A few months back Philadelphia Printworks interviewed filmmaker, photographer and community organizer Keturah Caesar about her impeccable style and love of Hip-Hop culture. In recent weeks, Caesar has been working on the Huey P.Newton Film Festival which will be based around the life and times of original Black Panther Party member Huey P. Newton. The festival will take place February 20th 2015 from 5PM-9PM at Gilbert Shoes located at 1652 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia PA.
“I am a community organizer and filmmaker that greatly enjoys being rebellious against the powers that be. Huey P. Newton and the original Black Panther Party was that. It was a party that stood up against police brutality at a time where it was acceptable to kill black people.”, says Caesar. “The importance of the Huey P. Newton Film Festival is to educate new school activists and masses about HPN and the Black Panther Party's contribution to African American History.”
In the past Caesar has been known for her affiliation with Philly based political party, Hip Hop Party for the People (HHPP). Over the past few years HHPP has created a community garden, constructed a community school from the ground up and occupied space on Philadelphia Ballots - Caesar ran for City Council at Large in 2011. HHPP has always been inspired by the Original Black Panther Party, their doctrines and guideline are quite similar to those of the panthers. That being said there is no surprise that Caesar decided to use her training and experience in film making to facilitate a film festival that pays homage to the late Newton.
“I took a break from activism as it was needed for my growth in doing community work. As a community organizer, sometimes I go through different eras of changes of understanding. I knew that I wanted to be active in whatever I do. But, I didn’t know how, in this stage of my life. However, when the opportunity presented itself to do a Huey P. Newton film festival, my true love for activism encouraged me to be involved again. I have the utmost respect for Huey P. Newton and the original Black Panther Party.”
Over the years Caesar has been working on a handful of film projects - topics ranging from political activism to the contribution women have made in Philly Hip-Hop, to a multimedia project that blends the core elements of traditional African Dance and breakdancing. Unfortunately, audience members will not get a chance to see this work but they will view The Huey P. Newton documentary as well as “Gangs In Blue”, which focuses on police and judicial misconduct. A poignant message given recent events between black and brown people and law enforcement. Caesar hopes to instil what the papers championed in their golden era.
“It is a collaboration of classic Huey P. Newton/ Black Panther stock footage merging with new school video of current rallies against police brutality, Black Panther Survival programs, which pioneered today's afterschool feed the people programs, and revolutionary inter-communalism which speaks to not only black power, but the people's power all around the world.”, says Caesar. “The HPN film festival consists of a photo exhibit, original artwork, performances, speaking discussion, film screenings and free food! The photo exhibit will display cinematic photos starting from the Civil War, Civil Rights Movement, Nation of Islam, down to the original Black Panther Party. Visual artwork of Huey P. Newton and the Black Panther from Pili X, Noni Red, Rellstylez, and Victorious. Featured performances, Dance Champions that will give us one of a kind step and break dance show .Guest speaker Chernoh Alpha M. Bah from Sierra Leone, and Tommy Joshua, Leader of Philadelphia Peace Park.”
Please make sure to come out to the Huey P. Newton Film Festival that will be taking place on February 20th 2015 from 5PM-9PM at Gilbert Shoes located at 1652 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia PA.
- Lissa Alicia // Author