The YEAR OF EDUCATION / PAULO FREIRE CENTENNIAL FILM SERIES
The multidisciplinary series of documentary and feature films, music, symposia and other public
programming celebrates the legacy of the philosopher and teacher Paulo Freire and the Year of Education and promotes popular education through a multi-faceted lens of community-based empowerment.
SUNDAY MARCH 20 at 7pm cst
FOCUS ON PUBLIC EDUCATION AND THE RIGHT TO THE CITY
FILMS 63 BOYCOTT and 34 DAYS
DISCUSSANTS ALDERMAN JEANETTE TAYLOR, ROSEMARI MEALY, SAM ANDERSON AND MIMUT NUHU
Education in the U.S. is still failing in providing quality education to our underserved student community, an education that inspires them to become a contributing member in their social circles. We will be streaming films that document organized movements that collectively demand improved conditions of public education. Organizations such as the Black Panther Party, proposed a 10-point program that included improvements in the conditions for education. Communities of Chicago parents, teachers and students organized sit-ins and hunger-strikes in response to keep schools open and to demand the city to equip schools with first-class support services. Our discussion will focus on how raising political consciousness can manifest and liberate students in our Black Americans, Latinx, Asian American and Indigenous tribes both in the U.S. and around the globe.
What is the BPP Point #5?
In October 1966 the Black Panther Party (BPP)presented a public manifesto defining the urgent needs of Black citizens who continued to suffer from economic, political, and social violence at the hands of their own government. The Ten-Point Program was both an indictment of America’s past and an explanation of the core beliefs undergirding the demands. The fifth point called for an educational system that gives the learner knowledge of self, is grounded in historical truths, and teaches the current state of Blacks within America. BPP affiliates instituted adult reading circles using materials produced and/or approved by the BPP and challenged the curriculum in their local schools. This call for a revolutionary approach to education was part of a larger initiative by the Black Panther Party and other radical organizations to raise the political consciousness of its members and the wider community.
The Black Panther 10 Point Platform – Point #5 EDUCATION
In October 1966 the Black Panther Party (BPP) presented a public manifesto defining the urgent needs of Black citizens who continued to suffer from economic, political, and social violence at the hands of their own government. The Ten-Point Program was both an indictment of America’s past and an explanation of the core beliefs undergirding the demands. The fifth point called for an educational system that gives the learner knowledge of self, is grounded in historical truths, and teaches the current state of Blacks within America. BPP affiliates instituted adult reading circles using materials produced and/or approved by the BPP and challenged the curriculum in their local schools. This call for a revolutionary approach to education was part of a larger initiative by the Black Panther Party and other radical organizations to raise the political consciousness of its members and the wider community. Our discussion will focus on education as a tool for raising political consciousness, creating self-awareness, and constructing counter-narratives that champion the cultural wealth and resilience of under-resourced communities.
Discussants will reflect on the key points in the film, the continuing relevance of the BPP Platform and what we can do today to move us forward.
63 BOYCOTT 2017 30min. Directors Rachel Dickson, Traceye Matthews and Gordon Quinn
On October 22, 1963, more than 250,000 students boycotted the Chicago Public Schools to protest racial segregation. Many marched through the city calling for the resignation of School Superintendent Benjamin Willis, who placed trailers, dubbed ‘Willis Wagons,’ on playgrounds and parking lots of overcrowded black schools rather than let them enroll in nearby white schools. Blending unseen 16mm footage of the march shot by Kartemquin founder Gordon Quinn with the participants’ reflections today, ’63 Boycott connects the forgotten story of one of the largest northern civil rights demonstrations to contemporary issues around race, education, school closings, and youth activism.
34 DAYS: THE FIGHT FOR DYETT Media Sutra Manauvaskar Kublall
34 Days: The Fight for Dyett is a story showcasing the resilience of a Black Chicago community who risk their lives to save the last public high school in their neighborhood. Together, twelve community members lead a 34-day hunger strike in an attempt to reopen Dyett High School, gaining international headlines for their drastic actions. The brave story of the Hunger Strikers represents the value of fighting against oppressive systems for what you deserve and the importance of Black organizers unifying for their communities. Parents, organizers, students, religious leaders, artists, and even a grandmother of 20, face the reality of what it means to lay their lives on the line for the survival of their community and children. As the pressure rises, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel can no longer run from the situation and must deliver an answer to the Hunger Strikers. Fighting exhaustion, hospitalizations, and malnutrition, the group grapples with the painful reality of how school closures and privatization are intentionally starving Black communities, including their own. After over a month of fighting, the strikers get an answer, showing just how far someone will go to save what they love.
Jeanette Taylor is the alderman of Chicago, Illinois’ 20th ward, taking office as a member of the Chicago City Council in May 2019. At age 19, Taylor was elected as a member of the local school council for Mollison Elementary School, where her son attended school, and served in that position for over 20 years. She has been an organizer at Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, and is a member of The Democratic Socialists of America, People United for Action and United Working Families. In 2015, Taylor led a hunger strike that successfully protested the proposed closure of Dyett High School.
In November 2019, Taylor was one of eleven aldermen to vote against Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s first budget. She joined all five other members of the Socialist Caucus in signing a letter to Lightfoot which criticized her budget for “an over-reliance on property taxes” and “regressive funding models” that are “burdensome to our working-class citizens, while giving the wealthy and large corporations a pass.”.
ROSEMARI MEALY, J.D., PH.D. is a writer and educator, and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the City College of NY (CUNY)- Interdisciplinary Studies Program. Mealy was a member of both the Philadelphia and New Haven Chapters of the Black Panther Party. As an activist and researcher, her scholarship and practice are devoted to the collective repairing of structural inequalities and harms imposed upon the Black and other marginalized and disenfranchised communities. She employs the Black Radical Feminist Intellectual Tradition as a theoretical lens to privilege the lives and wisdom of African Descendants in the Americas. This applicable interpretation results in coalition building that fosters “Community-Engaged/Participatory Action.” Her international solidarity commitments are rooted in a clear analysis of the ways in which the systemic, racist, and destructive foreign policies of the US impose harm against Indigenous and People of the African Diaspora and nations that challenge the hegemony of the United States.
SAM ANDERSON is a retired mathematics and Black history professor who has been active in the Civil Rights and Black Liberation movements since 1964. Being a member of Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and a founding member of the Black Panther Party has allowed him to combine his decades-long activism with his scholastic work.
Mimut Nuhu is a longtime organizer in California where his work spans from San Diego to the Bay Area and beyond. Affectionately known as Brother Mimut, he began his activism as a student at San Jose State University where he founded Hood Patrol to document police misconduct and inspire the community to stand up against the criminal justice system. He continued to hone his skills as an organizer with the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party. Mimut is also a minister of the House of Sankofa whose objective is to ‘rehumanize ourselves to ourselves’ and remind people that all history is a current event. Mimut is co-founder of Liberation Gardens which primary goal is to inform and equip Black and Brown communities to combat nutricide (nutricional genocide). In the international realm, Mimut serves as co-chair of the National Network on Cuba whose goal is to raise awareness about Cuba and its people, fight the embargo/blockade, and return Guantanamo Bay to its rightful owners. This role also provides opportunities to work in solidarity with the oppressed people of the world to obliterate colonialism, imperialism, capitalism, and white supremacy. As co-founder of Kakua:The Self-Determination Center, he manages a unique community space that teaches health and nutrition, self-defense, emergency preparedness, and parenting. Saturday School is also offered to youth along with workshops, presentations, and other gatherings aimed at sharing the brilliance and resilience of Black and Brown people.