All Power to the People
Cerena Vang
All Power to the People is a documentary that focuses on the racial struggle during the civil right movement. Prior to this class, the last time that I talked about civil rights was in grade school. I had heard about Malcom X but I probably couldn\'t have told you the difference in Martin Luther King Jr and Malcom X. This documentary highlighted the other half of the civil rights movement that is not often taught in schools. This documentary accentuated Malcom X and the Black Panther Party and their struggle with the US government. The past documentaries that we had viewed in class portrayed the US government as an ally to the civil rights movement. All Power to the People, portrayed the US government as an enemy, the group who organized the assassination of Malcom X. After watching this documentary, it seemed to me that Martin Luther King was a leader for the Black community. In a way, Malcom X was fighting for the rights of all colored folk, all people who were victims of racism. Despite his radical thoughts, his teachings seemed to be more inclusive .
Although the assassination of Malcom X was devastating, it sparked the organization of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense. This was the first time I\'d heard the full name for the Black Panther Party. I always thought that not everyone in the Black community would agree with Martin Luther King\'s methods of peaceful protest, however, it was very interesting to me that over time, the second half of the Black Panther\'s name had dropped. Personally, I feel like even now, when people reference the Black Panther Party, they should reference the entire name. It reminds the community that back then, self-defense was not an option for everyone and to certain groups in the community, it still isn\'t an option. This plays such a big role in the current Black Lives Matter Movement right now with the struggles against police brutality. Choosing to add the part about self-defense for their party name was bold on their part. It reminded the community at the time that they were perfectly just as capable of hurting the individuals who hurt them. It was bold and courageous, even though they were just fighting for their equal rights.
During class, we discussed Malcom X and the Black Panther Party and how they would celebrate the characteristics and qualities that were seen by society as "Black". This was a wonderful thought, however, like some critics, I felt that Malcom X\'s opinions about the White community bordered racist. It appears he was just as racist against the White community as they were against the Black co mmunity. I am not saying anything to insult his teachings, he was a very influential man and it\'s obvious that his teachings are still impacting the community to this day, however, it doesn\'t sit well that his views about the White community were similar as their views on the Black community. Malcom\'s views were very radical but I think the most important thing that you could take away from his teachings was Black pride. He made the Black community proud to be Black and highlighted the characteristics that made them unique from the White people. This is very important and can be seen today as the media strives to teach young children that everyone is beautiful in their own way and no one is more beautiful than the other.