Oct 22 6:00 PM - 7:45 PM
In conjunction with the exhibition Organize Your Own: The Politics and Poetics of Self-Determination Movements, the Center for Contemporary Art & Culture will screen American Revolution 2 (1969) Co-Directed by Mike Gray and Howard Alk. The film will be introduced by Walidah Imarisha, a writer, activist, educator and Hy Thurman, an original member of the Young Patriots Organization, a group featured in the film, founded in the late 1960’s in Chicago of displaced southern white youth, who created services in healthcare, breakfast for children programs and fought urban renewal plans to destroy the homes of the southern white residents.
American Revolution 2 begins with footage of the political demonstrations at the 1968 Democratic Convention and the forceful reaction of the Chicago Police Department and the National Guard. Investigating the lack of an African American presence at the protests, the filmmakers follow members of the Chicago chapter of the Black Panther Party as they search for common ground with a variety of white activist groups. In one scene, Panther Bobby Lee and members of the Young Patriots, a community of white Appalachian activists living in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago, organize to protest police brutality. The seemingly disparate groups find shared social and political objectives that overcome racial differences – police violence, poverty, lack of employment, and poor living conditions.
Hy Thurman is originally from Tennessee and now resides in Alabama. A southern migrant, he settled in Chicago
s Uptown community, a predominantly southern white community, in the 1960s at the age of 17. He became a community organizer and co founder of the Young Patriots Organization, a group of displaced southern white youth, and created services in healthcare, breakfast for children programs and fought urban renewal plans to destroy the homes of the southern white residents. He was also co founder of an interracial coalition called the Original Rainbow Coalition made up of the Young Lords, a Puerto Rican gang turned political and the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party to fight for self determination of the people in their communities. He received a BA in Cultural Anthropology in 1973. He is presently working to reboot the Young Patriots and make their forgotten history available to everyone. youngpatriots-rainbowcoalition.org
Walidah Imarisha is a writer, organizer, educator and performance poet. She is co-editor of the anthology Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements. She is author of the poetry collection Scars/Stars, and the upcoming non fiction book on prisons Angels with Dirty Faces: Three Stories of Crime, Prison and Redemption. She has shared the stage and performed with Angela Davis, Amiri Baraka, Cornel West, Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni, Kenny Muhammad of the Roots, Chuck D, Saul Williams, war resister Stephen Funk, Ani DiFranco, John Irving, dead prez and organizer and revolutionary Yuri Kochiyama. Her work has appeared in dozens of publications, including the hip hop anthology Total Chaos. She directed and co-produced the Katrina documentary Finding Common Ground in New Orleans. She has taught in Stanford University’s Program of Writing and Rhetoric, Pacific Northwest College of the Art’s Master in Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Master in Critical Studies Program, Portland State University’s Black Studies Department, and Oregon State University’s Women Gender Sexuality Studies Department.
“Organize Your Own: The Politics and Poetics of Self-Determination Movements” is a exhibition and event series that started in Philadelphia and Chicago in early 2016. OYO features new work by contemporary artists and poets that responds to the history of the mandate from the Black Power movement to “organize your own” community against racism.
OYO opens November 7th and includes two other events, a lecture on November 21st from Daniel Tucker who organized the exhibition and a lecture on Dec 9th from Rosten Woo, an artist and designer featured in OYO.