A look at an early and controversial civil rights leader
This documentary employs mostly talking heads and old still pictures to relay its message about the life and work of Harlem preacher and Congressman Adam Clayton Powell. As one of the first black Congressmen, Powell deserves a lot of credit for helping ignite the civil rights movement. He helped blacks get into the navy, obtain government jobs, and boycott racist businesses. However, after the rise of Martin Luther King, Powell faded, as a man who was only looking out for himself. He was no longer THE black leader so he retreated to the Bahamas to live in luxury. I admit that I was not alive during the Civil Rights Movement, but I find most of what Mr. Powell did to be only for Mr. Powell. I don't think he is or was ever a good symbol for black strive, and the movie fails because it tries to view his life through rose tinted glasses. It is not a balanced piece. The whole story is not accurately represented. In fact, out of all the people who gave insight about this man, only one was white, and everybody put a positive spin on anything he did. This was an interesting man in life, but a poor movie about it. 4/10
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