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Purple Tramble also known as "Purple Reels The Go Getter" is an Independent Filmmaker an alumni of Howard University where she studied Communications - [TV/Film Production]. Tramble is passionate about working with small businesses, bands, artists etc. by giving them a tool to market themselves through video promotion. She is also passionate about the progression of the modern filmmaker by providing them with new ideas to keep them ahead of the game. Tramble is an Activist and Advocate of Educating and Empowering the next generation by providing them with positive images that destroy racial stereotypes and sexist or demeaning behavior in regards to young women. Her mission is to provide hope to the hopeless, a voice to the voiceless, and support others on a mission to bring peace, spread love, and make a positive change. "Protect and effect the minds of the youth and save a nation." ~ Purple Reels ~

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"Goodbye Uncle Tom" Controversial Film but The Heartbreaking Truth!!! [Commentary on the first motion picture, based on historical facts about the rise and revolt of slavery in America]

   "Most of all I hope it makes you think, analyze, and then think again."
~ Purple Reels ~

"American distributors felt that such scenes were too incendiary, and forced Jacopetti and Prosperi to remove more than thirteen minutes of footage explicitly concerned with racial politics for American and other Anglophone audiences." ~ Wikipedia ~

"This film is The Heartbreaking Truth! It possessed all of the passion of a drama and all of the tragedy of a horror film. Yet it gave the truth with no chaser as any great documentary is supposed to do."
~ Purple Reels ~

If you're not interested in knowing the truth I suggest that you do not watch this film. However, if you are one who searches for the truth... then this film is definitely a must see. I get constant recommendations about movies to review, some I take into account and some I just watch and keep it moving. I was having a lengthy conversation and the movie "Goodbye Uncle Tom" came up.
I was interested because I had never heard of the movie. So soon after our conversation I go on a search to find the movie. What I found interesting was that this movie was even allowed to be on Youtube with all of the nudity and offensive language. "Goodbye Uncle Tom" is a 1971 Italian film directed by Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi and features music by Riz Ortolani.

Now I have seen "Roots" and "Amistad" and other movies which claim to give a true look into the history of Slavery but this story is told from a totally different point of view. It is "Uncle Tom" who lets us peer into the actual events that took place. The film takes us back in time to Antebellum America using period documents to illustrate the racist ideology and sick conditions Africans were forced into during slavery. The film is that of a "mockumentary" that uses actors to play the role of historical figures and it illustrates the life of a slave as being a life full of violence, rape and torture committed by Whites against  their Black slaves.

Even the camera movements were quite unusual and at some point I thought they only used one camera because some scenes lacked any real interaction between different angles. At some point it looked as though it was one camera person moving around the table during the first scene of the movie. There was also a very long intro that used the landscape establishing shots to reel us into the story. At one point I also thought that maybe they one camera in that scene on purpose in order to show it from "Uncle Tom's" POV. This is why I like foreign films because you get to see something new as far as different ways to do certain tasks as far as production is concerned. Everyone thinks about film in different ways and therefore we express ourselves differently as well.

I am warning you once again that if you cannot stomach the truth you don't need to watch this movie!!! I actually had to turn my head at some points of the movie because I just couldn't believe what I was seeing! Then to realize that everything I was seeing actually happened to my people, that really disturbed me. So with that being said I will only go so far as to not make you take what you cannot handle. I want you to have a choice in the matter. Now I'm just going to highlight a scene I thought was shocking and might provoke some of you to think, some of you to start a conversation, and some of you to do nothing at all. Most of all I hope it makes you think, analyze, and then think again.

Notice how the Africans are outside of the church and in the back of the church. They dwell on scriptures such as Colossians 3:22 "Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God;" Ephesians 6:5 "Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;" and 1 Peter 2:18-20 "18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. 19 For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a man bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God." They took these scriptures totally out of context, and that is why the Africans weren't allowed to "read and write" for then they would find freedom in knowledge and soon would find out the truth... that they are not inferior but are human beings in their own right.

Then also pay attention to how the White women talk about the African women with whom their husbands are "accused" of sleeping with. They make some pretty interesting justifications for their husband's actions. Some of their comments really made me think about how in denial they really were. This again from another point of view.... from the view of "Uncle Tom."

Here this young caucasian girl has this African on a chained leash like he's her pet


So you might be wondering... who is Uncle Tom? Well I found it very interesting when searching for its definition the info that I found. According to the Urban Dictionary [] Uncle Tom means...

