Otta Benga, Formerly Enslaved
The Epitome of a Nubian Knight

Otta Benga, Formerly Enslaved<br>The Epitome of a Nubian Knight

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"Whenever I use BLACK it relates to some history of Africans in that particular place. It’s the idea of the color BLACK as a metaphor, or as a representation of African-Americans. It’s the notion of BLACK- BLACKNESS - and all its other meanings in relation to the history of race..."

- Fred Wilson

"Most of my fortitude to continue doing the work comes from the moral outrage I feel about the injustices that Black people endure disproportionately daily."

- N. Abdul-Wakil

"In the end, what matters is not skin shade but pan-African consciousness. Loving your complexion, your nose, lips, hair length and texture, no matter what the politics or trends decide, and simply be. That's the problem with us (African folks). We're still learning how to love ourselves. So used to glorifying others and putting others first..."

- Dredlocks Tree

The REEL Black Same Gender Loving Filmography Resource (A 24/7 ONLINE FILM DATABASE)

The REEL Black Same Gender Loving Filmography Resource (A 24/7 ONLINE FILM DATABASE)
Click The Pic To Access The Film Library Database! (166 Films)
LAST UPDATE: Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tom Joyner Morning Show
Talks About Homophobia in the Black Community

Hey Black Family,

I received this correspondence today in the form of an e-alert from my boy Jair in California.

Just wanted to share the information and the link below to listen to the 6-minute audio clip.

PLEASE NOTE that I had a little trouble getting it to play in my Mozilla Firefox (version 3.5.6) web browser and had to default to Internet Explorer to play it. Otherwise smooth sailing to play it.

Read and listen on...

We'd like to call your attention to a commentary from yesterday's (Tuesday, December 15th, 2009) Tom Joyner Morning Show, from regular TJMS commentator Jeff Johnson.

This brief clip includes commentary on the great lengths some factions went to in trying (unsuccessfully) to prevent Houston's election of an openly lesbian mayor, which leads Jeff Johnson to call out what he sees as a crisis caused by the African American community's unwillingness to be honest about its own homophobia. The clip is less than six minutes long, but in that time Jeff speaks an awful lot of truth to those that may not always want to hear it.

Everything Im Not Made Me Everything I Am For those that don't know his work, Jeff Johnson is a Washington, DC based journalist, activist and commentator. He is the author of Everything I'm Not Made Me Everything I Am: Discovering Your Personal BEST and is chief correspondent for talk show The Truth With Jeff Johnson.

This clip is an example of the type of dialogue we need - open and honest, and a call to action asking the Black community to "stop being afraid, and start being willing to understand." His willingness and courage in speaking truth to those who may not want to hear it is inspirational, energizing and deserving of our praise.

Ugandan Anti-homosexual Bill
The Black Men's Xchange-New York (BMX-NY)
e-Newsletter Editorial by John-Martin Green

Ugandan Anti-homosexual Bill
Editorial by John-Martin Green

In Uganda, legislation aimed at eradicating homosexuality is being considered by the government.

In her coverage of the story, MSNBC news analyst, Rachel Maddow has reported that a U.S. organization, "The Family" has conducted an anti-gay campaign in Uganda. Under the program, Ugandan President Museveni and lawmakers have been led to believe there is an "International Gay Agenda" at work in their country. In fact, as quiet as it's kept, there is. And, while we owe Maddow a profound debt of gratitude for her courageous coverage of this horrendous turn of events, I wonder that she doesn't realize that there is indeed such an agenda, and that she (inadvertently or otherwise) is a part of it.

Sylvia Tamale, a law professor at Makerere University in Uganda says it best: "Homosexuality or same-sex attractions have been part and parcel of African communities for time immemorial. But the terms 'homosexuality,' 'lesbian,' 'gay' - those are relatively new. And those are terms many Africans attracted to people of the same sex never use or never identify with."

Mind you, there is nothing sinister in the "International Gay Agenda." It is a natural extension of Gay Liberation, the homosexual self-determination movement started here in America. Part of the challenge for Africans is the gay liberation movement's advancement of gay identity, the cultural and political bearings of which are Eurocentric. Gay identity, as Professor Tamale reminds us, is not indigenous to Africa, but is a U.S. import. Even leftist NPR references the issue as one of "gay rights" in Uganda. While same-sex-attraction has been there from time immemorial, when did gay get into Uganda?

At the same time, and more importantly, there is an insidious International Anti-homosexual Agenda being advanced by reactionary American Evangelical Christians, including U.S. Senators and Congressmen with ties to Uganda (The Family) which has sparked this bill. It is in response to this neo-colonialist and potentially genocidal imperative that, as same gender loving African Americans, we are duty bound to reach out to our brethren and sisteren in Uganda in an effort to pull the wool from their eyes about their exploitation in this regard, and raise their consciousness about natural diversity among human kind.

The Black Men's Xchange-NY recognizes same gender loving experience as an intrinsic facet of everyday Black life and, as such, same gender loving people are deserving of the same respect and dignity as all other facets of human kind.

