Many visitors shared their thoughts with us on the film starring Roger Guenveur Smith, the legacy of the Black Panther Party, and this website, which we posted for everyone to read. We appreciate the comments and hope you enjoyed the film.

Thanks for providing us with an opportunity to view one of the most accurate, in-depth, and intelligent portrayals of Huey P. Newton. Roger Guenveur Smith is brilliant and captured much of Huey's intellect, originality, and beauty never revealed to the public before. He has done a wonderful job bringing Huey's story to life.

Meridien, Connecticut

Just perfect. Been a long time since I felt anything watching TV.

François Hétu, Montreal, Quebec

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

The performance was specta-cular. The message even better. I have never seen or heard anything so riveting. I write to you as the performance continues... I had to find out who the performer was. Thank you Spike Lee and Roger Guenveur Smith. Sincerely, a white Chicago-suburban foreign language teacher who does not get out enough but who wants to. Thanks to WTTW.

Marengo, Illinois

We both really enjoyed - no - were glad we saw - this show!! I was amazed at Roger's performance. But the main course was all Huey. We were both surprised and appreciated the references to Biggie Smalls, and the poetic/philosophical currents - no - highlights in the film. This should be on BET, and ABC, and HBO, and any network brave enough to show it. The FBI owes it to everyone!! But thanks to you, at least we have had this experience, and we look forward to getting our copy in the mail!!! Thank you for airing this. We'll be sending our donation before sending our cable bill!!

Mr.& Mrs. Todd Van Cobb, Columbia, Maryland

Thank you Roger Guenveur Smith! I first had the invitation to experience your production of, "A Huey P. Newton Story," in the 1990's at the Schomburg, in Harlem. I respected your brilliant performance then and I made it mandatory to support and experience your work on PBS when your production aired on February 13,2002.

Roger, I think your journey from conception of the script,to the stage and then on to the screen, in collaboration with Director, Spike Lee; is a testament of true creative genius and commitment to your craft. Therefore, my utmost congratulations to you, your director, your production crew and staff; for fulfilling your vision and creating a production worthy of the legacy of Huey P. Newton.

Respectfully yours, Mr. Ralph Carter, Brooklyn, New York

JUST ABSOLUTELY AWESOME, a thoroughly facinating and groundbreaking piece of work and I thought the best I had seen was your synopsis of TANTULUS. This era has always enticed me and I am so happy to see this exhibition of vanguard artistic, thought-provoking and eye-opening cultural event. This ranks up there with TWILIGHT and the contemporary version of Othello. Between your specials on Africa, Diversity and Economics classes, Art, world history and amazing cultural events this is what television was meant to be. This is exposure I could not afford and without PBS I would never see. I want to see more of this. Thank you!! Thank you!! Thank you!!

Cashmere Bryan, West Palm Beach, Florida

This play blew me away. Excellent. As an actor, Roger has given me inspiration to go out and do my own thing by producing, writing and directing a show of my own. Roger, Jeffrey Wright and other black character actors continue to hit a mark in my life by displaying their gifted talents and their chameleon habits. Roger didn't try to be Huey, he didn't imitate Huey, HE WAS HUEY P. NEWTON. I dont know why he didn't play him in that awful movie called "Panther" but I see why he didn't because he was saving the best for last. Keep up the excellent work, brother. Man, from "Smiley" to "Huey". AWESOME.

Damian Bailey

Thank you!!! I have two teenage boys and this was a very honest and giving peace of work that I used to educate my young men... Roger Guenveur Smith is a very talented, creative, honest, giving actor. Bravo! Excellent. 10+ This piece moved me and I thank you for persisting for all those years so that I could see it.

Carol Chateau

This film represents to me a change in the historiography of Huey P. Newton. No longer will he be remembered as a murderer and a low-life criminal, as Hugh Pearson in his journalistic and biased account of Newton, made society believe. This film shows the other story, the man behind the icon. The tragedy behind this man's downfall. I congratulate Spike Lee, as usual, in recognizing the importance of this man's legacy and PBS for having the guts to support this project. I look forward to contributing to this new and improved historiography. And thank you for the great website and resources.

