Tag Archives: Black Panther Party

Freedom School Announces Classes on The Civil Rights Movement

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The Mohawk Valley Freedom School will have three classes on the Black Freedom (Civil Rights) Movement this month. Local activist and Freedom School educator Alicia McWilliams will teach the classes. The first class on March 11th at 7:00pm will give an introduction to the Black Freedom Movement. Class will start with a screening of part of the powerful documentary on the subject Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965.  This will lead into a discussion that compares the Civil Rights Movement with various social movements today. The second class on March 18th will continue this discussion. Students will be encouraged to do their own research before coming to class and present their findings on the Black Freedom struggle to the class at large. The next class on March 25th will go over the history of the FBI’s counter-intelligence program (COINTELPRO) which was created to destroy the Black Freedom, Black Power and New Left movements of the 1950s-1970s. As always, this history and these movements will be brought to the present as we ask the questions: how is this relevant to us today, how can we learn from this, and how do we move forward?

Alicia McWilliams is a dedicated activist and organizer who has been active in New York City, Utica and across the state and country. She has been very active in fighting for civil liberties, defending the Newburgh 4 and others unjustly targeted by the War on Terror, ending mass incarceration and the New Jim Crow, and with the Mohawk Valley Freedom School.

The Mohawk Valley Freedom School is located at Cornerstone Community Church, 500 Plant Street in Utica. Classes are from 7:00-8:30pm with a free dinner at 6:30pm. Please contact 732-2382 or mvfreedomschool@gmail.com. This class is free and open to the public and to people of all ages and backgrounds.

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Freedom School Class – Thursday, March 20

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The Black Panther Party: What We Want, What We Believe
Proctor High School student Marquis Palmer will lead discussion in this class about the Black Panther Party as we learn about the transition from Black Freedom to Black Power in the turbulent 1960s. We will discuss misconceptions about the Panthers, as well as the organization’s community programs, the multiracial Rainbow Coalition, and the FBI program COINTELPRO that targeted the Panthers. We will also have a discussion about the Ten Point Program of the organization.

Class will start half an hour earlier, at 6:30pm. This means, people are welcome to come at 6:00pm for dinner. we enjoyed great meals from Freedom School chef Sean the last two classes. This week, our other Freedom school chef, Lana, will make tacos and a tasty desert for us (with halal, vegetarian, and vegan options). Can’t wait to see you!