Seattle high school paints tribute to Black Panthers

Seattle high school paints tribute to Black Panthers


(bright, upbeat music) – There we go (bright upbeat music) (students talking) – What’s gonna happen
is we’re gonna start on this end, and move this way. – I’m gonna cry
– Are you gonna cry? – Yeah, it’s the
panel I painted! – If we could all
“Power to the People!” – [Students] Power
to the People! – The 45th President
of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump. (sirens)
(protestors chanting) – The day after the
Presidential inauguration, what was really more of
a blow than just the news of the inauguration was
the students reactions, so, I just saw it as a call to action, that I
needed to do more. I just got the
vision the day after that I’m gonna
start this art club. – Arts of Resistance
and Resilience Club started about two
years ago. Our advisor, Ms. Holloway, started
a club to do artwork and displaying social
justice and our perspective of societies
problem through art. – Even though its a
small group of students, but every student in
there, they actually care. – The projects that we did
were things like T-shirts, posters, ways to
spread a message and to organize
people around an idea. But I really didn’t
take to heart what this club was doing
until the next year, when we started on
the mural project. – We were contacted
by Lauren Holloway out at Franklin High
School, who was working with a group of
students who wanted to do something
honoring the legacy of the Seattle chapter of
The Black Panther Party. (upbeat, jazzy music) – [Lauren] I saw a screening
of My People Are Rising, it just struck me how so
many of these young people that were doing this work were
between the ages of 17 and 20 – [voiceover recording]
Negroes will be organized for their own
political interest. – Well I was a junior
at Garfield High
School at the time, we became the first
chapter formed outside of the state of California
in April of 1968. Many Panthers were young,
we were basically kids. I think that’s probably the
reason why we had no fear. We felt we could have an impact, age was not a consideration. We were driven by the
conditions within our country, and we were determined
to make a difference. – [Lauren] So many of
our students at Franklin are directly impacted
by a lot of these things that the current
administration is doing, and I started thinking
about the same kind of sense of civic
duty the Panthers had, that we could instill in
these young people as a way of kind of saying, hey, you
don’t like the way things are going in your
community or the world, you can do something about it. – We could probably go
up to the Angel Lake and put some there as well. I will put in this work — – We hear about how
great America is, but when you peel
back the layers, you see the people
that are downtrodden, the people that
have been suffering, we wanna make sure that young
people understand the history and legacy of the
Black Panther Party. Learn from past experiences, what we did that was successful, what we did that didn’t work. – Originally, I came
in here and I was like, Yeah, I can change the world,
it’s easy, just make artwork, but then there was
just so much behind it, like politically
how everything’s
systematically structured, and it’s really hard
to break that chain, and how people are
just so concentrated in what their perspectives were and not really aware
of anything else. – [Lauren] They’re just learning that change does not
happen overnight. The things that
activists were fighting for 50 years ago we’re
still fighting for today, and it’s a long process
and it’s a lot of work, and it’s work that
cannot be done alone. We must do it together
and be organized about it. – Art can be used as a
tool for social change, any kind of powerful
social movement is gonna have it’s artists
to deliver that vision. – This club inspires
me to be more aware, it makes me realize
that I have a voice too, and my voice matters. – I’ve definitely
become more aware of different problems
in the world, like I’ve paid a
lot more attention to racism, sexism, homophobia. – I think young
people here in the US have become more
inspired here as of late. – [Rapper] Right fist in
the sky, revolutionary. Black Lives Black Pride.
– Young people today face a daunting future. Yes,
they need to be aware. Yes, they need to be
standing up and fighting now. – They say we never made
it, y’all, but we here! Can y’all make some noise
for The Black Panthers. (cheering)
(guitar strumming) (cheering) – This was when we were
registering the Vote campaign (jazzy piano) – I hope people, when
they walk past the mural, that they will see
these are people that sacrificed
their life every day to make their
communities better. – When we look back
at the history, we see youth who are
making this change. A lot of people see us as
people who have no voice, because the people who
are actually doing things are older than us, have
more power than us, we can also create this
change from our perspective. – Walking to school I know
I’m gonna see it every day and be like, yeah,
this can be me. – (chanting) Power to
the people! (chanting) – It made me feel
empowered. I know I have a small voice, but,
I’ll just say it again, my voice does matter. There’s a lot going on and
there needs to be a change. (jazzy piano)

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