The First Rainbow Coalition
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The First Rainbow Coalition

  • BY Ray Santisteban | IN Social Justice
    Premiered January 27, 2020

About the Film

In 1969, the Chicago Black Panther Party, notably led by the charismatic Fred Hampton, began to form alliances across lines of race and ethnicity with other community-based movements in the city, including the Latino group the Young Lords Organization and the working-class young southern whites of the Young Patriots. Finding common ground, these disparate groups banded together in one of the most segregated cities in postwar America to collectively confront issues such as police brutality and substandard housing, calling themselves the Rainbow Coalition. The First Rainbow Coalition tells the movement’s little-known story through rare archival footage and interviews with former coalition members in the present-day.  MORE

While the coalition eventually collapsed under duress from constant harassment by local and federal law enforcement, including the murder of Fred Hampton, it had a long term impact, breaking down barriers between communities, and creating a model for future activists and diverse politicians across America.


The Filmmaker

Ray Santisteban has worked for the past 26 years as a documentary filmmaker, teacher, and film curator.  His work consistently gravitates toward political subjects and artist profiles, addressing the themes of justice, memory, and political transformation.  A graduate of NYU’s film and TV production program, he has explored a variety of subjects including New York Black Panther leader Dhoruba Bin Wahad (Passin' It On, co-producer), the roots of Puerto Rican poetry (Nuyorican Poets Cafe, 1994, director, producer, editor), and Chicano poetry (Voices from Texas, director/producer). He was senior producer of Visiones: Latino Art and Culture in the U.S. a three hour PBS series nationally broadcast in 2004.  His awards garnered include a 1992 Student Academy Award (information division), a New York Foundation for the Arts Media Fellowship, 1993, a 1996 “Ideas In Action” Award from the National Tele-Media Alliance, a 1996 “Faculty of the Year” Award from the Chicano Studies Program, UW Madison, a 2005 Rockefeller Film and Video Fellowship, and a 2008 and 2016 San Antonio Artists Foundation Filmmaker Award, and a 2016 Tobin Award for Artistic Excellence. He is based in San Antonio, Texas. LESS

Film Credits

DIRECTED AND PRODUCED BY     
Ray Santisteban

EDITED BY
Leah Marino

ORIGINAL SCORE COMPOSED BY    
Angelica Negrón

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER       
Susanne Mason

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS                
Sally Jo Fifer
Lois Vossen

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER FOR LPB
Sandie Viquez Pedlow

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER FOR BPM
Leslie Fields-Cruz

SUPERVISING PRODUCER      
Michael Ehrenzweig

CINEMATOGRAPHY   
Ray Santisteban
Jason Chiu
Gustavo Aguilar
Rick Butler
Vicente Franco

ADDITIONAL EDITOR/POST-PRODUCTION SUPERVISOR      
Field Humphrey

ADDITIONAL CAMERA      
Cristina Ibarra
Cesar Rodriguez

AUDIO RECORDIST
Ray Day

POST PRODUCER
Allison Turrell

SUPERVISING COLORIST
Parke Gregg

COLORIST
Alex Winker

DIALOGUE EDITOR
Evan Dunivan

RE-RECORDING MIXER
Lyman Hardy

GRAPHICS AND ANIMATION       
Steven Jones

EDITING CONSULTANT  
Aljernon Tunsil

ADVISORS               
Stanley Nelson
Richard Ray Perez
Carla Gutierrez
Jim Mendiola

