Why? ‘Coz the Africans Aren’t Generic in this Movie!

October 29, 2010

Dear Comrades,

What a whirlwind the past few weeks have been! Putting together all the intricate details and bringing an entire film production together is no joke! (Much less of a joke when calling in so many favors!) Thank you all for the wonderful support, contributions and enthusiasm you’ve given so far. Every ounce is felt and appreciated.

As a person who prefers not to have her brain turn completely to mush (!), I’m an avid listener of NPR (National Public Radio) and this week has been their quarterly fundraiser week which is always the least fun time to listen to NPR ‘coz all their focus is on raising money. They go on and on about how much support they need, calling for everyone to pitch in, empty their pockets, and keep the substantive news reporting alive. Usually I switch off, although I must say, I’m really enjoying how much wit and humor they’ve managed to inject into their campaigns now. Makes the idea of giving money for a good cause a lot less scary and pressure some!

So it occurred to me that NPR and I are actually doing the same thing! They’re saying that if you can’t stand the brain-numbing reporting of the likes of Fox 5 and want to hear more than who flashed the paparazzi this week, then lets band together, pitch in, and keep NPR alive. I’m saying if you’re tired of wondering if the only Black guy in the film is going to die, or having only one Black guy allowed in the film altogether, OR having the only Black guy allowed in the film ALSO try pass as the generic African guy whose only requirement is to undulate the rhythm of his speech in order to ‘pass’ as Nigerian, Ethiopian, Tanzanian or Camerounian, then LETS BAND TOGETHER AND GET SOME FILMS MADE!

We can’t blame other people for telling our stories and representing our people if we’re not out there telling and supporting our own. Every attempt to tell and support our own is a huge step to go against centuries of oppression and false messages that we [I] are [am] unable to speak and represent our [my] selves intelligently and creatively.  So I haven’t turned off NPR this week. I’m still working on using the humor (getting Alec Baldwin on my team could help some!) but I’ve come to terms with what they’re doing. And trust me, it’s no easy feat!

As we come down to the last 36 hours of our campaign, I ask you to dig just a little bit deeper to keep our momentum going. Keep spreading the word, talking us up and gathering your pennies (and dollars, and shillings!) to help us get this film made. Follow the link to: http://www.indiegogo.com/Suspense?a=43340&i=shlk , check out the cool VIP Perks, and show your love! How many times a year do you get a chance to have your name featured on the end credits of a fabulous movie??! Exactly!

One last push! Aluta Continua!