This third season of the Liberation Film Series (LFS) is focused on Human Rights: Self-Respect, Self-Defense and Self-Determination. Each year this acclaimed, nationally supported and hard-hitting series promotes literacy, independent thought, critical analysis and informed activism. LFS thrives to engage the youth, families, the grassroots community, and scholar-activists in educational films and “community conversations” of contemporary relevance that focus on creating learning opportunities, increased clarity, and new solutions to current and emerging sociopolitical challenges.
On April 12, 1964, just over fifty years ago, Malcolm X (El Hajj Malik El Shabazz) stated: “We are fighting for recognition as human beings. We are fighting for the right to live as free humans in this society. In fact, we are actually fighting for rights that are even greater than civil rights and that is human rights.” It is in this spirit that the Liberation Film Series is offered for your full participation and edification. Spread the word.
The Liberation Film Series is supported by the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and the Black/African Studies Departments of Michigan State University, Edwards and Jennings, P.C., National Conference of Black Lawyers, Wolverine Bar Association, Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association, University of Michigan - Dearborn, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, Wayne State University, Eastern Michigan University, Wayne County Community College District, Oakland University, University of Massachusetts – Amherst, National Council of Black Studies, Dr. Errol Henderson (Pennsylvania State University), Media Education Foundation, The Walter P. Reuther Library – Wayne State University, Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association, Wayne State University Press, Michigan Humanities Council, community activists, and individual contributors. Charles Ezra Ferrell, a consultant to The Wright Museum, is the LFS Founder and Program Director.
All films and discussions are free and open to the public, and take place in the Museum's General Motors Theater.
Click here to read Statements of Endorsement given to the Liberation Film Series.
Click here to view a retrospective of the premiere LFS 2012-2013 season.
Click here for information on HIP: The Honoring Ibn Project.
The Evolution of a Revolutionary: Tribute to General Gordon Baker, Jr.: A video interview by Dr. Muhammad Ahmad (Maxwell C. Stanford, Jr., Drumming by Amen-Ra Drummers, African Dance by El-Nur Children Dancers Poetry by Dr. Gloria House (Aneb Kgositsile, Slideshow by Charles Ezra Ferrell. Panelists: Marian Kramer, John Williams, Frank Joyce, Bob King and Ron March.
General Gordon Baker, Jr. (September 6, 1941 – May 17, 2014) was an internationally-known labor leader and human rights activist who has been called the most important 21st century American revolutionary. He was a leader of the Detroit wildcat strikes in the 1960s, a founder of the Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement (DRUM) and the legendary League of Revolutionary Black Workers and the first American to refuse induction to fight in Vietnam.
Opening Exhibition Reception: Raz Baaba Aaron Ibn Pori Pitts: Portraits of a Revolutionary Artist
Featuring Band Unit #10: Ras Kente, Tony Holland, Kenny Green, Kamal Amen-Ra, Mark Lemon
This exhibition honors native of Detroit, Raz Baaba Aaron Ibn Pori Pitts, a visual and performance artist who creates powerful works of art in several genres including drawings, collages, and prints. "Raz Baaba Aaron Ibn Pori Pitt: Portraits of a Revolutionary Artist" is funded in part by the Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Raz Baaba Aaron Ibn Pori Pitts: Portraits of a Revolutionary Artist
The Artist: Allie McGhee, M. Saffell Gardner, Dr. Nubia Kai, Dr. Bill Harris, Gilda Snowden
The Revolutionary: Marian Kramer, Dr. Aneb Kgositsile (Gloria House), Herb Boyd, Nehimiah Pitts
This third season of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History's Liberation Film Series (LFS) begins Saturday, September 13, 2014, with the world premiere of this LFS-produced documentary. "Raz Baaba Aaron Ibn Pori Pitt: Portraits of a Revolutionary Artist" is funded in part by the Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Our Generation: Australian Racism and The Indigenous Struggle for Human Rights and Self-Determination
Discussion with Aku Kadogo, Spelman's Cosby Endowed Professor in the Arts and an international theater director, choreographer, educator and creative producer.
