American Revolution 2 documents the activist conditions of 1968 Chicago. The first 30 minutes are a bit slow, but the rest is electrifying. It shows how the Black Panther Party united with a poor white group, the Young Patriots Organization.
The groups unite and talk about common issues: police brutality, rent and slums, jobs, education. Through these common issues, they build a multi-racial, multi-age, multi-district coalition to fight for the poor.
They had a movement here. Although Fred Hampton does not(?) appear in the film, it is so obvious why the FBI, Illinois State Attorney’s Office, & Chicago Police Department assassinated him.
I want to put a fine point on it because school never did. Fred Hampton, one of the most charismatic people I’ve ever seen, was shot in his sleep at age 21. He would be 72 if he were alive today.
The FBI assassinated him because he and the Black Panthers were growing too powerful. American Revolution 2 gives the impression of a growing social movement. If Black people can get whitey on their side, nothing will stop them. Some scenes could have been shot yesterday.
The group is mad about police brutality, so some high ranking police officer shows up and says “that shouldn’t have happened”. This is only years before CPD was literally torturing Black people, which was not revealed for decades.
Then and now, the police talk cheap while not changing their behavior. Then, people were concerned about being beaten as they walked down the street. Now they’re worried about being frisked. The details change while the purpose and broad strategy stays the same.
American Revolution 2 predicts the revolution that hasn’t come yet. The Black Panthers and Young Patriots have reasonable demands that resonate today. No wonder the mayor stopped them at all costs.
PPS. I wish the audio was clearer. I bet newer machine learning models could separate out the speech from background noise and clean it up.