New Haven Panther: Message to Goddard Alternative Media Conference


1970 | 00:31:45 | United States | English | B&W | Mono | 4:3 | 1/2" open reel video

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: Activism, African-American, Documentation, Film or Videomaking, Race, Technology, Television, Video History

Skip Blumberg of the Videofreex conducts an interview with Charles “Cappy” Pinderhughes, the Lieutenant of Information of the New Haven branch of the Black Panther Party. From the steps of the New Haven headquarters, Cappy publicizes the upcoming Revolutionary Peoples Constitutional Convention set to take place in Washington, D.C. later that week (June 19th, 1970). In addition, Cappy provides a statement to be shared via the Videofreex at the Alternative Media Conference occurring at Godard College in Vermont. His mandate for the alternative media movement includes the demand that white leftists document every political trial happening in the United States. As evidence of the politics of erasure practiced by the “pig media,” and the unjust selection of juries, Cappy speaks of the lack of coverage surrounding the recent trial of Black Panther Lonnie McLucas, one of the “New Haven Nine,” and urges those with access to video equipment to act.

The second half of this tape includes footage of the ground-breaking Alternative Media Conference weekend hosted by Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont in June of 1970. At a concert staged in an open field, the Videofreex use the crowd of predominantly white youths as subjects, experimenting with close-up framing, as well as hard and soft focus to create a document of the event’s communal atmosphere. Following the momentum catalyzed by the unanticipated turnout of 1,700 participants, the conference would lead to the establishment of Goddard College’s still-lively community radio station, WGDR 91.1 FM, which carried on the aspirations of the conference: to create media that “awakens rather than aestheticizes.”

—Faye Gleisser

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