporters and detractors, and Black Panthers who remained loyal to the party and those who left it.
Featuring Kathleen Cleaver, Jamal Joseph, and many others, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution is an essential history and a vibrant chronicle of this pivotal movement that birthed a new revolutionary culture in America. In this clip, see how the NYPD responded to the expansion of the Black Panther Party in New York City.
Directed by Stanley Nelson, The Black Panthers makes its national debut today. Click here for screening times and locations. EBONY’s Jamilah Lemieux (a “Panther cub!”) will host a Q+A with Nelson in New York City on Sunday, September 6.