Adam Clayton Powell
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Narrated by civil rights activist Julian Bond and resplendent with rich archival footage and candid interviews with those who knew him best, this tell-all documentary mines the good, bad, and ugly acts of Powell's illustrious but controversial career - the multiple marriages, the uproarious taunting of the white establishment, his desegregation of Congress, and his shameful smearing of Martin Luther King, Jr. from self-imposed exile on the island of Bimini.
An unforgettable story of being unforgivably black in white America, ADAM CLAYTON POWELL makes for ''endlessly fascinating, thoroughly enjoyable'' viewing (Chicago Sun-Times). Masterfully directed by Richard Kilberg, this film explores the nature of power, personality, and politics as exemplified in a flawed, but sublime hero.
Top Customer Reviews
It uses interviews and generous newsreel footage to tell the tale of Powell, who used his good looks and articulation to his advantage to fight for the dispossesed and for his own place in the world. He dazzled the Black poor with stirring speeches that articulated his anger and used his influence as one of the first Black post-reconstruction Congressmen to advance education and civil rights legislation. However, this good side was overshadowed by his love of wine, women, and song (one clip actually shows a drunk Powell ranting at critics) as well as his tendency to skip congressional sessions whenever he felt like it and naked ruthlessness (at one point, the film shows his envy over the younger MLK leading him to start unfounded gay rumors about King and Bayard Rustin). This led his obvious enemies to expoit his weaknesses and partially self-destruct.
Before you note the similarities between this and another arrogant modern civil rights leader, it's an interesting sidenote to consider that in Powell's book "Adam by Adam," he denigrates King but speaks well of Jesse Jackson. Powell was also a mentor to the far cruder Al Sharpton (the one occasion that I met Sharpton, he shared some anecdotes about Powell).
Powell himself is fascinating to watch and hear.Read more ›
This film will bring light into the minds of the young people today of this strong tower and pillar of strength and power that many weren't aware. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr is truly as Good as it Gets!
I recommend this film for anyone wanting to know more about the time period between reconstruction and the civil rights movement of the 1960's.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This superb documentary is narrated by the late Julian Bond, a life-long Civil Rights activist. It should be seen by anyone interested in the history of the Civil Rights struggle... Read morePublished 1 month ago by word-sailing
I really enjoyed watching footage of the actual man, it gave some real insight on who this man was, as I was not aware of him. I only wish there had been more!!!Published 17 months ago by Pamela Williams