The First Rainbow Coalition
Fifty years ago, Chicago’s Black Panther Party formed an unlikely alliance in one of the most segregated cities in America. Intent on addressing police brutality, substandard housing, and other shared issues, the Panthers enlisted a diverse mix of movements including the Latino-based Young Lords Organization and southern whites’ Young Patriots Organization.
The group called itself the Rainbow Coalition. It was short-lived but effective in breaking down barriers between communities, creating a permanent shift in Chicago politics. And it provided a blueprint for future activists. Its story and legacy are chronicled in the documentary The First Rainbow Coalition (2019; 57 min.), which is screened by the Library and KCPT- Kansas City PBS as part of the Indie Lens Pop-Up community cinema initiative.
A discussion follows. The event is co-presented by KCPT- Kansas City PBS.