New 4K Restoration
In restoring Nationtime, a record of Black resilience has been preserved and the National Black Political Convention’s influence further affirmed.Aaron Hunt, Little White Lies
On a chilly March weekend in 1972, some ten thousand Black politicians, artists, academics, and journalists assembled in Gary, Indiana, for the historic National Black Political Convention. Welcoming delegates from across the political spectrum, Gary’s Mayor Richard Hatcher denounced the 1968 Republican and Democratic conventions as debauched democracy for the privileged few and called for the creation of a unified political agenda addressing the needs of Black Americans that could be leveraged at the 1972 party conventions. William Greaves captures the energy and urgency of the weekend, which featured appearances by Betty Shabazz, Coretta Scott King, Bobby Seale, Isaac Hayes, Dick Gregory, Harry Belafonte, and others. Poet and activist Amiri Baraka, one of the organizers of the event, eschews Robert’s Rules of Order for what he calls African Consensus, and in the foyer Queen Mother Moore lobbies for reparations. The documentary is narrated by Sidney Poitier but its star is Reverend Jesse Jackson, whose exhilarating speech provides the title. “What time is it?” He repeatedly asks the crowd. “NATIONTIME!” they exclaim.