1.     Uncle Tom    
A black man who will do anything to stay in good standing with "the white man" including betray his own people

2.     Uncle Tom    
Uncle Tom is a term used by black people to try to convince other black people that working, education, living well, and setting a good example for their children is selling out.

While [] states

Uncle Tom

–noun   Disparaging and Offensive.

a black man considered by other blacks to be subservient to or to curry favor with whites.

I think the biggest thing here for me was that I had heard about what happened "true events" but to see it actually played out before my eyes was a lot more intense. The scene that disturbed me the most was where the slaves were shown in the bottom of the ship on their way to America. They talked about them like animals and treated them likewise. They broke the teeth of those who refused to eat and then forced the food down their throats with funnels! To make matters more interesting upon their arrival to America they were washed in lye soap and then the men were castrated. They did not merely receive a quick snip .... NO they pulled off their "parts" with force.

 I'm sure some of you already know parts of the story that were shown in Amistad, Roots and other films and history period but I encourage you to have an open mind and take some time out to view this film. As far as children and this movie are concerned I'm not sure whether I would allow my children to see this unless they are able to talk about it afterward. They need a chance to talk about what they saw. This can be a very traumatic experience for a child especially if they find out that it involves them and their history in some way. Yet I'm still compelled to say that it is important for our youth to know their history but I will leave that decision up to the parents.

The film ends with an unidentified man's fantasy re-enactment of William Styron's The Confessions of Nat Turner. This man imagines Nat Turner's revolt in the present, including the brutal murder of the whites around him. American distributors felt that such scenes were too incendiary, and forced Jacopetti and Prosperi to remove more than thirteen minutes of footage explicitly concerned with racial politics for American and other Anglophone audiences. This remains the case on "Youtube" where I initially found the film. Learning this only makes me more interested in viewing the deleted footage. Overall I thought this was a great film. It possessed all of the passion of a drama and all of the tragedy of a horror film. Yet it gave the truth with no chaser as any great documentary is supposed to do. 

As always remember to be "REEL" and stay on the MOVE!

"Purple Reels The Go Getter"

R&B Singer/Sensation KEKE WYATT Returns! "Who Knew?"

"KeKe Wyatt RETURNS!
Wyatt seems to have truly grown on this album. Her lyrics possess that of a sincere heart. One who is happy with where they are and really cherishes what they have, the simple things."
 ~ Purple Reels ~
"Wyatt has brought back that classic 90s R&B sound" ~ Purple Reels ~

KeKe Wyatt (born Ketara Shavon Wyatt, March 10, 1982) is a multi-talented American R&B recording artist. She became popular after a highly successful collaboration with R&B singer Avant on his platinum album My Thoughts. This led to her debut Certified Gold album Soul Sista in 2001, and a promising solo career with MCA Records.

Many who think of KeKe Wyatt think about her alleged stabbing of her husband Rahmat Morton. Yet there is much more to her story. She is a survivor. If one has never gone through anything they cannot ever understand something like that.

Ketara was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. Like most successful R&B singers Wyatt's background and introduction to singing is deeply rooted in church music. Her mother. Lorna Wyatt is a vocalist and her father, Keever Wyatt II is an organist/vocalist. Despite her religious upbringing her parents exposed her to all types of music (secular and gospel) and encouraged her to pursue a career in secular music. Surrounded by a musically inclined family Ketara started singing at the age of two and by five she had already performed for her first live audience. Wyatt says she is influenced by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway and Ella Fitzgerald.

Professionally KeKe didn't start until the age of ten by recording "What If" on a gospel compilation album based in Indianapolis. Wyatt soon become the student of producer/songwriter Steve "Stone" Huff. He produced and shopped a few demos around for Wyatt in hopes of getting her signed with a professional label. Wyatt began performing the songs for gospel labels which earned her $1,500 per recording. The thing about Wyatt was that she could write and as a minor she was vulnerable to the more wise and seasoned "big wigs" of the entertainment industry. Wyatt did not receive credit for most of her work she did as a teen.