Our Generation is an independent documentary film, made over 3 years, that looks at the current state of Indigenous relations in Australia, home to one of the oldest living cultures in the world. Driven by the remote Yolngu peoples of Northeast Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory, the film shines a light on the ongoing struggle of Aboriginal people to their culture, land, and basic human rights.
Cuba: An African Odyssey (Part 1 @ The Wright Museum)
Discussion: The Role of Cuba in the African National Liberation Struggles
with Dr. Errol Henderson and Maurice Carney
Cuba: An African Odyssey (Part 2 Monday, November 17 from 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
at Brody Hall Auditorium, Room 112, Michigan State University)
with Dr. Rita Kiki Edozie and Maurice Carney; reception to follow
Cuba, an African Odyssey is the previously untold story of Cuba’s support for African revolutions, one of the Cold War’s most vigorous contests over resources and ideology.The film traces the pivotal role played by Cuba’s international policy in helping independence struggles on the African continent beginning with Che Guevara’s mission into the Congo to avenge the death of Patrice Lumumba and then Cuba’s support of Amílcar Cabral’s uprising in Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde. From Che Guevara’s military campaign to avenge Lumumba in the Congo up to the fall of apartheid in South Africa, 300,000 Cubans fought alongside African revolutionaries.
Soul Food Junkies: A Film About Family, Food & Tradition
Discussion: Self – Determination: The Politics of Urban Land, Food & Community Agriculture
with Malik Yakini, Executive Director: The Detroit Black Community Food Security Network (DBCFSN)
Award-winning filmmaker Byron Hurt offers a fascinating exploration of the soul food tradition, its relevance to black cultural identity, and its continuing popularity despite the known dangers of high-fat, high-calorie diets. Inspired by his father's lifelong love affair with soul food even in the face of a life-threatening health crisis, Hurt discovers that the relationship between African-Americans and dishes like ribs, grits, and fried chicken is deep-rooted and culturally based. At the same time, he moves beyond matters of culture and individual taste to show how the economics of the food industry have combined with socioeconomic conditions in predominantly black neighborhoods to dramatically limit food choices.
Against The Wind: Blacks in the Business of Law
Tribute to Honorable Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, Esq.
Discussion: Resisting Racial and Class Oppression in the US Injustice System
with attorneys Jeffrey L. Edison, Alice Jennings, and Carl Edwards
Produced by Ted Talbert and narrated by former WDIV news anchor Emery King, Against The Wind: Blacks in the Business of Law looks at some of the trials that made history and some of the lawyers that fought the battles and stood strong against the wind. This special tribute event to the late Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, Esq. will also include a community conversation and Q&A on "Resisting Racial and Class Oppression in the US Injustice System” with Alice Jennings, Carl R. Edwards, Judge Adam Shakoor, Elliott Hall, and Jeffrey L. Edison.
Free Angela Davis and All Political Prisoners
Discussion with Dr. Ahmad Rahman
"Free Angela Davis and All Political Prisoners" chronicles the high stakes crime, political movement, and trial that catapults the 26 year-old newly appointed philosophy professor at the University of California at Los Angeles into a seventies revolutionary political icon. Nearly forty years later, and for the first time, Angela Davis speaks frankly about the actions that branded her as a terrorist and simultaneously spurred a worldwide political movement for her freedom.
The Spook Who Sat By the Door
Discussion: Revolutionary Fantasy or Historical Fact
Speaker: Dr. Melvin Peoples, Associate Professor, Eastern Michigan University
The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History presents a free screening of “Spook Who Sat By the Door” followed by a community conversation with Dr. Melvin Peters, Associate Professor, Eastern Michigan University. This event is free and open to the public.
