Part One - The Cancer of Betrayal
How is militant resistance to social injustice and revolution portrayed on screen? How does society reckon with the political upheaval, unrest? How do movements function, endure and triumph double informants, and betrayal.
As a response to the recent success of the Academy Award nominated Judas and the Black Messiah, this film series looks at the cinematic treatment of the struggle of African, Irish and Black Movements and the issues of betrayal experienced between them all.
The relationship between Irish Independence and black civil rights begins with Frederick Douglass and climaxes with the support of Marcus Garvey"s millions strong UNIA after the Irish Rising of 1916.
On July 27, 1919, Garvey, rose to address a crowd of almost 6,000 people who had come to dedicate Liberty Hall, on Harlem’s 138th Street, as the new headquarters of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). the major focus of Garvey’s speech on this particular occasion was not the African-American freedom struggle but the Irish one:
"The time has come for the Negro race to offer up its martyrs upon the altar of liberty even as the Irish has given a long list from Robert Emmet to Roger Casement."
The very name of the building that Garvey dedicated, “Liberty Hall,” reflected his admiration of this struggle. It was named after Dublin’s Liberty Hall, the site from which the 1916 Easter Rising had been launched.
When Cyril Briggs organized the secret African Blood Brotherhood for African Liberation and Redemption he drew explicitly on the model of the secret Irish Republican Brotherhood, which had been at the center of the Easter Rising.
In February 1921, Briggs hailed “the Irish fight for liberty” as “the greatest epic of modern times and a sight to inspire to emulation all oppressed groups.”
"Garvey recognized the kinship of the Irish and Pan-African struggle for freedom from the British Empire. Garvey’s awareness of the slogans and methods of Irish nationalists as well as his connection, personal and symbolic, with Irish revolutionaries, shaped the direction of the UNIA-ACL and provided a framework for the struggle of Africans at home and abroad. As Garvey said in his famous Chicago speech in 1919, “Robert Emmet gave his life for Irish independence . . and the new negro is ready to give his life for the freedom."
This was all a century ago, but it is essential we study these histories of struggle to better understand how we challenge all of the contradictions between us.
July 18, 3pm, Online
The Informer (1935) John Ford, 1hr 31m
Forcefully and intelligently written, directed, and acted, John Ford’s The Informer deals with the Irish rebellion against British authority prior to 1922, when the creation of the Irish Free State finally removed the hated symbols of British domination.
Amidst the rebellion-rife slums of Dublin, peasant Gypo Nolan (Victor McLaglen) and sex worker Katie Madden (Margot Grahame) are trying to get money for passage to America. After reproaching her, Gypo is in turn taunted for his miserable poverty and inability to provide money. Stung by the girl’s bitterness, Gypo, in fascinated horror at his own wickedness, deliberately turns informer on his best friend to obtain a £20 reward.
Black Militancy And Revolution in American Cinema - http://blackworldcinema.net
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Part One - The Cancer of Betrayal