It is difficult to overstate how far a mother would go for her children. This is why we all go into a bit of a trance at this time of year. We will embarrass ourselves gladly for the corniest Mother’s day gift or card. There’s nothing on that shelf quite enough to express a feeling like “thanks for creating and carrying my heart and bones inside you for nine months!”
Last Thursday, April 23, the eight final teams from this year’s NBPC 360 incubator took the stage at the Jerome L. Greene Performance Space in downtown Manhattan. The producers had spent six weeks honing presentations for this special event: Pitch Black, an evening that spotlighted their ideas in front of a live audience and a panel of industry professionals.
How would you fare with power over the fates of today’s schoolchildren and the public education system? Could you meet the developmental needs of a classroom of ten-year-olds, and pass each of them on to the sixth grade?
Here’s a riddle for you: what do Newark education reform, mental illness, passing for white, African youth culture, intergenerational family conversation, Detroit high school students, the challenges of fatherhood and Washington, D.C.’s U Street Corridor have in common?
She moved with the times. The Lady Who Swung the Band was not a one-genre woman. Blues, swing, bebop . . . you can trace the trajectory of 20th-century jazz straight through her life. She even embraced the free jazz of the 1970s.
“The overwhelming response to NBPC 360 demonstrates two things: first, that there’s truly no shortage of topics and stories centering on the Black experience, and second, there’s a funding gap in the early development of such projects, a gap that NBPC 360 can fill.”
The series introduces viewers to a family struggling to make ends meet, including Monay Parran, a high school dropout and single mother struggling to raise three children while juggling two jobs, and her bright son Rashon, a fifth-grade student in West Hartsville Elementary, whose behavior is threatening his own educational future.
Media innovator and NYU professor Artel Great has probably heard his share of puns on his last name, and with good reason: the man has a wealth of great ideas. Take the titles of his recent research presentations — “Towards a Better Tomorrow: ‘The Defiant Ones’ & the Interracial Buddy Film” and (seasonably enough) “When the Veil Descends: Race & the Oscars.” Or consider his latest, most engrossing enterprise: Project Catalyst.
Cinema about social issues can sometimes tread a tightrope between heavy-handedness and self-censorship — but “Jo” plays it subtle.