Free WSIU Film Screening on Sat, Feb 13 to Focus on Black Panther Movement

Feb 5, 2016

For Immediate Release

Friday, February 5, 2016

Women drilling with Panther flags.
Credit Pirkle Jones and Ruth-Marion Baruch

Contact: Beth Spezia, WSIU Educational Outreach Coordinator, (618) 453-5595,; Lisa Tawil, ITVS, (415) 356-8383, ext. 244,

Press materials:

WSIU, Carbondale Public Library to Host Free Film Screening & Discussion on February 13, Film: The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

Carbondale, ILWSIU Public Broadcasting, a service of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and the Carbondale Public Library, in partnership with Indie Lens Pop-Up, the Independent Television Service (ITVS), and the PBS series Independent Lens, are pleased to present a free screening of The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, a film by Stanley Nelson.

The event will be held on Saturday, February 13 at 2:30pm at the Carbondale Public Library. Snow date is February 20 at 2:30pm should inclement weather arise.

Discussion moderators for the local screening are community activist Melvin “Pepper” Holder, Imam Abdul Haqq of the Islamic Center of Carbondale, and Dr. Pamela Smoot, Clinical Assistant Professor, SIU Africana Studies. Guests will be entered in a drawing for a $100 Amazon gift card.

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution is the first feature-length documentary to explore the Black Panther Party, its significance to the broader American culture, its cultural and political awakening for black people, and the painful lessons wrought when a movement derails. Featuring Kathleen Cleaver, Jamal Joseph, and dozens of others, alongside a soul-power soundtrack of the music so integral to the Party's identity, the Stanley Nelson film offers an essential history lesson and a vibrant chronicle of a pivotal movement that gave rise to a new revolutionary culture in America.

For more information about the film, visit or You may also visit WSIU’s web page at Questions about the screenings should be directed to the Carbondale Public Library at (618) 457-0354 or WSIU at (618) 453-5595.

About the Filmmakers

Stanley Nelson (Director/Writer/Producer) is an Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, MacArthur ‘Genius’ Fellow, and member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama in August 2014. Nelson has directed and produced numerous acclaimed films, including Freedom Summer, Freedom Riders, Jonestown: The Life and Death of People’s Temple and The Murder of Emmett Till. He is also co-founder and Executive Director of Firelight Media, which provides support to emerging documentarians. Currently in production is Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the second in a series of three films Nelson will direct as part of a new multiplatform PBS series entitled America Revisited.

Laurens Grant (Producer) is a Peabody and three-time Emmy award-winning producer and director who has been making films for more than a decade. Her documentary Jesse Owens won an Emmy for Outstanding Research and received two Emmy nominations, for Outstanding Historical - Long Form and Outstanding Music and Sound. Grant also produced Freedom Riders, which premiered at Sundance, won a Peabody, three Primetime Emmys, was featured on Oprah, and clips are featured in Lee Daniels’ film, The Butler.

About Indie Lens Pop-Up

Indie Lens Pop-Up is a neighborhood series that brings people together for film screenings and community-driven conversations. Featuring documentaries seen on the PBS series Independent Lens, Indie Lens Pop-Up draws local residents, leaders, and organizations to discuss what matters most, from newsworthy topics to family and relationships. Make friends, share stories, and join the conversation. Find Independent Lens on Facebook for information on online Pop-Up events.

About WSIU Public Broadcasting

WSIU Public Broadcasting is licensed to the Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University and is an integral part of the College of Mass Communication & Media Arts on the Carbondale campus. The WSIU stations reach more than three million people across five states and beyond through three digital public television channels, three public radio stations, a radio information service, a website, and an education and community outreach department. WSIU's mission is to improve the quality of life of the people they serve. The WSIU stations partner with other community organizations to promote positive change and to support the academic and public service missions of Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Learn more and get the latest station news online at and on WSIU's Facebook and Twitter pages. WSIU's programs and services are partially funded by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

About the Carbondale Public Library

The Carbondale Public Library provides resources and services to support the educational, informational, cultural, and recreational needs of the Carbondale community. The library is part of the Illinois Heartland Library System. For more information about the library, including how to get a library card, call (618) 457-0354.

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