Wednesday, 11 January 2012


On Friday 20th January Rough Trade East in association with Soda Pictures will be screening BLACK POWER MIXTAPE.

Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 is a rare film; so rare that most of the footage spent over 30 years languishing in a Swedish basement until discovered by director Goran Hugo Olsson who put it together with contemporary audio featuring artists like Erykah Badu and Ahmir 'Questlove' Thompson. Olsson created the ultimate mixtape, an artistic statement that charts the rise of the Civil Rights movement.

The Civil Rights movement came about because the people on the ground level made it happen and part of the success of the movement was due to the universal appeal of the music that represented the eternal fight; from Sam Cooke's 'A Change is Gonna Come' through to the image of Aretha Franklin singing at the funeral of Dr Martin Luther King.

Black Power Mixtape shows us the story of Angela Davis who in 1972 was tried and acquitted for her involvement in the murder of a prominent judge; John Lennon and Yoko Ono recorded the song 'Angela' from the album Some Time in New York City and in the same year the Rolling Stones recorded 'Sweet Black Angel' from Exile on Main Street, both songs playing tribute to Davis.

The cultural influence of the 60's/70's music and the Movement's key figures can still be seen today - from their styles, philosophy and politics. Erykah Badu, who features in BLACK POWER MIXTAPE, has long been associated with a proud afro- centricity coupled with determined feminism - in a male dominated music industry. This mirrors the movement's figureheads such as Angela Davis and Kathleen Cleaver. Other female artists in contemporary music carry on this message of black pride such as India Arie, Jill Scott and the acclaimed rapper, singer-songwriter Lauryn Hill.

For a brief moment in time, a few daring, innovative musicians stood at the crossroads of a revolution in music and culture. Across one of the most turbulent periods in American history -they brought music, medium and message together as never before, composing a soundtrack perfectly tuned to the tempo and pulse of its time and has echoed through the passages of time to today's contemporary rap artists working across the U.S and U.K and still representing a grass roots movement for change and empowerment.

Watch the trailer here...

We are also joined by writer, broadcaster and activist DARCUS HOWE who will be answering questions by LISA BENT. There will also be an opportunity for the audience to ask Darcus questions in the Q&A session after the screening.

More About Darcus Howe...
'Writer, Broadcaster and Activist; Trinidadian born Darcus Howe moved to America in the 1960s, where he was involved in grass-roots activism and witnessed some of the most defining moments in the struggle for racial justice in the US. After moving to the UK in the early 1970s, he joined the British Black Panthers - the first Black Panther organization outside the US, and came to public attention as one of the Mangrove Nine, to protest against police raids of the Mangrove restaurant. In 1981 he organized a 20,000-strong "Black People's March" in protest at the handling of the investigation into the New Cross Fire, in which 13 black teenagers died.

In recent years, he is known for his social commentary - particularly that of the 2011 Riots and television shows, 'White Tribe,' and 'Son of Mine.' He also writes columns for The New Statesman and The Voice."


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