Distributor:  Icarus Films
Length:  55 minutes
Date:  2003
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English
Grade level: 10-12, College, Adult
Color/BW:  Color / Black and White
Closed captioning available
Interactive transcript available
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Finally Got the News

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A film about the League of Revolutionary Black Workers, which was, 'in many respects the most significant expression of black radical thought and activism in the 1960s.' - Manning Marable, Prof. of History, Columbia Univ.

Finally Got the News

FINALLY GOT THE NEWS is a forceful, unique documentary that reveals the activities of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers inside and outside the auto factories of Detroit. Through interviews with the members of the movement, footage shot in the auto plants, and footage of leafleting and picketing actions, the film documents their efforts to build an independent black labor organization that, unlike the UAW, will respond to worker's problems, such as the assembly line speed-up and inadequate wages faced by both black and white workers in the industry.

Beginning with a historical montage, from the early days of slavery through the subsequent growth and organization of the working class, FINALLY GOT THE NEWS focuses on the crucial role played by the black worker in the American economy. Also explored is the educational 'tracking' system for both white and black youth, the role of African American women in the labor force, and relations between white and black workers.

'A classic and legendary film, and its new edition by Icarus Films is absolutely welcome and fantastic news. ...It is a very valuable and interesting piece of American urban history, and thus this film would be very interested to watch not only for those interested in the United States, race relations, but also for students of urban studies. It documents a pivotal moment in the history of American cities and given the fact that many places in the world, and especially in the global south, have experienced an industrial revolution much greater in scale than the one in Europe and North America a century ago, it is not as distant from the problem we face in contemporary that one may think at first glance.' -Anthropology Review Database, December 2011

'Although most histories of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements give greater attention to [other groups]... the League [of Revolutionary Black Workers] was in many respects the most significant expression of black radical thought and activism in the 1960s. The League took the impetus for Black Power and translated it into a fighting program focusing on industrial workers.' -Manning Marable, Director, Institute for Research in African-American Studies, Professor of History, Columbia University

'A classic! Rather than the lock-stepped, black-bereted, leather-jacketed Panther units of other films, FINALLY shows rather ordinary people becoming very angry with the system. Ideological in the best sense: it is a film about ideas [and] presents a serious strategy for mass working class action... It speaks of a specific time and specific experiences in terms that will remain relevant as long as working people are not able to control their own lives.' -Dan Georgakas, for Cineaste

'[The League of Revolutionary Black Workers]... was one of the most important radical movements of our century - a movement led by black revolutionaries whose vision of emancipation for all is sorely needed today.' -Professor Robin D.G. Kelley, New York University


** 2012 Reel Work Labor Film Festival
** 2010 Berlin Documentary Forum
** 2009 Detroit Museum of Contemporary Art
** 2008 The Brecht Forum in New York
** 2006 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival


Main credits

Bird, Stewart (filmmaker)
Gessner, Peter (filmmaker)
Lichtman, René (filmmaker)
Louis, John (filmmaker)
Morrison, Jim (participant)

Other credits

Filmmakers: Stewart Bird, Peter Gessner, René Lichtman, John Louis, Jim Morrison.

Distributor credits

A Film by Stewart Bird, Rene Lichtman and Peter Gessner
Produced in Association with the League of Revolutionary Black Workers

Docuseek2 subjects

Labor History
Trade Unions
African-American Studies
The 1960s and Vietnam Era
Black History
American (U.S.) Studies

Distributor subjects

African American Studies
American Studies
Civil Rights
Economic Sociology
History (U.S.)
Labor Studies
Social Movements
Urban Studies


Stewart Bird; Rene Lichtman; Peter Gessner; League of Revolutionary Black Workers; union; film ; video; documentary; 1960's; black radical; black power; auto plants; automobile; Detroit; UAW; United Auto Workers; Manning Marable; activism; Professor Robin D.G. Kelley; "Finally Got the News"; Icarus Films

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