Director. Short documentary, color. 4 minutes. Features Casa Samba in the 2003 Endymion parade.
The combination of New Orleans Mardi Gras and Brazilian samba would seem a recipe for serving eroticized-exotic female flesh to armchair tourists but in this documentary, distilled from six miles of handheld footage shot during the 2003 Endymion parade, I tried to present a different point of view. I discovered that at street level the camera operator becomes part of the spectacle and the audience appropriates the camera’s gaze to respond within the participatory aesthetics of African diasporan performance traditions. Samba, as a communal celebration of life transcends the objectifying worldview of the socio-economic elite and the dance goes on…
Director/ Co-Producer. documentary, color. 30 minutes.
When I moved to Atlanta’s historic West End district in 2006, I quickly became a distributor and contributing writer for Our West End Newsletter. Reading back issues of this publication and walking past numerous vacant properties on my delivery route soon impressed upon me the challenge that mortgage fraud posed to the community. I resolved to produce a documentary to educate, empower, and engage community residents in the issue. In July 2008 a seven minute excerpt of “When A House Is Not A Home” was screened in federal court at the sentencing of Kevin Wiggins as evidence documenting the impact his white collar crimes had on the community. A felon convicted on over eighty counts of mortgage fraud, Wiggins received a sentence of 100 months and will be required to complete 200 hours of community service after his release.
He Speaks for Us
Director. short documentary, color, 10 minutes, 2002. Premiered at the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta, Georgia, July 2002.
The Nommo Literary Society was a writing workshop founded and directed by Kalamu ya Salaam from 1995-2005. Nommo writers are well represented in current anthologies of African American writing covering all genres from poetry to speculative fiction to erotica to creative non-fiction. Several Nommo members are Cave Canem alumni, among them Jarvis DeBerry and the young poet featured in this piece, Jericho Brown (whom we knew as Nelson Demery, III). Poems that Brown crafted in the workshop have since appeared in Callaloo and his first book, PLEASE (New Issues), won the 2009 American Book Award. “He Speaks for Us” documents Jericho Brown’s last performance at the Nommo Literary Society’s Second Friday reading.