Black Panther Party

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Free Angela provides a brilliant, invaluable look into America’s history


Movie Review

By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer


It is sad to see how complacent we Black people have grown since the 1960s. The bourgeoisie blithely transitioned from a populace who once vowed “We Will Overcome” to a generation whose abiding principle now is “I have overcome.” You’d scarcely believe there was a time when Black America was determined to revolt against entrenched, institutionalized racism by, as Malcolm X said, any means necessary. This country’s rulers realized back then that the bill had come due. Too many African Americans were longer shuffling along, head bowed, yassuhing and no ma’aming. Too many had their shoulders squared, braced to put their feet in the nation’s behind. Continue Reading →

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Book explores, honors powerful African American women

It doesn’t take a clairvoyant to predict Lakesia D. Johnson’s Iconic: Decoding Images of the Revolutionary Black Woman (Baylor University Press) is headed for sustained popularity. It may take a minute, since college publishers don’t have the publicity machinery of big houses. But, once word gets around, Black women, more than a few White ones and brothas with the sense to be interested in what’s going on for sistahs are going to snatch this up like it’s tomorrow’s news. The writing’s a bit clunky and on the academic side (after all, Johnson, J.D., Ph.D., is assistant professor of gender, women’s and sexuality studies and gender, women’s and sexuality studies  at Grinnell College in Iowa). But, don’t hold that against this timely, at some points invaluable, study. Continue Reading →

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Actor forges friendship with Black Panther through role in Fela!



A fascinating hour in African and African American history visits the Twin Cities with the Tony Award-winning Broadway hit Fela! coming to St. Paul’s Ordway theater. In 1969 Nigerian musician-composer Fela Anikulapo Kuti, visiting the U.S., encountered Sandra Smith of the Black Panther Party. Smith’s (today her last name is Isadore) fiery commitment to flying in the face of social and political oppression so inspired Kuti that on returning home, he fostered the genre Afrobeat, a fusion of African and American styles that, most significantly, incorporated political commentary. Continue Reading →

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