Melanie Brown, Miami, Florida

Beautiful Job. Mister Smith brought Huey and his energy and passion to life, gave the legacy a human face. Few people understand that it was love for his people that brought call Mister Newton to the front. Sometimes, complacent in the suburbs, away from any reminders of the devastation nealy four centuries of racism left upon the African-American soul we find it difficult to explain the times and the need for someone like Huey, and Eldridge, and Malcolm, and Martin. But we cannot forget. We can grow, forgive, rise above the past, but we should not forget. Thanks Mister Smith and Mister Lee for another breathtaking portrayal of an American hero.

And Mister Smith, I am truly moved by both your writing and acting. Again, Beautiful job.

I. Yeager, Grand Junction, Colorado

I was captured and rivited by this performance. The artist brings such an intensity to this piece of work. I became as educated as I was entertained. I was born in the summer of 1966 and am bothered that I was never exposed to this man's (Huey P. Newton) life and fight (yes I am a white, lower middle class Canadian, or so I have been told). This is an important piece of "Human" Documentation that must continue to be shared. The people involved in this production have taught me a valuable lesson in tolerance, respect for the struggle of others and the hunger to learn more. Thank You.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The Black Panther Party of Self Defense, I believe, were responsible for changing the view that African Americans had to be passive in the struggle against police brutality and for equality. Without their leadership and efforts, African America today would be futher behind. BBP were not only leaders but they informed African America of our rights, our culture, and our community. They taught us it was okay to defend ourselves and our families. They taught us to take responsibility for our actions. Although I wasn't around for the movement I want to say thank you for setting in motion a revolution that changed my life before I even entered this world. Thanks for changing my children's lives. My son, Jay-Saun, is six years old and may not know the name of various sports personalities. However, he knows the names Bobby Seal, Huey, Little Bobby Hutton, Eldrige, Angela, Kathleen, Fred, and countless more. THANK YOU!!!

La'Pri-ll Reagor, Redding, California

Amazing! I am speechless. Roger captured not only the essence of Huey but the essence of the 60's and 70's. Thank you for bringing these memories back to me and for keeping Huey's memory alive. Only Spike Lee could capture his genius.

Lesslie Williams, Kula Hawaii

Another Spike Lee Production that has managed to move me in a most profound direction. Often we tend to mistake brillance for insanity because for everyone that has ears, not all of them can hear and of those with eyes, not all can see. Words just can not express how deeply The Huey P. Newton Story has touched my heart and soul. Roger Guenveur Smith and Spike Lee are truly gifted individuals. Please air that story again.

Thank you!! Desiree Radford, Buffalo, New York

The Huey P. Newton special was one of the finest presentations in this age of glamour and glitz. Roger G. Smith's sensitive & powerful presence was a factor, and Spike Lee was as anticipated, terrific. I am sure there were many, if they watched at all, were horrified, and more than a few had to indulge in a bit of grave turning. It should be shown again and again. Conversion is always possible.

Don Zook-Slagel, Waldoboro, Maine

This is awesome (in the true sense of the word) and inspiring... I had no idea this was going to be on and just happened to catch it - very powerful performance, and an amazing study of Huey P. Newton the man, the revolutionary, and his persona. I have read extensively on the Black Panther Party For Self Defense and do believe they had the most focused program for revolutionary change in this country. While they stood up to the racist power struture with guns - it was in defense of the oppressed - IN DEFENCE - and even more importantly they created programs to give the community the things it was lacking - health care, food... No other revolutionary group before or since has embraced the totality of what is needed if you are going to put forward the idea of revolution - you cannot just grab a gun and shoot a cop and call yourself a revolutionary - A REVOLUTION IS FOR THE PEOPLE! You must put their interests in your program from the beginning - This program was inspiring and sad.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Roger Guenveur Smith did an excellent monologue. This is one of Spike Lee's most outstanding works. I couldn't dial the telephone fast enough to order it. This will definitely be a part of my family's black history library.

