In December of this past year, basketball player Matt Barnes announced his retirement from the sport he had played for 15 years. But Barnes’ retirement life hasn’t been uneventful. He recently took to IG to announce that he will begin producing a biopic about cofounder of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, Huey P. Newton, tentatively titled, Power to the People.
While there isn’t a production company tied to the project yet, Barnes is getting things moving. In an appearance on Hot 97’s “Ebro in the Morning”, he stated that he acquired Huey Newton’s “life rights” and was looking for funding to get started with production. He’s also made no secret of the fact that he would like Keith Powers, from The New Edition Story and Straight Outta Compton, to play Newton, and that Wood Harris is confirmed to play Eldridge Cleaver.
Founded by Newton and Bobby Seale back in 1966 in Oakland, CA, The Black Panther Party believed in education and spreading knowledge throughout Black communities. They were responsible for setting up free meal programs for the community, and challenged police brutality against African-Americans, by organizing armed citizen patrols to protect their people.
Power to the People comes during an interesting time in America. Just like the 1960’s, politicians and police are using their authority to disenfranchise and kill African Americans. Public institutions are blatantly using their authority to oppress education, knowledge, and perpetuation of positivity in our communities. The formulation of groups such as Blacks Lives Matter and the perpetuation of ideologies such as “Black Girl Magic” is as necessary today as the BPP was in the 60s. And ironically, is attacked and targeted in much the same way: as a hate group. Is it coincidental that BLM leaders seem to mysteriously end up dead a few times a year? It may be. But it sure wasn’t in the 60s.
Hopefully, in producing the film, Barnes will get to the true heart of Newton’s purpose, and shed light on the parallel battles we seem to be facing today.
No further details have been released about Power to the People, but stay tuned as Doxygen Media finds out more.
– Carlton Rolle