LEGAL SERVICES     
Fernando RamÍrez, Attorney At Law

PRODUCTION ACCOUNTANT  
Ameena Din

BOOKKEEPING SERVICES   
Jane Garza

OFFICE MANAGER           
Manuel Solis

PRODUCTION PHOTOGRAPHY      
Manny Camacho
Josh Huskin
Inye Wokoma

KEY ART
Yen Tan

ARCHIVAL MATERIALS PROVIDED BY
ABCNews VideoSource
AP Images
Bienvenida Matías Archives
The Black Panther Newspaper
British Pathe
Carlos Flores Archive
Chicago Film Archives
Chicago History Museum
Chicago Tribune Archive Photos / TNS
Chuck Armsbury
Daily Herald
DePaul University, Special Collections and Archives
Duane Hall
eFootage
Eric Futran
The Estate of Jules Power
Gamaliel Ramirez Archive
The Gerth Archives & Special Collections, California State University, Dominguez Hills
Grand Valley State University, Young Lords Collection
Harold Washington Library / Chicago Public Library
Hiroji Kubota / Magnum Photos
Historic Films
Houston Post Collection, Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library
Internet Archive
Kartemquin Films - “Now We Live on Clifton”
KPIX-TV
László Kondor Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Illinois at Chicago
Library of Congress, J. Fred MacDonald Collection
Library of Congress, New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection
Linn M. Ehrlich
Luis Arevalo
Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library
Media Burn Archive
Mike James / Rising Up Angry Archive
Museum of Architecture, Chicago
Museum of Broadcast Communications
Museum of Radio and Television, Chicago
My Footage
Nancy Hollander
National Archives and Records Administration
NBCUniversal Archives
Newberry Library, Chicago Reader Collection
Pacific Street Film Archive
Pacifica Radio Archive
Paul Sequeira Archive
Periscope Film
Pond5
Oddball Films
Reuters via British Pathe
Sal del Rivero
SFSU Bay Area Television Archive
Soaring Badger Productions
Stephen Shames / Polaris Images
Third World Newsreel
University of Georgia Brown Media Archive
Urban League Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Illinois at Chicago
Veritone
Video Hive
Videofreex / Video Data Bank / The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
WGN-TV Chicago
WLS-TV
WSB Newsfilm Collection, University of Georgia Libraries
Young Lords Newspaper

West Side Story (1961)
The Mirisch Corp. and Seven Arts Productions, Beta Productions, B&P Enterprises, Inc.
United Artists, MGM/UA Home Entertainment

MUSIC
The Rumble © 1960
Composed by: Leonard Bernstein
Orchestrator: Irwin Kostal
Publishers: The Leonard Bernstein Music Publishing Co. LLC, and Chappell-Co., Inc.

West Side Story Prolouge  © 1960
Composed by: Leonard Bernstein
Orchestrator: Irwin Kostal
Publishers: The Leonard Bernstein Music Publishing Co. LLC, and Chappell-Co., Inc.

I’m Going to Make Heaven My Home ©1949
Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs
Publishers: APRS and Scruggs Music Inc.

SPECIAL THANKS
Maria Agui Carter
Howard Allen
Chuck Armsbury
Tony Baez
Anna Burkart
Antonia Castaneda
Sandra Cisneros
Dennis Cunningham
Sal del Rivero
Patricia Devine-Reed
Carlos Flores
Jennice Fuentes
Luis Garden Acosta
Todd Gitlin
Sarah Gould
Sam Green
Rodger Guy
Jeff Haas
Bill Hampton
Arnold R. Hirsh
Angela Hoover
Mike James
Jeff Knox
Anna Lee
Faiza Lee
Gerry Leonard
Antonio Lopez
Julie Mackaman
Arturo Madrid
Gordon Mantler
Alfredo Matias
Adan Medrano
Mickey Melendez
Molly Murphy
Ben Olguin
Jackie Olive
Christos Pathiakis
Dagoberto Patlan
Peoples Law Office
Erin Ploss-Campoamor
Gordon Quinn
Faith Radle
Bo Ramos
Carmen Rance
PJ Raval
Alex Rivera
Modesto Rivera
Paul Sequeira
Paul Siegel
Gail Silva
Shawn Siflett
Amy Sonnie
Ted Stein
Kyle Stephan
Flint Taylor
Erica Thurman
James Tracy
Yvonne Welborn
Jakobi Williams
Greg Zito
Gabrielle Zuckerman 

FISCAL SPONSOR         
Southwest Alternate Media Project

FUNDING PROVIDED BY  
Firelight Media
Through their Next Step Fund and Technical Assistance Program
Artist Foundation of San Antonio
National Association of Latino Arts and Culture Fund for the Arts
USA Artists Hatchfund
Youth Emergency Service, Inc. dba Phogg Phoundation for the Pursuit of Happiness
And others. A complete list available from PBS.

ORIGINAL SERIES FUNDING PROVIDED BY      
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Wyncote Foundation
The National Endowment for the Arts

The First Rainbow Coalition is a co-production of NANTES MEDIA, LLC, INDEPENDENT TELEVISION SERVICE (ITVS), LATINO PUBLIC BROADCASTING (LPB) and the BLACK PUBLIC MEDIA (BPM) with funding provided by the CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING (CPB).

The First Rainbow Coalition is produced by Nantes Media LLC, which is solely responsible for its content.

© 2019 Nantes Media LLC. All rights reserved.

Have you been able to find common ground politically with those of different backgrounds or beliefs? What did "Rainbow Coalition" used to mean to you and did that impression change after watching this film? Do you think these kinds of alliances can happen again?
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Have you been able to find common ground politically with those of different backgrounds or beliefs? What did "Rainbow Coalition" used to mean to you and did that impression change after watching this film? Do you think these kinds of alliances can happen again?