Billed as “a conspiracy of ritual, street theater, soul music, and cinema,” RIGHT ON! is a pioneering performance film, a compelling record of radical Black sentiment in 1960s America, and a precursor of the hip-hop revolution in musical culture. It features the original Last Poets—Gylan Kain, David Nelson, and Felipe Luciano—performing 28 numbers adapted from their legendary appearance at New York’s Paperback Theater in 1969, shot guerrilla-style on the streets and rooftops of lower Manhattan. Opening months after the better-known music documentary WOODSTOCK and almost simultaneously with Melvin Van Peebles’s SWEET SWEETBACK’S BAADASSSSS SONG, RIGHT ON! was described by its producer as “the first ‘totally black film,’” making “no concession in language and symbolism to white audiences.”
The Museum Of Modern Art has made available this restoration of this pioneering film of the original Last Poets, offering a rare look at radical Black sentiment in 1960s America.
Available on Youtube
Herbert Danska, Woodie King Jr.
Gylan Kain, David Nelson, Felipe Luciano