BIG ROD Working On An
Independent Film: SINGLE HILLS
A Film Shoot at SUNY College at Old Westbury,
Long Island (Monday, December 14th, 2009)

Monday, December 14th, 2009 was a really qool ass day!

Before I get to that and for contextual purposes, let me say that I have been working with Writer/Producer/Editor/Cinematographer/Director Joshua Bee Alafia for a little over a year now. We first met through a THPAC (Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center) dance performance in the summer of 2008. He was hired as a consulting videographer and I was shooting still photos as a photographer. We got introduced through my friend Alex Smith who is the Executive Chairman of THPAC. So, Josh (I call him "JB") and I traded business cards and not too long afterward I got a call from him about an independent film called Single Hills (written, produced and directed by Wilkie Cornelius, Jr.) that he was working on as the cinematographer (also called director of photography). He called because he wanted to know if I was available to work on the film as a sound technician/boom mic operator. Though my focus is more on cinematography (as a NYU film student) I thought this would be a great opportunity to learn another particular aspect of filmmaking. Too may times I have been to film festivals or seen some independent films where the sound suffers so much and is distracting from the narrative of the of film I'm watching. Sound sometimes suffer from resource and budgetary constraints, or it's simply overlooked in favor of pure visuals.

Shure M367 Six Channel Input Portable Microphone Mixer

So I went to JB's office suite in downtown Brooklyn and he gave me a crash course with the Seinhesser shotgun boom microphone (forgot the model number) he owns and a Shure M367 Six Channel Input Portable Microphone Mixer. It took about 15 minutes to pick up on the two pieces of equipment because I have a background in indoor broadcast studio work from my experience at BCAT (Brooklyn Cable Access Television) located in downtown Brooklyn, New York City. I served as technical director, robotics ("robo" or "robocop" we used to say for short) and camera-person on various shows (that I felt where progressive). So hooking up the mic to the mixer with the XLR cables was familiar to me.

So since the summer of 2008, JB has called me back time and again to work on Single Hills and his own independent film called Let's Stay Together which looks incredibly awesome with progressive dialog anf food for thought. I think folks will like this film when it's finished and released (probably sometime in 2010).

So, fast forward to this past Sunday where I was working with JB on his film Let's Stay Together in BedStuy, Brooklyn and Harlem, he asked me if I was available on Monday to work on SIngle Hills again (been 6 months to a year since I've worked on the film). I said "Yeah, sure". So the cast and crew (JB and I) drove in two vehicles to SUNY College at Old Westbury in Long Island to shoot some new scenes. The school, by the way, is the alma mater of writer/producer/director Wilkie Cornelius, Jr. so it was qool for him to return to his roots and do his film there.

Man! What an awesome day! First in reflection, it's great when you can work with a cast and crew where there's no attitudes or egos and everyone is putting their best effort forward for the film project. The staff/students at Old Westbury did everything to make us feel welcomed and helped us with everything that we needed.

Below are some pics that were taken by the the staff/students. I special shout out to my brutha Jeury Tavares who assisted us on the shoot and who I befriended. He was a real passionate workhorse and helped us in so many ways on the shoot and also forwarded the pictures to me which you can see below. I should be getting more pics from him soon and will update y'all as I get them...

ME (ROD) Sitting In For One of the Actors
As The Cinematographer and Director
Frame and Prepare A Scene
This Was The Main and Biggest Studio Set That We Used
On Location At
SUNY College at Old Westbury in Long Island

Pictured Left To Right:
Production Assistant Jerry Tavares,
Cinematographer Joshua Bee Alafia
As The Sound Technician/Boom Mic Operator

Foreground (left to right):
ME (ROD) and Cinematographer Joshua Bee Alafia

Background (left to right):
Writer/Producer/Director Wilkie Cornelius, Jr.
Working On A Scene With Actor Sisko

Holly, One Of Our Actors (Seated)
Is Preparing For an Info-commercial Scene

ME (ROD) Pictured On The Far Right
Teaching Jeury To Use The Boom Mic

Jeury and Myself Looking On As We Prepare A Scene To Be Shot

Jeury And ME

Jeury And I Having A Light Laughing Moment
(We Had A Qool Connection)
As I Prepare and Calibrate The Mixer To The Proper Levels

Jeury and I Pose For a Pic.
Because The Lighting Grid Was Turned Down Low
On The Set It Was Rather Dark So Hence
The Camera's Slow Shutter (Blurry Pic
). Oh well... LOL!

That's Me Standing On The Chairs Just Outside The Main Studio
I Was Miking A Scene For Two Other Actors
By The Studio's Control Console (To The Right, Not Pictured)

ME (BIG ROD) Posing For a Quick Shot
I Actually Like This Pic As I'm Self-Conscious About
How I Photograph! I'm More Suited Behind The Camera!

For the film buffs out there this production is shot in high definition video (HDV). Fot this day's shoot only we also shot in DVCAM format.

Hopefully more pics will follow and more sharing to come...