Films

The First Rainbow Coalition

Film. Directed and produced by Ray Santisteban. Nantes Media LLC. 2019. 56 minutes. In this documentary, Chicago's Black Panther Party forms alliances across lines of race and ethnicity with other community-based movements in the city to collectively confront issues such as police brutality and substandard housing.
Time Periods: People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: Housing, Civil Rights Movements, Education, Labor, Organizing, Racism & Racial Identity

The First Rainbow Coalition begins in 1969, when the Chicago Black Panther Party, notably led by Fred Hampton, forms alliances across lines of race and ethnicity with other community-based movements in the city, including the Latino group the Young Lords Organization and the working-class young southern whites of the Young Patriots.

Finding common ground, these disparate groups banded together in one of the most segregated cities in postwar United States to collectively confront issues such as police brutality and substandard housing, calling themselves the Rainbow Coalition. The First Rainbow Coalition tells the movement’s little-known story through rare archival footage and interviews with former coalition members in the present-day.

While the coalition eventually collapsed under duress from constant harassment by local and federal law enforcement, including the murder of Fred Hampton, it had a long term impact, breaking down barriers between communities, and creating a model for future activists and diverse politicians across America. [Description from PBS.]

Trailer

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