In conjunction with the “AfriCOBRA in Chicago: Philosophy” exhibit at the Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago, South Side Projections presents four free screenings that provide a wider context to the Black Arts Movement of which AfriCOBRA was a part.

These free screenings will take place at the Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th Street on the University of Chicago Campus.


July 12 @ 7pm: Medium Cool

Haskell Wexler, 1969, 110 min., 16mm
Robert Paige in person

Haskell Wexler’s directorial debut immerses the story of a fictional newsman (Robert Forster) falling for a fictional war widow (Verna Bloom) in the very real events surrounding the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, when Mayor Richard J. Daley provided a dramatic background to this otherwise familiar love story by causing the police riot that rages through the film’s climax. AfriCOBRA members Jeff Donaldson and Barbara Jones-Hogu, Kuumba founder Val Grey Ward, and Chicago textile artist Robert Paige appear as black militants.

Medium Cool 16mm print courtesy of the Reserve Film and Video Collection of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.


July 19 @ 7pm: Black Panthers in Their Own Words

Billy Brooks in person

Fred Hampton: Black Panthers in Chicago
Videofreex, 1969, 24 min., DVD
The Videofreex conducted this interview with Fred Hampton, the Deputy Chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, in October 1969, just over a month before he was murdered by the Chicago police. He discusses the Black Panthers’ free health clinics, the Chicago 7 conspiracy trial, the Weathermen, and what the future holds for himself and the Panthers.

Black Panther
Newsreel, 1969, 14 min., DVD
This is the film the Black Panthers used to promote their cause. Shot in 1969, in Oakland, San Francisco and Sacramento, this exemplar of 1960s activist filmmaking traces the development of the Black Panther organization. In an interview from jail, Minister of Defense Huey P. Newton describes the origins of the Panther Party, Eldridge Cleaver explains the Panthers’ appeal to the Black community, and Chairman Bobby Seale enumerates the Panther 10-Point Program as Panthers march and demonstrate.

Newsreel, 1970, 15 min., DVD
“In Repression, support for the Black Panther Party and its Los Angeles chapter is specifically translated into the need for a global working-class struggle against capitalism…. Repression could not have been made except by an alliance between white students and members of the Black Panther Party. In the same way, the international dimension of the struggle could not have been fully figured except by means of images from the Vietnamese and African films that the other Newsreels had imported. By incorporating these, Repression positions itself as part of a global revolt. No other Newsreel work is better structured or more compelling, and none better links the local and global struggles.” — David E. James, “An Impossible Cinema: The Proletarian Avant-Garde in Los Angeles,” in Looking for Los Angeles: Architecture, Film, Photography, and the Urban Landscape, edited by Charles G. Salas and Michael S. Roth (Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, 2001).

Lu Palmer interviews Angela Davis
1972, 18 min., 16mm
Shortly after her acquittal in a Marin County murder trial, activist, Communist Party member, and Black Panther supporter Angela Davis visited Chicago, where she was interviewed by pioneering black Chicago journalist Lutrell “Lu” Palmer at Malcolm X College.

Dead End Street?
Leonard M. Henny, 1970, 11 min., 16mm
Lonnie Ward, an ex-convict and Black Panther, experiences college life in America. He helps found a Black Student Union, which creates a political storm on campus. Later he goes back to the black community to help bring black consciousness to his friends who didn’t go to college.

August 2 @ 7pm: Black Power Poets

Co-presented by Black Cinema House
Poet Amaris Selah will be present to lead discussion

It was for the written word that the Black Arts Movement achieved its greatest amount of recognition, and these films explore the lives of two of the movement’s most talented poets. In Rainbow Black: Poet Sarah W. Fabio (Cheryl Fabio, 1976, 30 min., 16mm), the poet’s daughter tells the story of her mother, the writer and educator lauded as the “Mother of Black Studies.” And In Motion: Amiri Baraka (St. Clair Bourne, 1983, 60 min., DVD) follows the fiery poet through his 1967 arrest and conviction for resisting arrest during the Newark Riots.

Rainbow Black: Poet Sarah W. Fabio print courtesy of the Black Film Center/Archive, Indiana University at Bloomington.


August 9 at 7pm: Black Veterans

Filmmaker Peter Kuttner in person

As black Vietnam veterans learned that their military service didn’t change the pervasive racism they encountered back home, they began to politicize and turn against the war. Trick Bag (1967, 21 min., 16mm), produced by Chicago’s Kartemquin Films, talks to Vietnam vets, gang members, and factory workers about their personal experiences with racism. And in No Vietnamese Ever Called Me Nigger (David L. Weiss, 1967, 68 min., 16mm), shot during a 1967 antiwar march from Harlem to the United Nations building, three black veterans talk about their difficulties finding jobs after returning from Vietnam.

No Vietnamese Ever Called Me Nigger 16mm print courtesy of the Reserve Film and Video Collection of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. No Vietnamese Ever Called Me Nigger has been preserved with funding from the New York State Library, Division of Library Development.