Aileen Hamler, Cheltenham, Pennsylvania

This was an incredible film. Smith's performance was electrifying and poignant. What was most impressive about this piece (aside from the stunning use of visuals) was the way that Smith provided the audience with an insight into Newton, not just as a controversial figurehead, but as a complicated - and all too human - individual. I really enjoyed this production. This should be required viewing for anyone eager to understand the legacy of the 1960s and the turbulent heart of a revolutionary.

Mitch Range, Brownstone, Michigan

Roger Guenveur Smith's "incarnation" of Huey P. Newton was riveting! The best 90 minutes of TV viewing I've experienced in ages. Newton's spirit lives!

A.W. Middlebrooks, High Point, North Carolina

Last night I witnessed a phenomenal event and one of the most dynamic and riveting performances by an actor I've seen in recent memory. I'm speaking, of course, about "A Huey P. Newton Story," directed by Spike Lee and starring Roger Guenveur Smith as Huey P. Newton. Needless to say, the video is now a must obtain item on my list and I plan to spread the word to my friends and colleagues about just how awesome and earth-moving the experience of the film and performance is and will no doubt be for a long time to come. Kudos to all involved.

Rickey Mantley, Los Angeles, California

Born in 1950 here in the United States, I could connect with the dialogue presented by Mr. Smith as Huey P. Newton. Unfortunately, the power forces of which are phantom and visible are still employed by the 'White man' still today (Feb 2002). What would it be like in this region if the Mexican people and Native Americans banded together to fight off the power hungry evil forces that headed westward? Of course the answer is that the Mexicans and Natives would've still lost. Why? Because developing destructive firepower by the ex-Brits is about the only thing they have been good at all along. Look at the automobile and appliance industries. What do you drive? Where was your camera made? I heard a Black woman say along time ago, "We have to work twice as hard for half as much."

Thank you. Jesse Castillo, Campbell, California

Hi! I don't know if Spike Lee or Roger Guenveur Smith will see this email but I wanted to let them know that I saw their movie on PBS last night... wow! What a fantastic piece of work. As a 20-something white woman, I had no knowledge of Huey P. Newton before seeing this film: high school history barely touches on the black panther party, and not at all in college history. This movie was really educational for me, and gave me more insight on where this country came from, and where we've been, and a little about where we may be going. Congratulations to everyone involved in the film, particularly R.G.S. for a wonderful performance.

Thanks for the education.

Last night I watched A Huey P. Newton Story on my local pbs station and was so impressed with Roger Guenveur Smith's performance. I am old enough to remember when the Black Panthers were active. In fact, my sister's boyfriend used to sell the Black Panther Party newspapers. (I swear, I wish I had kept some of those!) Additionally, a local man who lived in my apartment building was shot down in the street - in broad daylight - by the police in the early 1970s.

I felt that A Huey P. Newton Story captured the essence of HPN as well as made it plain that he was indeed "a human being", like the rest of us who was held to an almost impossibly high standard. I was dismayed to hear he had died and more so because of the way he died.

A Huey P. Newton Story brought back memories of civil rights activity in Cincinnati - one of the most conservative cities in the world in the 1960s and early 1970s, it has not changed much since then. Is the play still running? If so, please consider bringing it to Cincinnati, it would have a receptive audience. I teach African and African American history in an educational enrichment program and will include this video as a teaching tool about the 1960s.

To Roger Guenveur Smith and Spike Lee and everyone involved in this production, PLEASE continue your excellent work!

Debra Brown, Cincinnati, Ohio

I would like to thank all of you involved for allowing me to sit, listen to, dig with, and almost have a conversation of souls with Huey Newton. I never got the chance to experience the time or the person. Thank you. I have never witnessed a performance of such talent and hypnotizing realities. Thanks again.

