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Most People Have Never Heard Of This Latino Activist, But He’s Getting His Own Movie

It’s safe to say that Hollywood rarely makes movies starring Latinos. Case in point: In 2015, there were as many movies made about monkeys as there were about Latinos. So finding out that Hollywood is gearing up to produce Gustavo García’s story for the big screen is kind of like finding out your dad is really into Chance the Rapper. I mean, it’s not impossible that he’s heard of him, but what are the odds? And good for him. García fought for Latino civil rights when no one else did, and for his efforts, he died in obscurity, forgotten by all but the most rigorous history books and scholars. It’s great that he’s getting his own movie, but for someone so remarkable, it’s alarming at how little is known about the man.

What started out as a small-town murder turned into a milestone for Latino civil rights.

Credit: A Class Apart / PBS / YouTube

When Pedro Hernandez murdered his employer in 1951, he was convicted by an all-white jury. This was not a coincidence. At that time, discrimination practices kept Mexican-Americans from serving on a jury in Texas, making it impossible for any Latino to receive an impartial trial. Texas was cool with this violation of the 6th Amendment because this is Texas in the 1950s that we’re talking about. In some cases, Mexican-Americans were denied funeral services because they weren’t white. This didn’t sit well with Gustavo García, who agreed to take Pedro’s case for free.

“My people were in Texas a hundred years before Sam Houston, that wetback from Tennessee.” — Gustavo García.

Credit: Michelle Pedraza / NBC / Youtube

Thanks to the efforts of Gustavo García and his legal team, Mexican-Americans were granted the most basic civil rights in the eyes of the law. Their victory came at a time when ignorance was so widespread that even the judges in the Supreme Court used the term “greaser” when referring to Mexican-Americans. Shortly after the trial, Gus fell victim to alcoholism and mental health issues, and maybe that’s why he’s not celebrated more in history books. But one thing is for sure, without Gus’s tenacity, it’s possible our grandparents, or parents, could have been convicted by an all-white jury, whether they were guilty or not.

What we know about the movie.

There’s so much more to Gustavo’s life than we could hope to touch on here. Thankfully, Sandbar Films is bringing Gustavo’s fight to the big screen under the title “The Texas Boys,” which is likely to come out next year. If you’d like to find out more about Gustavo “Gus” García, check out Isidro Aguirre’s book “Dawn of the Matador,” which is what the movie is largely based on.


Read: This Mexican-American Politician Tells Trump To Shove It… Literally

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The Rise of the Rainbow Coalition Is Reignited in ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’

Entertainment

The Rise of the Rainbow Coalition Is Reignited in ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’

At the dawn of Black History Month the timely release of “Judas and the Black Messiah” echoed the cries of injustice following a summer of civil unrest. In what was considered the largest multicultural protest of the 21st century, the words of Deputy Chairman Fred Hampton ferociously chanting “I AM…A REVOLUTIONARY!” continue to resonate.

The timely Civil Rights film, available to stream on HBO Max, follows the life and betrayal of The Illinois Black Panther Chairman (played by Daniel Kaluuya) at the hands of a party member and FBI informant William “Bill” O’Neal (played by Lakeith Stanfield). Kaluuya’s captivating performance as the charismatic Hampton received widespread acclaim and his first Golden Globe win for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture.

For some audience members, this film will be their first introduction to Chairman Fred Hampton and an extension of the Black Panther Party. While the film is relatively accurate, the brief inclusion of the original Rainbow Coalition is pertinent to Hampton’s legacy. You can see its relation to the rise in multicultural youth-driven activism we see today.

In February 1969, Hampton and other Panther members met with Young Lords leader José “Cha-Cha” Jimenez after the Puerto Rican street organization shut themselves in the 18th District police station. The protest was calling attention to the police harassment of Latinx residents in Chicago’s Lincoln Park.

The Young Lords started as a turf gang in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood in 1960. By 1968, the Young Lords became a Civil Rights organization. The Illinois chapter and Young Lords formed the original Rainbow Coalition in April 1969. Jimenez referred to the coalition as a “poor people’s army” in an interview with Southside Weekly. Shortly after, the coalition grew to include the Young Patriots Organization a white, southern working-class group from Northern Chicago.

The Rainbow Coalition fought against police brutality and institutional racism in Chicago while working to uplift their local communities. The organization, consisting of people in their teens and early 20s, offered free breakfast programs and child daycare centers funded by donations from local businesses.

“It is impossible to make revolutionary change without the people,” Jimenez said in an interview with FightBack! News on the 50th anniversary of the coalition’s foundation.

“The Rainbow Coalition was more than just a gang of activists or folks trying to gain one or two small victories,” he told FightBack! News. “Each of our groups were already small revolutionary armies connected to the people’s struggle and trying to create a People’s Army to win the battle.”

