tv Democracy Now LINKTV June 5, 2013 9:00am-10:01am PDT
television 30 years later. the renowned actor and activist danny glover co-produced the black power mac state. i had a chance to interview him when you're at the sundance film festival two years ago. we were in the headquarters of festival andfilm we are making available to you not only our conversation today but the documentary itself we are talking about. i highly encourage you to call to get a copy4334 of the documentary. it is the black power mix tape. it is a remarkable film. you can also get the full conversation with danny glover for a contribution of $75. together, $150. .f you call 866-359-4334 without further ado, let's go back to the conversation i had when danny glover at the
sundance film festival when i asked him about the making of the movie. >> it is extraordinary. when you think about what we are facing now with wikileaks, how information is uncovered. about information, documentary filmmakers, interviews with people involved in the black power movement. this was found in the basement of swedish television. it had been aired only once as a series, and these incredibly just fromrviews -- which interviews of men and women who were involved in the black power movement, but also swedish
television coming to the united states and assessing themselves, interviewing people about the movement. a young sisterve at the blank panther party in new york talking about the revolution. or you would have a breakfast for children program. seals, footage of body -- bobby seale. it is a compilation of all of these interviews, documentary films that were done, which archival information about the black power movement. >> let's play a clip of stoically carmichael. begin, i guess we could begin with 1956. this was the rise of dr. martin luther king.
dr. king decided in montgomery, alabama, black people had to pay the same prices on the buses as white people but we had to sit in the back, but we could only sit in the back if only available seat was taken by a white person. if a white person was standing, a black person could not sit. so dr. king and his associates said this is in human. we will boycott your bus system. understand what a boycott is. theycott is a passive act, most passive belittle call pact that anyone can commit, a boycott. what the boycott was doing was simply saying, we will not run your bosses. no sort of antagonism. he was not even verbally violent. he was peaceful. dr. king's policy was that nonviolence would achieve the
gains for black people in the united states. that if assumption was you are non-violent, if you suffer, your opponent will see your suffering and will be moved to change his heart. that is very good. he only made one fallacious assumption. in order for nonviolence to work, your opponent must have a conscience. the united states has none. [applause] >> that was stokely carmichael in the film "the black power mixtape." rare footage of stokely to sweden andng talking about perhaps the differences between him and dr. king, talking about the importance of action.
interesting, we talk about 1967. so much has happened since the passage of the voters' rights act, the riots in detroit, newark. i first met stokely carmichael in 1967 when i was a student at san francisco state. it was very unique in the sense that there were a member -- a number of members from sncc who decided to go to san francisco. so to hear him talk about what was in 1967 the beginning of his own transition from the removal ofmovement,
and white members of sncc, he began to announce his new path. , asainly respectful of king they all were. it was came and harry belafonte who initiated the student nonviolent coordinating committee. not only that, they gave it life. sonere is the prodigal breaking away at this particular moment. had been toing sweden, traveled to scandinavian countries to raise money for the movement, which prompted belafonte to do the same. >> he had won the nobel peace prize in 1964, but the footage and "the black power mixtape" of
dr. king, the king of sweden raising money for him and every belafonte together. >> it was remarkable because it was harry's suggestion that they go to sweden to raise money. dr. king,rst met 1957, harry was one of the most popular artists in the world at that time, was going to use his influence in the service of dr. king. so they had very strong connections with sweden and other scandinavian countries as well. this is the incredible moment. this is something that people do not know about often. >> san francisco state, people have heard about the strikes, but the first big shutdown is one of your own, and you were one of the leaders. yes, san francisco state.
to san francisco wase in 1966, the issue trying to make its own transition. why this film was important for is alsohe fact that it my transition. i had been born and raised through the civil rights movement. movementhe black power someed, we had invited members, poets to speak in san francisco, and it started to become the black art movement as well. so we have the black power movement, as identified by stokely carmichael and the black panther party, and students involved as well, myself and
others, and the strike came out of that. it was an aggressive move by the black student union. we were fortunate to get allies in terms of the asian student association, hispanic student association, and progress of white students. >> you were fighting for black around the time of the tucson shootings. a headline in the paper that day. you guys really started the activism. ethnic studies program is 41 years old. the first program, the only one at a major university at the time in the country. it was interesting, the first time i saw huey newton, had any idea what the black panther party was, he came to the black house and began reading poetry.
at the black house, there were a number of influential people living there. retrospect, you can see this. you see this emerging movement happening around what i believe extraordinary moments of redefining and redefining -- real imagining democracy. was an carmichael organizer. the black power movement was about extending that whole sense of organizing. was asident obama community organizer on the south side of chicago. but he has taken a very different path.