Eric Ward, Denton, Texas

Phenomenal! The passion, energy and commitment is outstanding. This is an incredible performance that will spark many conversations.

Jay Olney, Annapolis, Maryland

Roger Guenveur blew my mind. I had never seen a performance like this before and watching it made me want to find out more about Huey P. Newton, the actor himself and all the people involved in this inspiring performance. I Love it!!!

Ayondela McDole, Chicago, Illinois

I found this remarkably intense. Being 30, black, middle class at best, loyal to Hip Hop, and trying to become affluent, I was continually reminded of what I was here to do, what I should hold as dear to me and my people, and how things have SHIFTED more than ADVANCED.

Rodney Holder, Greenville, South Carolina

I tuned in by accident to the most riveting performance I have ever seen. Bravo Roger Guenveur Smith for your absolute brilliance, Bravo Spike Lee for your direction and Bravo Thirteen for showing the Huey P. Newton Story. I imagine the highest aspiration of all of these parties is to tell a story that's truth resonates to all receptive people in a way that inspires and moves those people. I can't imagine ANY person who would not be touched by this collaboration. THANK YOU.

Kevin C., New York, New York

I'm a 17 year-old senior who practically avoids your station completely, but I found myself channel-surfing one school night and when I came across the broadcast of The Huey P. Newton Story, I couldn't help but put the remote down for 2-hours straight! This film is extraordinarily educational, exceptionally enlightening, and extremely entertaining! I even learned more about myself. Great Work!!

Crescencio Perez, Jr., Porterville, California

I was flipping channels before I went to sleep and came upon a masterpiece! What a gift the film is to the entire world. Roger G. Smith is amazingly talented and intense. Spike Lee is brilliant, as always! I got goosebumps! Huey's story is an important part of my own heritage that I was oblivious to. Thank you all, and keep doing quality programming that educates us all. Blessings!

Kellie Willis, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

I loved the film. I heard a lot of things about Huey P.Newton but I really didn't know anything about him, all I knew was that he was the co-founder of the Black Panther movement that's all I knew of him, and watching the film really brought to light the kind of person he was.When I tried to find info on him for my report there were very vague 10 line paragraphs, that only told me about the revolutionary, not the person, and I'm glad that I watched it. Roger Guenveur Smith did an excellent portrayal, HE WASN'T AN ACTOR PLAYING HUEY P.NEWTON, HE WAS HUEY P.NEWTON. Now I have enough info to start my report. I always wacth PBS for quality television all the time.

Julienne Leon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Phenomenal work!!!!! This Huey P. Newton Story gives a much needed vocabulary to the lunacy Black American men are experiencing in America, even today. Thank you Mr. Roger Guenveur Smith and Mr. Spike Lee for your foresight, research, and perseverance in addition to loving our history so much to put this work of art together.

Shari Miller, South Orange, New Jersey

I have never seen anything this informative and entertaining ever. I literally could not move from my seat. Mr. Smith's performance was incredible. I was speechless. Everyone needs to see this film.

Greenbelt, Maryland

Spike Lee and Roger Guenveur Smith are to be commended on "A Huey P. Newton Story". He epitomizes the goals and aspirations of black people just as much as Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. With this film he will not be a footnote in history.

Ivan Cohen, Savannah, Georgia

I'm 33 so my recollection of Huey Newton is limited to primarily books and old footage, but Roger Guenveur Smith was so excellent in playing Huey it was scary. Huey was a complicated personality and to portray him so vividly left me awestruck. I loved how the movie weaved certain present day personalities, terms and issues with what was going on during the late 60's and 70's. Smith's performance was classic. In the middle of watching it, I felt compelled to come to the website and talk about it. Awesome!