At age eighteen Wyatt recorded the song My First Love with Avant which gained much success as a single with MCA Records. This resulted in a solo album contract with MCA Records. Wyatt then recorded her first album in two weeks time.
The controversy surrounding accusations in a domestic violence dispute between Wyatt and her husband/manager helped propel her debut album Soul Sista into gold-certified status. The album held the Top 5 position for several weeks and sold more than one million copies reaching audiences in Japan, Korea and Europe.[1] The video for her third single, I Don't Wanna, features her former real-life spouse, Rahmat Morton, playing her husband as well as their son in the beginning intro.

In 2004 Wyatt left MCA Records and signed with Cash Money Records/Universal Motown Records. Her single Put Your Hands on Me became #1 but she'd later leave Cash Money Records for TVT Records. Her debut album with TVT Records was supposed to be Ghetto Rose but that album was shelved due to the label filing for bankruptcy.

In February 2010, Wyatt released the single Who Knew? which served as the title track for her album. General Manager and head of A&R, Randal Grass, of Wyatt's new record label Shanachie Entertainment stated :

    She is one of the outstanding singers of her generation and is recognized as a true singer.

Additionally, in an interview with she has said that her and
Avant are in works for their long-awaited duets album.

Of my favorite songs off of the album "Got Me One (Good Man)" has to be my favorite, then comes "Never Do it Again," and "Daydreaming." Got Me One (Good Man) seems like it could be a wedding song that I could definitely see being used in a film. I can only hope that the album gains the attention that it deserves. Wyatt seems to have truly grown on this album. Her lyrics possess that of a sincere heart. One who is happy with where they are and really cherishes what they have, the simple things. I had been reminiscing on the R&B music of the 90s and KeKe Wyatt's name came up every time. I think with this album Wyatt has brought back that classic 90s R&B sound that I have been missing so much. Wyatt's story is very inspiring and encouraging because she took all that she has been through and turned it into something beautiful. Furthermore I believe that she really had an epiphany after her violent encounters with her former husband (or soon to be ex-husband). That in itself can inspire an artist to create because that is a form of expression or therapy to rid your soul of it's toxic emotions.

Wyatt is a mother of three through her seven year marriage to Rahmat Morton. Eleven years her senior, he is her former road manager whom she married at age eighteen. In 2009 Wyatt reported that she was in the process of divorcing Morton.

The singer has two younger brothers who also work as entertainers. Keever Wyatt, III is an R&B/Hip-Hop artist. Kendall Wyatt is a writer for the Christian Music industry.

Check out her NEW VIDEO "WHO KNEW?"

As always remember to be "REEL" and stay on the MOVE!

"Purple Reels The Go Getter"

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

His name is [D'MILITANT] - Up and coming Comedian! Watch out now!

"He has performed at the hottest and most notable rooms in the U.S. and the U.K. and appeared on the nations top stand up television shows including BETs Comic View, HBOs Def Comedy Jam, Apollo Comedy Hour, Comedy Centrals Make Me Laugh and Black Starzs First Amendment."


He is a Jack of all trades expressing himself as a Comedian, Writer, Actor, and Author. Darryl Littleton also known by millions as DMilitant, is far more than an up and coming comedian. Littleton is multitalented, intelligent, versatile and a comedy industry veteran.

Littleton has traveled the world doing stand up, showcasing his unique talent. Although labeled as "up and coming" he has had his share of the glitz and glamour, the lights, cameras and action of show business, Littleton has worked with the biggest names in comedy. He has performed at the hottest and most notable rooms in the U.S. and the U.K. and appeared on the nations top stand up television shows including BETs Comic View, HBOs Def Comedy Jam, Apollo Comedy Hour, Comedy Centrals Make Me Laugh and Black Starzs First Amendment. One of his greatest accomplishments was when he became the Grand Prize Winner on ABCs Americas Funniest People.

Not only this but Littleton has written for TV, performed and acted for TV, as well. He has reached back and helped numerous Black Comedy luminaries get their acts together, including: Cedric The Entertainer, Sommore, D.L. Hughley and Don D.C. Curry among others.

And the list of awards continues... In 2006 Littleton won the nationally acclaimed stand up comedy contest the Bay Area Black Comedy Competition & Festival in Oakland California and joins the ranks of the highly distinguished alumni which include: Jamie Foxx, Don D.C. Curry, D.L. Hughley, Mark Curry and many more. 

It would only make sense that someone would notice this multi-talented comedian guru... it was Competition producer and personal manager Tony Spires who noticed him and then signed Littleton. After building his supportive team, a new book, Black Comedians On Black Comedy, and a new-found love for reaching the pinnacle of his craft, it wont be long until this multi-talented, Jack of all trades, legend-in-the-making takes his rightful place among the stars.