>> well, we make choices. i come out of community service and community development as well. i worked for the model cities program. was an evaluation specialists and program manager from 1972 until 1978. certainly, -- and this is a key moment. as i think about it, it is also along the same lines, parallels what is happening in the film. there was an extraordinary level of grassroots democracy happening in communities, like in the mission district, bayview hunters point, in san francisco
fueled bycertainly the sense of organizing translated into the black power movement. this sense of empowerment, that people could be the architects for change. this was happening all over the country. when you look at black power -- "the black power mixtape," you are able to reflect on the moment and the core values at that time. at the same time, and james brown said, i am black and proud. all of this energy was happening. for them to be able to capture this, and looking from the
outside-in was critical. they were able to see this from the outside and asking sometimes very innocent questions. that response that angela gave about violence was extraordinary. >> let's go to that clip. >> how do you get there, by confrontation? violence? >> is that the question you are asking? you asked me whether i approve of violence. that doesn't make any sense at all. whether i approve of guns -- i grew up in birmingham, alabama. some very good friends of mine were killed by bombs planted by racists. from the time that i was very small, i remember the sound of bombs exploding across the street. i remember my house shaking. i remember my father meeting
guns at his disposal at all times because at any moment we could expect to be attacked. control of was in the city government at that time, bull connor, would often get on the radio and make niggers haveike, moved into a white neighborhood and we should expect some bloodshed. young girls who lived next door to me, was very good friends with the sister of another one. my sister was good friends of all three of them. in fact, when a bombing occurred, one of the young girls called my mother and said, can you take me down to the church to pick up carol? we heard about the bombing and we do not have our car.
they went down and they found limbs and heads strewn all over the place. then in my neighborhood, all the men organized themselves into an armed patrol. they had to take their guns and patrol our community every night because they did not want to see that happen again. so when someone asks me about violence, i just find it incredible. what it means is the person asking that question has absolutely no idea what black people have gone through, what they have experienced in this country since the first black person was kidnapped from the shores of africa. that is angela davis, 40 years ago, on ticks found in the basement of swedish public television that has just been made into a remarkable film called "the black power mixtape
." is face and her famous afro on the poster of "the black power mixtape." talk about this issue of violence. let's go back and think about .ll of these young students all these people had gone to extreme periods of violence in the south, from lunch counters, to the bombing of buses, freedom riots, had been beaten, and jailed. of threee murder civil-rights workers. extreme terrorism and violence. people, they can assume
another position and understand violence in a different way and reflect on it in a different way. it was terrorism. we experienced terrorism. the people that i worked with in the south, try to get them to register to vote, they experienced terrorism daily. when we think about that violence -- and angela of brilliantly points it out. the girls who died in that church were friends of hers, her sister. her mother was a teacher. think,s amazing to angela davis, friends of those girls in that birmingham church, condoleezza rice was one of the friends of one of those girls. coming from the same environment. rice, she came from
the same time. that moment characterizes pilots. and violence. now think about that and what is happening in tucson. we know this young man is deranged in some way. ,omething drove him to that act that kind of nasty, violence happening. happening during a town hall meetings, during the health-care crisis, the health- care debate. king talks about that violence coming home to haunt us. at this time, the video tapes we are seeing in this remarkable
film, and bringing them back to light, and having people reflect on them today -- you were an organizer. how did you end up taking the life journey that you did, and appear at sundance? but it was not sundance-type movies, it was "with a weapon -- "lethal weapon." majoremember my first role, auditioning in chicago. i lived in a commune in 1968. it was a political commune. most of us were students from san francisco state college. we have all worked with children. we were editors helping to edit the panther paper. when i mentioned that, the reporters said that i was a member of the black panther
party. with all due respect to every member of the black panther party -- friends of mine were in the party who were entrapped in ome of the cointel stuff -- with all due respect, i was not in the party. i was a student. there was some sort of space created for students. the violence that was often associated with the community did not often find its way to the campus. the strike at san francisco state did have the tactical squad out there on a daily basis, but the same kind of violence, surveillance, villainy did not happen on the campus. so, first of all, i was a student. i was able to move from that,
