I watched a documentary about the Black Panther Party yesterday. Apart from the fact, that the history of state violence against the Black Liberation Movement in the United States is still one of the most disturbing and shocking things you can see proven in Western culture, I always learn from these documentaries about the positive spirit of democratic resistance.
What I mean by that is that the Black Panther activists interviewed in the documentary seem to be satisfied with their lifes. Compared to the normal attitude of contemporary Western people – always doubtful, silent and dissatisfied – it strikes me that the Black Panther activist have such a positive relation to what they have done in the past.
That they got involved into community struggles, that they educated themselves and others about the History of the Black Movement and they stood up against a capitalist and racist system that ignored and ignores their basic needs and democratic rights.
I guess what could help a lot would be to get deeper into understanding this positive spirit of democratic resistance.
Being a lot younger than the Black Panther Activist, I can only try to describe what I see in the endless number of videos and documentaries that try to transmit historical experience of democratic activism. That you personally decide at a certain point in your life to get involved into democratic struggles – and that you might be lucky enough to see the positive consequences of your decision and to know that this decision was right for yourself, even for a lifetime, and even if you have to expect negative sanctions in the future.