As always remember to be "REEL" and stay on the MOVE!

"Purple Reels The Go Getter"

HOLD UP!!!??? Erykah Badu's Window Seat

"Erykah is so dope for this one! See the video is simple but the MESSAGE is what makes it AMAZING! Kudos on this one Erykah.... love it!"
Purple Reels

"So can I get a window seat... don't want nobody next to me... I just want a ticket out of town to look around... Can I get a window seat .... don't want nobody next to me... I just want a chance to fly... a chance to cry..."

I really do not care what anyone thinks on this one. Let me clear my throat and tell you what I thought at first glance. I like the video because of course it looks older and reminiscent of the films from the 50s/60s. If you pay attention you'll notice what exactly is going on here. All I will say is JFK. If you remember the assassination of JFK and even Dr. King you will understand the message
at the end of the video. Erykah is so dope for this one! See the video is simple but the MESSAGE is what makes it AMAZING! Kudos on this one Erykah.... love it! I know the guys were just tripping because she took off all of her clothes but it was much more than that... I know you remember when Janet Jackson had that little mishap during the SuperBowl that year with Justin Timberlake. Yeah and the world went crazy because she showed one breast! The television studios shut down and went straight to commercial not just because of a breast but it was a rare one lol! Now Erykah takes off all of her clothes... and the message at the end is the following:

 "They play it safe
Are quick to assassinate what they do not understand
they move in packs
ingesting more and more fear with every act of hate on one another
they feel most comfortable in groups
less guilt to swallow
they are us
this is what we have become
afraid to respect the individual 
a single person within a circumstance can move one to change
to love herself
to evolve"

E. Badu 

Check out the new Album which is in stores today March 30, 2010 
NEW AMERYKAH, Pt. 2: Return of the ANKH

As always remember to be "REEL" and stay on the MOVE!

"Purple Reels The Go Getter"

Monday, March 29, 2010

Director/Screenwriter MATTY RICH coming Back????

Do remember the film Inkwell? It was released April 22, 1994 and had a cast of up and coming actors (actresses) such as Larenz Tate, Joe Morton, Suzzanne Douglas, Duane Martin, Glynn E. Turman, Jada Pinkett Smith and Vanessa Bell Calloway. The film didn't receive very great reviews and didn't do too well in the box office but then again consider the source... who exactly were the critics? Nicole Gagne of All Movie Guide states Inkwell is "a Charming comedy about a 16-year-old boy coming of age on Martha's Vineyard in the summer of 1976." It was written by Trey Ellis and Paris Qualles. Most of the cast members hailed from the popular show "A Different World." It was a coming of age film that depicted a young boy (Larenz Tate) searching for his identity. He comes in contact with challenges that force him to grow up a little bit and give him a taste of love.

The Director is none other than Matty Rich who is most noted for his film "Straight out of Brooklyn" which he directed when he was only 19 years old. He used some of the same tactics that Spike Lee used as far as financing his film. Spike Lee got money from the community, sponsors, and credit cards for most of his first films. Rich is a former student of Tich School of the Arts at NYU. He is quoted for saying that the faculty at the school was racist.

He'd later receive criticism from Spike Lee who called him "ignorant" because of his comments in regards to Tich. Rich was not discouraged when he chose to leave the school. He continued to pursue other means to gain funds for his film. He used a series of film screenings, donations, and credit cards to raise money for the film and earned a total of 77,000 dollars to complete the film. He also used a different strategy when it came to looking for actors as well. He didn't necessarily go for Hollywood A list actors but he opted for hiring non-professional actors. Some of his funding also came from the American Playhouse Theatrical Films sponsorship. You must have true dedication and a fearless work ethic to pull something off like that.

Some of you may be wondering... well who is Matty Rich? Matty Rich was born November 6, 1971 in Brooklyn, New York City. His full name is Matthew Statisfield Richardson. He grew up in the Red Hook Houses, a Brooklyn Housing Project. Rich's father was a Vietnam Veteran and could have been depicted in his film "Straight Out of Brooklyn" which displayed the father as angry at the world. The wife in the film was being battered by her husband but even still she stayed with him. The scene where she has a discussion with her daughter about how he (her husband) is just going through a lot and things aren't going well for him (and she must be there for him) provided a strong message. I'm not exactly sure that it was the right message in regards to the woman staying with her husband regardless of the fact that she's being beaten but it shows "staying power" in the sense that the "African American" woman stands by her man through it all. There are other scenes in the movie that are very raw but that gives the audience a clear look into the hardcore reality of Brooklyn, NY at that time. I'm very sure it has changed drastically since then but you still must be on top of your game before you step foot in Brooklyn.

