WCTE Indie Lens Pop-Up Screens The Black Panthers Feb 3

Last Updated by Desiree Duncan on
A group of seven small children walk to school with books in hand.
Stephen Shames

Stanley Nelson’s "Sober Yet Electrifying" (NY Times) Documentary Explores Roots of Revolutionary Group


Indie Lens Pop-Up, presented by the Independent Television Service (ITVS), Independent Lens, and WCTE Upper Cumberland PBS (wcte.org), is excited to offer an advance public screening of The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, a film by award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson.  This FREE documentary screening event will take place at the Cookeville Performing Arts Center (CPAC) on Wednesday, February 3 at 6:00 p.m.  A short post-film discussion will be moderated by Dr. Wali Kharif, TTU Professor of History and board member of the Upper Cumberland Broadcast Council.

In the late 1960s, as change was coming to America — cities were burning, Vietnam was exploding, and disputes raged over equality and civil rights — a new revolutionary culture was emerging seeking to drastically transform the system. The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense would, at least for a short time, put itself at the vanguard of that change. The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution premieres on Independent Lens Tuesday, February 16, 2016 at 8 p.m. on WCTE.

The film 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. 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 dozens of others, alongside a soul-power soundtrack of the music so integral to the Party's identity, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of The Revolution is an essential history and a vibrant chronicle of this pivotal movement that gave rise to a new revolutionary culture in America.

WCTE’s Indie Lens Pop-Up screenings are always FREE and open to the public.  Light refreshments will be served before the film at 5:30 p.m., and the film will begin promptly at 6 p.m.  For more information and to view the film trailer, visit wcte.org/indielens.  CPAC is located at 10 E. Broad St. in Cookeville.

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