International Black Panther Party Film Festival

July 31 to August 4, 2003 - New York


I arrived at JFK airport and my son picked me up and later on I took the A train to Harlem to Cleo Slivers and Ron Paints pad where I stayed for the next 5 days. This would be my first International Film Festival, Kathleen Cleaver invited me to come and bring the Black Panther Photo Exhibit" Louder Than Words". I was looking forward to meeting more N.Y. Panthers and supporters the event was from July 31-August 4.

I attended everyday of the Festival, it was well attended, and I had a chance to talk to many people and former Party members as well as Fred Hampton Jr. and M-1 from the Dead Presidents, Iris Morales maker of the documentary about the Young Lords organization. Because I had the photo's I did get a lot of attention, I was able to pass out many issues of our newspaper" It's About Time as well as other material about the legacy of the Party and collect names and addresses of those whom wanted to stay in contact.

The Festival got a lot of coverage from both the print media as well as radio; I must have heard Kathleen on four different radio programs over the weekend. I have seen many of the videos and films before, but there were a number of the international films Iíve never seen (check for list of video's shown).

I really liked the fact this event is supported by the comrade former Party members like Bullwhip, Billy Johnson, Cleo, Yasmein, and many other supporters and students from Columbia College where part of this event was held. The other location was Aaron Davis Hall on City College in Harlem, and on the last day, the Film festival was held at the Studio Museum of Harlem. There was a big turn out with actor/activist Danny Glover and filmmaker St. Clair Bourne. They all spoke about their connection to the Party; Danny was from San Francisco and a student at San Francisco State during the Student Strike of 1968. As a student, he became very close to the Party through the SF Chapter of the Party.

After the event at the Studio, a few comrades, Kathleen, St.Clair Bourne, Danny, and I went to dinner at Native Son. I was seating next to Danny, I pulled out a photo book from my bag with over 200 photos, and I let Danny look at it. He was really amazed, he went page to page naming Panthers, he really knew a lot, that really showed me he was really connected, and when he saw the photo of Donald Cox (Field Marshall of the BPP and in exile) he got really excited and started telling us about how he knew DC. After looking at the photo's he and St Clair wanted my card, because they say they will be putting something together in the future about the Party on an International basis and would like to use some of It's About Times photo's.

Before I left to come home, I was able to collect and gather items for our archives. Cleo donated a booklet with photos about the Young Lords whom she was also a member and a few interviews of Cleo and Henry Mitchell from N.Y.

I had a chance to go to the Schaumburg Museum in Harlem to view some of the things they have on the Party in N.Y. I was disappointed in their photo collection with only 15 photo's all of leadership (Central Committee). I enjoyed myself and when back to Sacramento to get ready for a 10-day road tour with the Photo exhibit.

C. Innis (Bullwhip) & Ju JO with son

C. Innis (Bullwhip) & Ju JO with son

Fred Hampton Jr. & M-1 of Dead Presidez

Fred Hampton Jr. & M-1 of Dead Presidez

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