Legacy: Spirit of the Black Panthers
The Black Panther Party was founded in Oakland, California, in 1966 with the purpose of defending African-Americans from police brutality and violent racism. Chapters formed in several U.S. cities – including Kansas City in 1969, less than a year after deadly rioting devastated east-side neighborhoods.
The documentary Legacy: Spirit of the Black Panthers examines the history of the Kansas City organization and its founder, Pete O’Neal, now exiled in Tanzania. Produced by local filmmakers Jermaine Thomas, Lyle Gibson, and Jacquey Valentine, it looks beyond the militancy associated with the party and focuses on the services the Black Panthers provided to the African-American community, including free breakfast programs, clothing drives, health screenings, and political and educational literacy.
The Library screens the 25-minute film, and the three filmmakers follow with a discussion of the project.