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Black Power Mixtape 1967-75

May 9, 2011


We went to Sweden for the first time a week ago and spent a couple of days in Stockholm with a good friend who took us to see a new documentary called Black Power Mixtape  1967-65. Pieced together by director Göran Hugo Olsson, the film came about after he’d uncovered archive footage of Sweden’s news coverage of the Civil Rights movement in America. Interspersed with audio interviews from (amongst others) Angela Davis, Erykah Badu, Talib Kweli, professor Robin Kelley, Harry Belafonte and Questlove (who also provided the soundtrack in collaboration with Om’Mas Keith), the by no means impartial but somewhat naive coverage is like air freshener in a stuffy broom cupboard.

There’s so many memorable bits like Stokely Carmichael interviewing his own mother and an interview with Angela Davis from inside prison, but it’s Harlem’s National Memorial African Bookshop owner, Lewis Michaux (second image down) who’s wisdom resounded the loudest for me. You can’t argue with a man surrounded by books upon books upon books when he tells you that knowledge is power.

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