On Wednesday, Feb. 10, Union hosted a special screening of “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution,” which focused on the actions of a civil rights group known as the Black Panthers during the 1950s and ’60s.
The screening of the 115-minute film from the Firelight Film Company was attended by well over 50 students, staff and faculty.
The film was brought to Union through the Indie Lens Pop-Up film series. The goal of the series is to bring “people together for film screenings and community-driven conversations,” according to the Firelight Film Company’s website.
Director of Multicultural Affairs Jason Benitez kicked off the event by asking members of the audience, “What comes to mind when I say Black Panthers?”
Students responded with answers such as “black pride,” “charisma” and “black excellence.”
After the film, Director of Africana Studies Professor Deidre Hill-Butler led a discussion with the audience.
Many members of the audience were shocked to find the issues that the Panthers faced 50 years ago still haunt the nation today. Members of the audience seemed to agree that though tremendous progress has been made, there is still a long road ahead for the full realization of civil rights. Many audience members stated that they believed the new civil right leaders of today are represented in the Black Lives Matter movement and pointed out similarities with the Panthers.
The screening was part of Union’s Black History Month celebrations.