Tuesday, February 8, 2011

People to the Voices

The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 wasn't exactly my favorite documentary and I haven't quite figured out why that is. Now, I understand why Goran Hugo Olsson made the film the way he did, but it just didn't work for me. The commentary is what keeps coming to my mind although it isn't because the faces of the commentators weren't shown. I've come up with a few possibilities to why the commentary might be the issue: first is, I had no clue who on Earth some of the commentators were; another is, I wanted to focus more on what I was seeing on the screen rather than having to pay attention to both the archive footage and the personal thoughts about the film; the content of the commentary may have been what bothers me; or, I just might not like commentary in any situation. It would probably help if I saw the film again, but this time in a non-tired migraine-free state.
Anywho, I thought I would include some recent photos of the commentators and links to their sites to get an idea to who they are.
UIC Pavilion, Chicago , IL-3 December 2010
Erykah Badu-musician, songwriter, producer, and actress http://www.baduworld.com/
-The site for all thing Erykah Badu including a link to her charity organization BLIND 501C3. Her charity helps with inner-city youth.

Sonia Sanchez-Poet, Professor, Black Arts Movement, and more.
-I can't find much of her poetry and the libraries in Provo and Orem (including UVU) don't have her books.
-this site has a few of her works down at the bottom of the page
Split This Rock Poetry Festival. 2008. (c) jill brazel photography
Talib Kweli-MC and Spokesperson/Mentor for P'Tones Records (an after school no-cost music program) http://www.yearoftheblacksmith.com/
John Forte (there's a swoosh above the 'e')-Rapper and Record Producer. http://johnforte.com/biography(picture is from his site)
-His site doesn't really include much about his activism, but he does help with at-risk youth. The link I put for Kweli also has some information about Forte.

Robin D. G. Kelley-Professor
(picture is from his site)
http://www.monkbook.com/about/ -This site is for the biography he wrote about Thelonious Monk, a jazz musician. The link will take you to the about the author section of the site.

Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson-Drummer, DJ, Record Producer, and Journalist
(found on independent.co.uk -he's with John Legend here)
Alright, so I can't find a very good site for him or The Roots, so I'm sending you to....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Questlove. I'll change this if I find something better.

Melvin Van Peebles-Actor, Director, Screenwriter, Playwriter, Novelist, Composer...the man can do anything.
http://www.melvinvanpeebles.org/ foundation to provide help to youth with financial need
Angela Davis-
political activist,
scholar, author...
(photo: Adalia)
-an interview with her

Harry Belafonte-I should really hope you know who he is...

1 comment:

  1. Jessica, Thanks so much for doing this homework on the voices over in the Black Power Mix Tape. What is a mix tape? Can you actually find a definition (from a reliable-ish source) that helps define how the film makers were thinking about this footage?

    How comprehensive were you in your research? Did you mention all of the voices over? Do you have any details about what each one said? A great paper possibility would be to consider the voices over (including some of the biographical information you found) as part of the meaning of the film. What would the meaning of the footage be without the voices?

    My research into the Black Power movement suggests that social, political, and cultural forces were so afraid of the possibilities that this movement evoked that every fiber in the ideological apparatus moved to stop the movement. In Hollywood, for example, even in Blaxploitation movies intended to appeal to the growing black urban audience, as well as have crossover appeal in white audiences, Black Power, Black Panther like organizations were represented as ineffectual, poorly organized, and useless. This was usually in the presence of a black (rugged individual) super stud such as Shaft or even Super Fly. So any idea of a socialist movement to change the world had to be suppressed and contained, even in Hollywood.

    I also thought the constant discussion of violence, or nonviolence, in the face of the racist practices of the society that surrounded the black power activists in the Tape deserves more discussion and attention, and actually ties in to If a Tree Falls in terms of how radicalism takes precedence.

    Of course, this is what Malcolm X has already said.

    "Concerning nonviolence: It is criminal to teach a man not to defend himself, when he is the constant victim of brutal attacks. It is legal and lawful to own a shotgun or a rifle. We believe in obeying the law."
    "It doesn't mean that I advocate violence, but at the same time, I am not against using violence in self-defense. I don't call it violence when it's self-defense, I call it intelligence."


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