That said, as a former leader of the Party, I assert authority to state that Stanley Nelson ultimately debases the Party, which history will substantiate was, to this very day, the greatest effort for freedom ever made by Africans lost in America. Nelson does this by excising from his film the Party’s ideological foundation and political strategies, despite the wealth of published materials articulating the Party’s goals and ideals, reducing our activities to sensationalist engagements, as snatched from establishment media headlines.
It basically sounds like the creator of this documentary was trying to make it another propaganda piece against the BPP as it focused way too much on one guy who was actually trying to take the Black Panthers down and ignored so much of what the BPP was actually about.
Minimizing the role of Huey Newton, founder of the Party, along with Bobby Seale, Nelson elevates the role in the Party of Eldridge Cleaver—who individually did more to try to destroy the Party than the U.S. government. This elevation of Cleaver is a clue to the point of Nelson’s “documentary”—to produce a piece of provocative propaganda worthy of the FBI itself. Though Cleaver was but a fleeting darling of the establishment press who was in the Party for no more than a year or so before being expelled, footage of Cleaver and “Cleaverites” overwhelms almost half of Nelson’s two-hour film.
So disregard what I said before. If you want to learn more about the Black Panther Party, read this article by Elaine Brown, former head of the Black Panthers, about how much that documentary fucked up. I learned a few things just from reading that.