The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975

Lluvia Carrisoza, Visual Media Editor


courtesy Google Images

Published: Saturday, February 25, 2012
Updated: Sunday, February 26, 2012 00:02

When the word “mix tape” is used, the first thing that comes to mind are those mix music tapes people use to give each other back in the day. So I thought this documentary would be about music, based on the titled. In actuality the title refers to all the different clips, opinions and voices heard in this film.
The visuals of this film were captured by Swedish reporters between 1967-1975. The aim of the Swedish reporters was to show America as it really was. Although the film can’t be called an objective look at America as it actually was during those years, their footage gives us insight into a vastly different and invaluable aspect of the American experience from the point of view of the Black activists of the era.
The film also comes with audio commentaries from people such as Erykah Badu, Angela Davis, John Forte, and Bobby Seale among many others. I learned a lot from this documentary, specifically more details about the Black Power movement and the importance of all the different rolls individuals such as Angela Davis and Stokely Carmicheal played. Talib Kweli said the footage Swedish reporters shot of Carmichael showed that “he just was a regular dude,” showing a different side of him than the stoic pillar of leadership he was normally portrayed as.
This documentary has become one of my favorites. The Black Power movement has always fascinated me, and I think there is much to learn from the achievements of that generation. It is also interesting because the footage was filmed by non-Americans and focused on different aspects of Americana as a result. The Swedish reporters showed a fresh vision of the United States and the Black Power Movement. The minorities of the world should look at the Black Power movement for inspiration and ideas, and this documentary can help them gain inspiration.