During the time when the film was gaining a lot of attention and success people were comparing Rich with other new, young, talented African American Filmmakers at that time such as Spike Lee, John Singelton, Mario Van Peebles and the Hughes Brothers. These filmmakers were also being hailed for their films about "ghetto life." Rich's second film which we talked about earlier "Inkwell" was not very well received and was a commercial failure. Though Rich has not made another film since then, in 2005 he wrote and directed a video game "187 Ride or Die" which was also not a major success.
Very Classic Photo: Mario Van Pebbles, Matty Rich, Spike Lee

It would be great to see another film by Matty Rich. I'm not sure what he's working on at the moment or if he feels like Inkwell was it for him but obviously he has a love and a passion for film that cannot be duplicated by any other. There may be many directors and writers out there in Hollywood but it is important that we remain conscious of what is real and what is fabricated for commercial gain. That is why I love independent film because it gives us a tool as filmmakers that is limitless. It is another avenue that allows us as storytellers to tell the story as it was meant to be told without a chaser, without pumped up sexual innuendoes, and without unnecessary stereotypes. Where are the filmmakers ... but more importantly where are the storytellers? It is important to remember that our way of passing on history is different from the mainstream. Dating back to ancient time we as an African people tell our stories orally and that is why film is perfect for us.

In recent news, (well not that recent) Matty Rich marries Los Angeles Publicist Leah "Reid" Johnson at a private ceremony with friends and relatives on Saturday Jan. 19, 2008 in Los Angeles, CA. 

 Matty Rich Coming Back?

According to the Florida Star Matty Rich is said to be coming back with a vengeance.

When asked what he had in the works he replied “I was living in Europe for a little bit producing video games. Now that I’m back in the States I’m getting ready to do my next feature film. Then I have a TV show I created that we are getting ready to launch with Isaiah Washington. Man, I’m just back in the mix and I’m excited about it.”

Rich continues to explain how he thinks the industry has changed and how his attitude has changed towards the movie business:

Rich responds, “The industry has changed. Before, the making of a black film was an event. It was like Spike, Matty, John Singleton, the Hughes brothers but now it is limited. The black movies now don’t have that event factor and I think it has a lot to do with the current Hollywood system. Right now it seems like black cinema is in a box, (then he adds humor), it’s in a DVD box! We need to get it out of the DVD box and get it back to the big screen. That’s how I see the business has changed.”

Rich continues, “The great thing is that black filmmakers like me and the Hughes brothers are getting opportunities to make bigger movies. But sometimes bigger movies aren’t always the right things to do. I made my first movie for $77,000. It was good quality and it made it to the theaters but my second movie The Inkwell was made for $4 million. I don’t really think it’s about the number of the dollar signs, it’s about the quality. We as black film makers have kind of lost the whole thing about what is quality. Meanwhile the public isn’t spending the money on our films like they used to because the quality is kind of lax.”

When asked is there pressure on him because of his name and people expecting a certain thing out of him when he makes a movie? Rich shrugs, “Oooh yeah, I would be lying if I didn’t say that was true. I came on the scene so strong and then I just vanished. I left because I wanted to leave. I didn’t want to be this filmmaker with nine movies can then you are exhausted. People are tired of you and you are tired of yourself. So when I had the opportunity to go to Europe I’m like yo, I’m outta here!  Now that I’m back I can speak French and I have a fresh eye.” Rich also emphasizes that young up and coming black filmmakers must go to school and really learn “how” to make a film.

Interview with Matty Rich courtesy of The Florida Star [article By Rych McCain/
Photos: Ried Johnson PR]

DIRECT LINK to article HERE -----> []

As always remember to be "REEL" and stay on the MOVE!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Must see Scene from "Spook who Sat by the Door" - 1973

What do you notice about this scene?