"The Spook Who Sat by the Door" is a 1973 film based on the riveting 1969 novel of the same name by author, Sam Greenlee (1930 - 2014). It is both a powerful story of the late 1960s Black Liberation Movement in the United States, with a particular focus on Black militancy.
For The Cause
This riveting feature film by Katherine Nero is about legal advocacy and family dynamics focused on generational secrets and their socio-psychological impact. Speakers and panelists include Michael Ingram, M.D., President, Black Psychiatrist of America, Inc., Tiffani Bell, M.D. - Board Trustee, Member in Training - Black Psychiatrist of America, Inc., Patricia A. Newton, M.D., M.P.H., M.A.- Ex. Director/CEO, Black Psychiatrist of America, Inc., and filmmaker Katherine Nero. This event is part of the Black Psychiatrists of America, Inc. spring educational conference, CIVIC MENTAL HEALTH: Developing An Agenda For Healing Our Communities and The Nation.
Let It Burn
Tribute to Robert Franklin Williams (1925-1996) and Mabel Ola Robinson Williams (1931-2014)
Speakers: Rev. John Williams, Esq., Dr. Muhammad Ahmad (Maxwell Curtis Stanford, Jr.), Rev. Mama Sandra, Dr. Charles Simmons.
In 1956, U.S. Army and Marine Corps vet Robert Franklin Williams attempted to integrate the Monroe, North Carolina swimming pool. When the Ku Klux Klan answered with violence, Williams and other Black vets formed the "Guard," an armed self-defense unit. In 1961 the "Freedom Riders," who'd asked Williams and the Guard not to intervene during pacifist integration efforts in Monroe, were attacked by the KKK. With the Police Chief threatening to hang him, and tanks approaching, Williams fled with his family to New York. Charged with kidnapping and hunted by the FBI, he escaped to Cuba, and later China, before returning to the U.S. to fight the charges, which were eventually dropped for lack of evidence. Let It Burn is an in-depth interview with Robert Franklin Williams by Robert Carl Cohen.
Malcolm X 90th Anniversary Celebration
“The secret to life is to have no fear.” – Malcolm X
The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History presents this Malcolm X 90th Anniversary Celebration featuring a free screening of "History in the Making: The OAAU Reunion, August 26, 2006, Harlem, New York City," keynote speaker Rodnell P. Collins, President of the Organization of African American Unity (OAAU) and nephew of Malcolm X, and Dr. Rita Kiki Edozie, Professor of International Relations and African Affairs and Director, African American and African Studies at Michigan State University, who will address the topic, “From OAU to OAAU: Malcolm’s Pan Africanism.” Collins will speak on “The OAAU 2015: What Must Be Done!” Collins is also the founder and president of The Malcolm X Ella L. Little-Collins Family Foundation, Inc., and owner and curator of the Malcolm X Ella L. Little-Collins House National Historic Landmark.
Malcolm X 90th Birthday Liberation Concert featuring The Last Poets
This special concert event honors the 90th birthday of Malcolm X (El Hajj Malik El Shabazz) with performances by Grammy Award-nominated artists The Last Poets, 3rd Eye Open Collective, youth performers, and a special Malcolm X display by the Black History 101 Mobile Museum. Known as "The Godfathers of Hip Hop," The Last Poets have performed with Common, Dead Prez, Kayne West, Pharaoh Sanders, and many others. Their spoken word albums preceded political projects such as Marvin Gaye’s "What's Going On," and foreshadowed the work of hard-hitting rap groups like Public Enemy and Dead Prez. Tickets for the Malcolm X 90th Birthday Liberation Concert are $20 and are available online at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1434618 or at the museum's Information Desk.
Discussion: The Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM): Armed Resistance in the Black Liberation Struggle
For the final event of the 2014-2015 season of the Liberation Film Series, this free screening of “Cointelpro 101” is followed by a discussion entitled "The Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM): Armed Resistance in the Black Liberation Struggle." Panelists will include Dr. Muhammad Ahmad (Maxwell Stanford) and Dr. John H. Bracey.