Regardless of what one may think of the '60s (was it a ridiculous experiment in hedonism or a time of genuine idealism and hope?), the decade was undeniably a groundbreaking period for American human rights. Enter the Black Panthers, one of the most iconic groups to emerge from the era. Their unique blend of militant activism, in-your-face fashion, and open hostility toward a society that forces African Americans to exist on the fringe still influences hip hop, politics, and cinema, close to 50 years later. In Framing the Black Panthers, Jane Rhodes, cultural historian and chair of the American studies department at Macalester College, discusses the emergence of and influence that the Black Panthers held over the black power movement. Using never-before-seen photographs and documents, Rhodes explores how the Black Panthers were able to use the media (which often openly condemned the group) as a tool, exploiting it in ways that helped the movement gain national coverage.
Thu., Dec. 13, 7 p.m., 2007