after finishing, working with the model cities program in san francisco. in a sense, i was still engaged in the ideas about community organizing. the idea of coming into acting was a result of my politicization. i had a road map. a great south african who wrote so brilliantly about the anti- apartheid movement, particularly around the ,elationships that it created the that it was not able to foster. i was able to translate that. then to be able to use that for
myself as a platform to not only learn the craft of acting, but also in a sense, say whose side i am on in the world. i told him that the only reason i was an actor was because of you. had it not been for him, finding his work, i do not know how i would negotiate my way through that. you have to have a sense of what you want to do. the industry has its own established goals and process. but within that, you have to decide, this is the kind of work i will do, these are the stories i will tell. >> of what influence did paul robeson have on you? him,en though i never met he is my hero. i have learned so much at the
feet of harry belafonte talking about paul robeson. extraordinaryhe men of the 20th-century. in reading his work, it inspired also created for me the place that i wanted to be. robey founded the theater. >> yes, we found that theater, named after paul robeson. those are the things that nurtured me. it was no accidents that i had the opportunity. and then doing african films, watching films from around the world -- i remember when i was 18 years old walking into a and seeing that there
were other possibilities. the idea for me and my growth was that there were always possibilities in theater. >> then you go on to sally field, brothers and sisters, and then before that, the color purple. the power of independent film and hollywood blockbusters, like, "lethal weapon." there were four. will there be a number five? that there would not be a member to? number 2?
>> i do not know. >> it gave the tremendous recognition power around the world. the matter what they thought about the film, it affords you authority, reaching across political spectrums of people. >> "sleep to anger" happen because so new that there would be another "lethal weapon." >> explain that film. the films thatof i cherish the most, one of my favorite american films, about a family in l.a., the relationship between its spirituality and passed.
it is an independent film, falls outside of the the genre of african-american films, dealing with different aspects of our past, who we are, how we respond to how our families are built, and all the different things happen within "speak to anger. to anger." talking about those things that protect you, that allow you to get through all the pain that you experienced. family inthis is a l.a. but has migrated from the south. it wasou talk about toby, a form of protection for my grandparents. about all of the dangers
in their world. you had to defeat the past while moving on in the future. a lot of those elements were also a part of "beloved." filmre we are at sundance festival, a celebration of independent films. talk about the importance of independent films. me, after all the blockbusters, this is one of the great moments in my career, i believe. to be able to support independent film, independent thinking. the whole if you take genre of independent films, and they invariably have influence on the industry anyway. independent films is where actors get a chance to do real work. that is why sundance is so
brilliant. documentary films. , supportinglliant the idea of documentary's. documentaries' are our way of establishing our relationship to what is happening to us. is context that we can look and what has happened to us, have opinions on it, disagree, have a discourse and maybe it is a documentary about the climate, health care, what ever they are, perhaps have a chance of understanding what the core issues are. >> the film that you have co- produced, "the black power a movement 40ut years ago. there is another film are around
here about harry belafonte. he raises the question, he feels like he has failed now, looking back, whether there will be a new generation of activists following what has been accomplished over the his artistryide of and music. how do you feel about that? of course, we have a 20-year span. there is so much work that has to be done. i have no sense of failure. i am an eternal optimist as well. i believe, as paul robeson said, each generation makes their own history. i think this generation will now make their own history. they will have to respond to the climate crisis or the financial
crisis, poverty in the world, inequity in the world. they will have to deal with that. they will have to listen outside of the framework, the dictateds that have and structured their lives. understand, we can be here forcing the issue, talking about that. if we are going to talk about democracy, what is democracy? who is democracy doesn't belong to. that is the fundamental question here. once we begin to struggle against that, we have a chance. the powers that be are going to find every way to undermine it, to stop our voices, cut off our resources. the questions that we have to