The Spook Who Sat By The Door Trailer

So this is definitely one of my all time favorite movies. It's directed by Sam Greenlee. What is funny is even though the film "mysteriously" disappeared ... it made it's way back through some hidden camera negatives. I have seen the movie but I would really like to get my hands on the book. I'm sure the book is way better... it probably goes into a lot more detail. If you haven't yet, be sure to check out this film.

Purple Reels

Carli De'La Hughes

This girl is definitely a great actress! I love how they captured the essence of each of her best performances here and put it at the beginning as if it were the intro to a television show. I really enjoyed this piece. Carli De'La Hughes. Now when they say "write with an actor/actress in mind" I know exactly what they mean.

Purple Reels

Monday, March 22, 2010

P.E.A.C.E. has come to our Community [UmojaFest Peace Center]

Behind every successful person is a village who believed...

Being a Seattle native makes it easy to see how this city has grown. Seattle is a very unique city that has many talented individuals, a huge film scene, and a connection to the arts that people around the nation may not be aware of. As a kid I was always involved in some form of art thanks to my parents who cared enough to see to it that my interests were catered to. I remember summer camps, the church choir, talent shows, painting etc. After being exposed to so much so young my eyes were opened and I felt there wasn't anything I couldn't accomplish. I also remember there being a huge connection with the African American community. There was always something going on to positively influence our youth. Granted there was a lot of violence going on (which has not changed) the difference is there was always somewhere that we could go to escape that. For a while I thought that this was gone altogether never to be found again. Some African Americans in Seattle (and other cities where the population is predominantly Caucasian) either conform to other forms of identity (which are not their own) or they embrace their differences and strive to remain the token negro.  Meaning once they find their niche they want to remain the only one on top and refuse to reach back and help the community from whence they came. I'm not saying all but some. This type of negative energy only brings more division fostering a defensive consciousness rather than a communal and unified one. This is one of the reasons I left Seattle in search of identity and community... in a search for more... I always knew there was more than this... but listen...

A change of rising themes

After leaving my city I have witnessed situations much worse than that of what I thought was poverty in the "poverty ridden" areas of Seattle. I was amazed that I thought we had it so bad when in fact that was not the case at all. We talk about our hoods but there are people who are dealing with horrifying situations much worse. Some of which I have had first hand experience with myself.  Have you ever had to choose between food and transportation? No food and no government assistance to rely on for your sanity... you sit in class one day with someone and the next day they are gone too soon. I never saw so many homeless people in my life, crackheads on every corner but walk a few blocks down Georgia Avenue and you will find peace, clean roads and fancy restaurants... you'll find politicians who flash fake smiles and ask you to sign petitions and you wonder do they know about what lies beneath?  They don't know and don't care about the starving and homeless people who raid the city yet they are the capitol of the nation we call The United States. 

One rising theme that I do notice about all of the places that I've been is the rising theme in the African American community.  When I first moved to DC (2005) the neighborhood I moved in (NorthWest) was predominantly African American and I loved it and it stayed that way for a while. Upon the last year of my college career (2009) I began to notice a "change" and I even started hearing little jokes around town about chocolate city turning into "milk chocolate city." At first I thought it was rather funny and interesting. Then one day there was a drive by shooting I remember it quite clearly. I was in the kitchen cooking breakfast when I heard a sound that seemed like a firecracker but I was quite wrong. I then heard the engine of a car become louder and louder as it approached the side of my house. I watched the car and saw a gun creep out of the passenger's window and gun shots were raided towards the projects located directly behind my house. There were a couple of Caucasian people who came out of their houses with their hands folded like they were immune from the bullets. It was rather interesting. Then I noticed an increase in cops surrounding Northwest probably due to the "new neighbors" calling in what they saw. I laughed inside and wondered where were they when it was just us "African Americans" suffering from violence... when we call in they are nowhere to be found... yet they remain the ones deemed to "PROTECT & SERVE." There were many other things that I began to notice changing in the neighborhood. I felt powerless though.... watching somewhere I called home being taken from "us" and from me. They began to threaten older people who had lived in this neighborhood for years and in my case the rent was raised at an uncompromising rate. Many of us were forced out of that neighborhood... but this is happening everywhere... yet nothing is being done about it...

