Lecturer Rafael Flores Takes Black Panther Film to Vallejo

Friday, September 15, 2017
Photo of Rafael Flores

VALLEJO TIMES-HERALD -- It’s not as if Rafael Flores had all the time in the world to direct, edit and polish his screen writing skills for the new documentary, My People are Rising: Memoirs of a Black Panther Party Captain.

First, there are the three classes he teaches at San Francisco State University. But there is that “side job” — Flores’ company founded in 2007, Green Eyed Media, which produces and distributes original music, photography, documentaries and fictional narratives.

Flores has long chronicled the plights of minorities, including his docudrama, 23rd and Union that was awarded Best Local Filmmaker Award for the 2011 International Film festival in Seattle.

It was in Seattle that Aaron Dixon founded the local chapter of the Black Panther Party in 1968. He was 19. And Dixon’s experience is what led to “My People are Rising,” his autobiography that became a documentary.

As it turned out, Dixon has been a family friend of Flores for many years, having grown up in the same Seattle neighborhood.

“I remember him coming to the house every once in a while,” Flores said.

Fast forward to Flores’ film career, having the acclaimed 23rd and Union screened to a sold-out audience while Flores was still a student at SFSU.