Jay Stevens, The Bronx, New York, New York

It is interesting how seeming unrelated events flow into the twists and turns that shape a life. Having spent 18 years behind bars myself, as soon as I happened onto the setting I was captured by the setting and quickly by the resonance of his message and intelligence, making no apology for the ignorance of those left wondering. By the stories end the heart connection was complete and the understanding of his being as a lover of truth, lit up the passion once again of my heart. We are entering a time of deceit and manipulation by government unpresented by in history, making Huey's word even more revelant. Like Gandhi, Martin L. King, Malcolm and other messengers of truth Huey strikes a cord, and remains true to his soul come what may. Being a white Canadian I too cut past the shroud of expectation and say brother I love you, and your sacrifice to the Truth. Power to the people!

Don Forsyth, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

I loved this show, I was flipping channels when I came across this guy on stage, and refused to turn the channel until the show went off. I have to possess this video. The performance was Out of this World.

April T., Orlando, Florida

Magnificent piece of work. I was a student at Crenshaw H.S. from 1968-71, and was captivated by visits from Angela Davis. I went to Cal State Hayward and found myself involved in the food programs in Oakland. The program bought tears to my eyes.

Las Vegas, Nevada

The words come alive for a younger generation. The film makes the individual feel like they're in the room watching it all happen. In our current times lets not forget all the people that have paid the heaviest of sacrifices to get us where we are today. Thank you for telling this story.

Omaha, Nebraska

Brilliant work. Roger G. Smith was hypnotic in his delivery of the goods. He captured the pulse, rhythm and guts of the man and the times. His monologue was jazz: he had the sound, expression and the time down. The use of Dylan's music, "Ballad of a Thin Man," Coltrane's music, the dance scene, and the video background scenes of the era put you right in Newton's psyche. Forty years later, you can still sing Huey P. Newton's blues using all the notes, including the blue notes in between.

Vito Brandolini, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Astounding production and performance. I regained my faith in the possibilities of portraying a man, an era, a failed revolution! I shook, I cried, I laughed, I was exalted and brought down!! I was outraged, incensed... no one can be complacent in the presence of Huey & Roger Guenveur Smith!! Thank you so much! I didn't think that PBS had it in them to present such a piece!

Lewiston, Maine

Excellent Program! -- Riveting! It is about time PBS has aired material of this type instead of the traditional Civil Rights Movement fare. I was hungry for more -- including a detailed documentary on Huey P. Newton & the Panthers.

Adisa Omar

My heart was touched and tears flowed as I watched Roger's moving performance. My long-haired white husband, a supreme critic, kept saying over and over how great the work was. Both of us were totally blown when we realized Roger also created the work. Personally, I found his essay on the journey invaluable in giving me insight to the work required to make a memorable, creative,historic performance. This work shows that we do value the lives of our precious warriors and that our black stars are rising to lead and positively guide the future generations. May all of your work continue to be auspicious.

Skywalker Paine, Des Moines, Iowa

I saw the Huey P. Newton story last night, and spent the next two hours discussing it with my girlfriend who watched it from 200 miles away. We were stunned. This is not a history we're often privy to, but it's a history that informs our daily experience, whether we realize it or not. We better.

I'm relatively young (29), and have only recently only begun to discover the backgrounds of the radical movements of the 1960's. I'm a well-educated man who's an educator himself (I teach college), but never quite understood what informed marginalization like that until I lived in another country, another culture, and experienced it first-hand. I then went back to see if I could discover a similar social situation in American history, and came to discover what the Black Panthers, SDS, SNCC, the Latino and feminist and other radical movements were about. At the heart of these movements were not the struggle for one group to attain power over another, but the struggle for people to be human, to be recognized as human. It's radical humanism.

Roger Guenver Smith displayed this struggle in his portrayal of Huey P. Newton that struck me in the head and the gut and the heart. Little by little we're learning what these people were really about, transcending dualistic oppostitions and working as a community, and Smith and Spike Lee took a huge step into laying this history bare.

Cheers. J. Wood, LaCrosse, Wisconsin
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