The Power of Money in Manipulating our Communities

The main thing I began to notice is the power of money. It is crazy how they can make decisions that affect so many in such a negative way just because they feel like living closer to the city now. Gentrification being among one of the major rising themes  in all cities where African Americans reside. This is one of the ways we as African Americans are controlled especially those who are not yet financially stable and with an economy like this one it makes it almost impossible to fight back. I really do see a direct similarity in Seattle as far as Gentrification is concerned. The Central District used to be the African American Mecca in Seattle but that is taking a drastic change. Another rising theme is that of our youth. They are being left behind and that is something that hits home every time for me no matter where I am. After coming back home to Seattle I have noticed how great the need is to intercede for, educate, protect and mentor our youth. So how do we do that? Can one person be expected to change the world? Where do we start?

 Everything is changing all around us and if we continue to just talk about it and not take some type of action it will continue to remain the same. What frightens me is that it may get worse. Taking back our youth starts with getting involved in giving back what we have learned on our journey. I was introduced to a plethora of art forms at a very young age and that (along with my relationship with God) I believe is what saved me from going down the wrong path. Parents today have a hard time because for the most part both parents have to hold down a job and then if they are a single parent that is even worse. The kid may become a latch key kid. One who has a key to the house and is left alone after school in an empty house. The idle mind is the devil's playground and that is where the problem arises. 

Is there hope for our community?

There is hope. We have the power to cultivate and bring change to our communities. Saturday February 27, 2010 I was fortunate to catch a conference in Seattle, WA called "The Seattle NW Hip Hop Leadership Conference" There were a multitude of workshops taking place at the Seattle Vocational Institute. Everything from Hip Hop and the Global Community to Technology was there at the fingertips of anyone who had a desire to learn. The workshop that I was drawn to was "Youth and Police Relations." There was a very positive vibe in that place and it was such a wonderful experience to see so many youth interested in these issues that are facing our community. I just couldn't let it go without capturing that moment so below is what I put together with the footage that I got that day:

UmojaFest P.E.A.C.E. Center "A Beacon of Light"

I was taking it all in but in the back of mind I was wondering who is responsible for all of this? How come I didn't know about this before now? Then I found out about the UmojaFest P.E.A.C.E. Center which is located in the heart of Seattle. It was started by a Mr. Wyking Garrett in 2008 and was an answer to President Obama's call to serve the community. The community came together to transform two nuisance properties into a community based youth cultural center. Since 2008 the UPC has put on numerous events such as the following:

  • Seattle/NW Hip-Hop Leadership Conference
  • Green Organizers Mixer & Union Street SpringFest
  • We are Change Community Forums
  • Malcom X Day Conference & Music Fest
  • Young Voters League Candidate Forum
  • The Hip Hop Congress National Conference

The center is located on 24th & Spring in Central Seattle (Central District) and hosts audio recording and video production studios, learning room, computer lab and a library/reading room. In the future the UPC plans to develop additions such as a Youth Violence Memorial and Green Retro-Fit. The mission of the center as quoted in the mission statement is the following:

to develop and implement programing initiatives and activities that
  •         Cultivate Positive culture in the Community
  •         Inspires Youth Productivity through various creative and Entrepreneurial Projects
  •         Encourages Empowerment through Education and advocates for PEACE based on justice

The UPC is also taking action through their "Homeless Veterans Street Outreach Support Services." They provided 1,300 bed nights, 1,500 meals, and referred a host of individuals to drug rehabilitation centers.

African American Filmmakers Unite for Positive Change

 I had the fortunate opportunity this past Sunday March 21, 2010 to meet with fellow African American Filmmakers in the Seattle area all at the Peace Center. We discussed the problems that we see in the community, what we feel we need to do, and our vision for the future. I am very excited about the possibilities something great is happening in our community and that is something that we can be proud of. One thing that I continue to notice is the lack of African American women in the film industry. I believe that is one way that I can truly make a difference in my community. I was one of the few who was exposed to the many possibilities and I am going to make it a point to give that same opportunity, knowledge, and mentor ship to my fellow sisters coming up behind me. I love my brothers and sisters, I love my community and I am happy that change is alive and well in the heart of Seattle, WA.

"A beacon of light, the UmojaFest P.E.A.C.E. Center is a place to recognize and remember the struggles, successes and achievements of the past and present while providing creative opportunities for new and emerging artists, community organizers, civic leaders and entrepreneurs to grow."

Peace, LOVE and Blessings

As always remember to be "REEL" and stay on the MOVE!

"Purple Reels The Go Getter"