believe that we can do this. >> before we end, i want to talk about one of the great crises of today, haiti. a country close to your heart. you have been making a movie about haiti for a long time. you visited president aristide in south africa, who was forced out. we had seen the from this earthquake and the affect of that. 1 million people displaced. now there is a cholera outbreak. and now we have a man responsible for the deaths of thousands of people -- the .ictator of haiti return what are your thoughts? >> certainly, it is painful. refer to myself as a
haitian at heart. it is unacceptable that president aristide is not there with his people. it is unacceptable that the state department can say to us that there is no history, no future for president aristide. >> let's be clear, a state department spokesperson sends out in a twitter message, that aristide is the past, we have to look to the future. you were talking about who is democracy, maybe we can extend it to haiti. >> these people have been under siege for more than 200 years. independence has been under siege. every administration, from jefferson to madison to clinton,
bush, all of them. all of them have done something to undermine haiti possibility to stand on their own feet. these people are so resilient. they are incredible. they are organizing now. they are organizing in the midst of this chaos, the cholera, earthquake, the lack of a functioning government, they are organizing. single president and administration has been responsible. of that. not know any we do not have any of that information. you are going to tell me that he is the past and he has no future in haiti? that is unacceptable. have to say it is defraudable to
elections, pressure and everyone to accept this. it is unacceptable. up fore standing themselves. when they knocked down the fences and refused to be denied the right to vote during an election, they made a statement. they want their country back, their sovereignty back, they want their independence back. that is what the haitian people want. and speaking as a nation at heart. it that the u.s. -- why will the u.s. not allow aristide to return? why was the u.s. involved in the 1994, and again in 2006,
ending up in exile in south africa saying he wants to return. do they have against this democratically elected leader? i do not know what kind of respect u.s. has for democracy and people self-determination anyway. i do not know if they have that. but weart of an ideal, know our history. at every point in time, they have undermined the possibilities of democracy in haiti. aristide represents that. you can say whatever you want about aristide.
way, 80 represents something to the hemisphere. heydey becoming a functioning democracy represents something beyond that. every other country in the hemisphere connects their independence, their own sense of sovereignty to haiti. >> i know you have to leave. but the power up found is the power of storytelling. you have been focused on haiti andanting to tell the story what it has grabbed you for so many years, something you want to pass on to future generations. >> it is my story. earlier, douglas said
we owe so much to haiti. is an extraordinary story, the only of its kind ever in human history. these slaves revolted and challenged an empire. a new construct of capitalism and liberal democracies. and is this small country these people stand up and say, it applies to us. >> you have been listening to and watching danny glover talk about a remarkable film that has won many awards that he co- produced called "the black power mixtape." danny glover talking about the rare, archival footage that went into the making of this film. we urge you to go to the phones and let us know that you are there, that you're standing up
for independent media. "the black power mixtape" comes from the basement of swedish public television, believe it or not. at the end of the 1960's european interest in the civil- rights and anti-war movement peaked with a combination of swedishent and naivite, individuals interviewed members of the black power movement. despite obstacles they were confronted with from conservative establishment, radical members themselves, the swedish film makers did not cease their investigation, bonded by the common cause of equal rights for all. so they made this film. it was a special about 30 years ago. the current swedish filmmaker discovered footage
in the basement of swedish public television, the scores of hours that went into making this documentary. they went back to this country and completed this much larger film. danny glover co-produced it. they not only interviewed people back in the 1960's an 1970's, everybody from stokely carmichael, kathleen cleaver, bobby seale, angela davis, and they also went to modern-day musicians and activists, like , rry belafonte, erykah badu and put together this remarkable film. we are making it available to you for the contribution of $100.
the conversation you just watched was my conversation with sundancever at the film festival. 7 $5 contribution if you want that interview. $150, yout to pledge get the interview and "the black power mixtape." we urge you to call 866-359- 4334 and become a member of live tv. we cannot do this without you. we need your support. there is a reason why you to into democracy now! hearingppreciate interviews with the head of the progressive magazine talking about fbi surveillance of the occupy movements, infiltration of centers, authorities working with private corporations and thes, organizations like american legislative exchange council working with corporate for to write legislature
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