41st & Central: The Untold Story of The L.A. Black Panthers
a fIlm by director Gregory Everett
At a time when the country is confronting questions about racial bias and the police– the Black Panthers mission to promote human rights and self-defense for Black Americans “by any means necessary” is as relevant today as it was then. 41st & Central: The Untold Story of The L.A. Black Panthers (first Place 2010 Pan African Film Festival Audience Award, and Best Documentary),
follows the Southern California Chapter of the Black Panther Party from its glorious Black Power beginnings through to its tragic and violent demise. The film is narrated by ilmmaker Gregory Everett, himself the son of one of the film's subjects former use of interviews, historical images, and reenactments– this saga of race, media, violence, and the criminal justice system unfolds.
It was almost inarguably the most controversial revolutionary organization of the civil rights struggle- The Black Panther Party. Besides mass organizing and community based programing, the Panthers were not afraid to use violence to achieve their goals. And in no other place did this play out more than in Los Angeles.
Under the guidance of it’s charismatic leaders Alprentice Bunchy Carter and Geronimo JiJagga- Pratt, the chapter was very successful at recruiting hundreds locally, implementing dozens of community programs, and pushing the Panther agenda of Black empowerment and self defense throughout Southern California.
But the Los Angeles Panthers were at constant war with the LAPD, the US Organization (another local Black revolutionary group), and ultimately their greatest threat- the F.B.I.’s COINTEL Program. These highly charged conflicts led to more Panthers being murdered in Southern California than anywhere else, the assassinations of Panther leaders on the U.C.L.A. campus and climaxed with the first use of S.W.A.T. This assault by law-enforcement resulted in eleven Panthers engaging in a five-hour shoot out at the L.A. Panther headquarters against S.W.A.T. and three hundred police officers.
But how did the Panthers mission to raise Black people’s political consciousness turn into such an armed response to police brutality and murder? In 41st & Central we hear from the principle narrators, the L.A. Panthers themselves.
This is their story…
SCREENINGS AND LECTURES
"41st and Central stirs up so many emotions,
sometimes the Q & A is as compelling as the film."
-Kathleen Cleaver, Former Black Panther Leader
41st & Central: The Untold Story of The L.A. Black Panthers is the perfect tool to enhance any course of study in a school or college comprising in the subjects of African-American studies, American Studies, civil rights, drama, film making, history, political science, public policy, philosophy, social justice, social science, sociology, theater, and others.
Screenings of 41st & Central are followed with lectures and Q & A's with the director, Gregory Everett and/or subjects of the film, scholars and historians. This conversation following the screening adds volumes to the experience and puts the audience right inside the historical context of the film.
Black Panther historian Gregory Everett has done more research on the Southern California Chapter than any other scholar and being the son of a L.A. Panther, has a personal conviction to make sure the legacy is preserved. He shares not only stories from his treasure trove of research, but also is able to captivate and educate the audience about the film making process as well. And, there is nothing like being able to engage in dialogue with livings legends from the Black Power movement, especially former members of the Black Panther Party themselves.
2019 marks the 52nd anniversary of the founding of the Southern California Chapter of the Black Panther Party. Their cutting edge ideas from 50 years ago of an advanced stand against police brutality, provision for free health care, fight against hunger and poverty, and move towards an enhanced education system are still considered by many to be necessities in the United States today.
Former BPP members, educational institutions, students, community leaders, film makers, and politicians– called the SoCal BPP Memory Project are hosting events commemorating the anniversary throughout 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
The theme of the commemoration is “Educate to Liberate” a saying used during the movement meaning that through education, liberation is born. MORE