Film producer, director. Born December 24, 1959, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Lee Daniels is known for his uncompromising work, producing films that tackle such thorny issues as race, image, family violence, and sex. Along the way he’s shown that these stories can have success at the box office. His critically acclaimed 2002 hit, Monster’s Ball, was not only an Oscar winner, but turned a $2.5 million production into a $31 million success.
The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords, highlights a powerful and engaging account of American history that has been virtually forgotten: the story of the pioneering black newspapermen and women who gave voice to black America.
From facilitating the migration of Southern Blacks to northern cities to honoring Black soldiers in World War II, the Black press documented people who were otherwise ignored.
Soldiers Without Swords weaves music by Grammy award-winning jazz artist Ron Carter with archival footage, photographs and interviews with editors, photographers and journalists of the Black press. The film is narrated by stage, screen and television actor Joe Morton.
Several of the key reporters, publishers and photo journalists of the black press were interviewed for the film shortly before their deaths, including one of the last on camera interviews with John Sengstacke, publisher of the only daily black newspaper still in production, the Chicago Defender; and with the late Charles “Teenie” Harris, retired staff photographer with the Pittsburgh Courier.
Since the late 19th century, affluent African Americans have built summer communities to rest, socialize, and expose their children to a positive vision of black life. Some resorts, like Idlewild, Michigan; Cape May, New Jersey; and Fox Lake, Indiana, have fallen into decline.
But other locations, including Sag Harbor, Long Island; Highland Beach, Maryland; American Beach, Florida, and perhaps the best known, Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard, continue to attract growing numbers of African Americans of means.
A Place of Our Own will examine the history, significance, and changing landscape of the African American resort community on Martha’s Vineyard and its significance in the life of filmmaker Stanley Nelson.
Approximately 180,000 African Americans comprising 163 units served in the Union Army during the Civil War, and many more African Americans served in the Union Navy. Both free African-Americans and runaway slaves joined the fight. Although black soldiers proved themselves as reputable soldiers, discrimination in pay and other areas remained widespread. According to the Militia Act of 1862, soldiers of African descent were to receive $10.00 a month, plus a clothing allowance of $3.50. Many regiments struggled for equal pay, some refusing any money until June 15, 1864, when Congress granted equal pay for all black soldiers.
Freedom Bags, produced by Stanley Nelson and Elizabeth Clark-Lewis, is the story of African-American women who migrated from the rural south during the first three decades of the 20th century. Hoping to escape from the racism and poverty of the post-Civil War South, they boarded segregated trains for an uncertain future up North. Having had limited education, most could find jobs only as domestic workers.
With spirit and humor, the women remember their tactics for self preservation in the homes of their employers, where they often faced exploitation and sexual harassment. After hours they relished their independence and enjoyed good times with friends and family. Their stories are interwoven with rare footage, still photographs, and period music to create a portrait of the largest internal migration in U.S. history. The film places these personal stories within the historical perspective of the Depression Era and the founding of Social Security and domestic unions in this tribute to the domestic worker. These were proud women who kept their dignity and sense of worth through difficult times.
This is an African-American and African community in L.A. Calif, located in the Crenshaw district. At one point this village was noted as L.A.’s Greenwish Village The clip is on the Rise Fall and Reconstrucrion of this Artist communty.
The Alvin Ailey Dance Company’s can dance everything, even AFROELECTRICO! The new track from Malaventura, extracted from the last chapter of the “Inner Planets” series: “Earth/Tierra”.
Various national leaders talk about how African Americans, women in particular, are disproportionately affected by the HIV epidemic. They talk about embracing the energy and power to change the trajectory of the disease in this community.
You can’t talk about electronic music without mentioning Detroit. That’s why in the second edition of Real Scenes, RA and Bench went to the city which birthed the genre we now call techno.
Detroit has always had a creative streak, due in large part to the boom and subsequent bust of the auto industry. Quite simply, Detroit is a city of extremes, and its music reflects that. These days, Detroit’s importance in the global electronic music scene is often referred to in the past tense. When we visited the city, though, we found a number of artists with their eyes (and ears) firmly set towards the future. After our time in the Motor City, it’s clear to us that Detroit will endure and innovate for years to come.