Hampton and Jimenez were both sent to solitary confinement at Cook County Jail for their activism. In another incident noted in the film, Hampton was once sentenced after taking ice cream pops from an ice cream truck to pass out to neighborhood kids.

Supporters claim that it is a consequence of their street organizing and a threat to government authority for their Marxist-Leninist views.

The tension between the Chicago Police Department and the Black Panthers failed to cease, and the FBI was closing in on silencing Hampton. On December 4, 1969, the Cook County’s State Attorney Edward V. Hanrahan conducted an overnight raid on Hampton’s apartment with a warrant to search for illegal weapons.

Police barraged into Hampton’s apartment shooting gunfire wounding several Black Panthers and killing Black Panther security chief Mark Clark. Hampton was asleep in his bedroom next to his pregnant fiancée Deborah Johnson (who now goes by Akua Njeri) when he was struck by the gunfire, killing him.

Hampton was 21 at the time of his death.

The assassination of Fred Hampton left Coalition members distraught and fearful for their own lives as leadership slowly diminished. By 1973, the Rainbow Coalition had officially disbanded.

The embodiment of radicalized thought, in a sea of young revolutionaries, adorning their berets of black and purple. The roars of unapologetic protest against racism persisted and the legacy of youth-driven advocacy for the unified equity of all peoples vehemently lives on.

“Ours is not about individuals but a people’s struggle led by the common folk,” Jimenez said to FightBack! News. “Ours is a protracted struggle that will take years and we must prepare ourselves for the long run via structured community programs specific to the revolution.”

READ: Filmmaker’s Short Documentary Shines A Light On Woman Who Fought For Cuban Revolution

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Everything To Stream This Month On Netflix Including Michelle Obama’s New Puppet Show

Entertainment

Everything To Stream This Month On Netflix Including Michelle Obama’s New Puppet Show

This March we’re all still in quarantine but there’s no doubt that streamers have upped their binge game! From new True Crime series to a Biggie Small documentary, there’s tons of content to binge and love this March.

Check them out below!

March 1

Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell  

Batman Begins 

Blanche Gardin: Bonne Nuit Blanche (2021)

Crazy, Stupid, Love

Dances with Wolves 

DC Super Hero Girls: Season 1

I Am Legend 

Invictus 

Jason X 

Killing Gunther 

LEGO Marvel Spider-Man: Vexed by Venom 

Nights in Rodanthe

Power Rangers Beast  : S2

Rain Man 

Step Up: Revolution 

Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny 

The Dark Knight 

The Pursuit of Happyness 

Training Day 

Two Weeks Notice 

Year One 

March 2

Black or White

Word Party: Season 5 

March 3

Moxie 

Murder Among the Mormons 

Parker

Safe Haven 

March 4

Pacific Rim: The Black 

March 5

City of Ghosts 

Dogwashers 

Nevenka: Breaking the Silence 

Pokémon Journeys: The Series: Part 4 

Sentinelle 

March 8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjgwD61xooU

Bombay Begums 

Bombay Rose 

March 9

The Houseboat 

StarBeam: Season 3 

March 10

Dealer

Last Chance U: Basketball 

Marriage or Mortgage 

March 11

The Block Island Sound

Coven of Sisters 

March 12

Love Alarm: Season 2

The One 

Paper Lives 

Paradise PD: Part 3 

YES DAY 

March 14

Audrey

March 15

Bakugan: Armored Alliance

The BFG

The Last Blockbuster

The Lost Pirate Kingdom 

Zero Chill 

March 16

RebellComedy: Straight Outta the Zoo

Savages 

Waffles + Mochi 

March 17

Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal 

‘The Innocents’ Cast Test Their Supernatural Movie Knowledge

Under Suspicion: Uncovering the Wesphael Case 

March 18

B: The Beginning Succession

Cabras da Peste 

Deadly Illusions

The Fluffy Movie

Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American 

Skylines

March 19

Alien TV: Season 2  

Country Comfort 

Formula 1: Drive to Survive: Season 3

Sky Rojo 

March 20

Jiu Jitsu

March 22

Navillera

Philomena

March 23

Loyiso Gola: Unlearning 

March 24

Seaspiracy

Who Killed Sara?  

March 25

Caught by a Wave 

DOTA: Dragon’s Blood 

Millennials: Season 3

Secret Magic Control Agency

March 26

A Week Away

Bad Trip

Big Time Rush: Seasons 1-4

Croupier

The Irregulars

Magic for Humans by Mago Pop 

Nailed It!: Double Trouble 

March 29

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Rainbow High: Season 1

March 30

7 Yards: The Chris Norton Story

Octonauts & the Ring of Fire

March 31

At Eternity’s Gate

Haunted: Latin America 

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