Black America – The Impact of Art/Activism with Jamal Joseph

Black America – The Impact of Art/Activism with Jamal Joseph

♪ [THEME MUSIC] ♪ >> HELLO AND THANKS SO MUCH FOR JOINING US TODAY, I'M CAROL JENKINS.

THE PROGRAM IS "BLACK AMERICA.

" TODAY OUR GUEST IS JAMAL JOSEPH, HE'S A WRITER, DIRECTOR, SONG WRITER, AND EXECUTIVE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF IMPACT REP THEATER, A TRAINING PROGRAM FOR YOUNG PEOPLE HERE IN NEW YORK CITY, THAT HAS HAD INDEED, A HUGE IMPACT ON PARTICIPANTS.

HE'S A COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR OF FILM WHO HAS MOST RECENTLY WRITTEN AND DIRECTED THE FILM "CHAPTER AND VERSE.

" IT HAS GOTTEN A TERRIFIC REVIEW IN THE NEW YORK TIMES.

IT IS PREMIERING IN SEVERAL CITIES ACROSS THE NATION.

HE'S ALSO THE AUTHOR OF "PANTHER BABY: A LIFE OF REBELLION AND REINVENTION.

" THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING WITH US TODAY, JAMAL.

>> IT IS A PLEASURE AND HONOR, THANK YOU.

>> THAT'S A LOT OF LIFE, YOU KNOW, AND WE'VE ONLY JUST BEGUN.

YOU'VE HAD AN INCREDIBLE ARC IN YOUR LIFE.

MUST SAY THAT PART OF THAT WAS BEING A PANTHER YOURSELF, THAT'S THE "PANTHER BABY" AUTOBIOGRAPHY THAT WILL PROBABLY BE YOUR NEXT FILM? >> YEAH, WORKING ON ADAPTING THE BOOK INTO A SCREENPLAY.

>> TALK A LITTLE ABOUT THAT.

WE ALWAYS START, PLEASE PLACE YOURSELF IN BLACK AMERICA.

YOU'RE A HARLEM BABY, IN ADDITION TO BEING A PANTHER BABY.

TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOU.

>> I WAS ACTUALLY CONCEIVED IN CUBA, I'M AFRO-CUBAN, BUT RAISED BY AMAZING ADOPTIVE GRANDPARENTS IN NEW YORK CITY BETWEEN THE BRONX AND HARLEM.

THEY WERE FROM THE SOUTH AND THEIR PARENTS AND OLDER SIBLINGS HAD BEEN SLAVES, SO I LEARNED ABOUT SLAVERY AND CIVIL RIGHTS.

THEY WERE GARVEYITES.

THEY WERE ACTIVE IN THE CHURCH.

>> NOT TOO OFTEN YOU COME ACROSS THE TERM — LET'S STOP THERE FOR A SECOND, GARVEYITES, MARCUS GARVEY, BACK TO AFRICA, TALK ABOUT IT.

>> MARCUS GARVEY WAS A JAMAICAN SCHOLAR WHO BELIEVED THAT THE SOLUTION TO OPPRESSION AND RACISM FOR BLACK PEOPLE WAS TO RETURN TO THE MOTHERLAND, TO AFRICA, AND AT THE HEIGHT OF THE MOVEMENT, DR.

GARVEY HAD TENS OF THOUSANDS OF FOLLOWERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND AROUND THE WORLD, AND MY GRANDPARENTS WOULD TELL ME ABOUT THE SUNDAY PARADES, DOWN SEVENTH AVENUE, EVERY SUNDAY.

YOU WOULD SEE THESE PHOTOS, YOU WOULD SEE PEOPLE MARCHING IN PRIDE.

THERE WERE COMMUNITY CENTERS, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, SO I UNDERSTOOD COMING UP THAT THERE WERE TWO AMERICAS, THAT THERE WAS ONE THAT WAS FREE AND ONE THAT WAS OPPRESSED, BUT THAT BLACK AMERICA HAD A PROUD LEGACY, AND SO WHERE WE HAD BLACK STUDIES PROGRAMS, GRANDPA WOULD NOT ONLY CRITIQUE WHAT WAS ON TELEVISION, IF I SAW A TARZAN MOVIE, IT'S NOT ABOUT A WHITE GUY SCREAMING THROUGH THE JUNGLE SAVING AFRICA, HE IS THE CIVILIZATIONS OF AFRICA AND HE IS WHO FREDERICK DOUGLAS WAS, HARRIET TUBMAN.

>> YEAH, YOU HAD FIRM GROUNDING IN BLACK HISTORY.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

AND GRANDPA PASSED AWAY, AND SO GRANDMA WAS RAISING ME BY HERSELF.

I WAS AN HONOR STUDENT, BUT I WAS ALSO HANGING ON THE STREET A LITTLE BIT.

I WAS AT THE STAGE A LOT OF YOUNG MEN ARE WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE THOSE ROLE MODELS OR PRESENCE, WHAT IS THE PATH TO MANHOOD.

I WAS A MEMBER OF THE NAACP YOUTH COUNCIL AND WHEN I WAS 15 YEARS OLD, DR.

KING WAS ASSASSINATED AND I GOT RADICALIZED, YOU KNOW, ANGRY.

ANGRY AT A WHITE MAN WHO KILLED DR.

KING AND SOUGHT OUT THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY.

AS WE'RE RIDING TOWARDS THE PANTHER OFFICE, I'M WITH TWO OLDER FRIENDS AND ONE FRIEND LEANS OVER, IT'S LIKE THE MAFIA, THE PANTHERS, NO GETTING OUT.

I'M WITH MY BOYS AND THEY ARE OLDER, SO I COULDN'T BE A PUNK.

ONE GUY SAID YOU HAVE TO KILL A WHITE DUDE TO BE A PANTHER.

KILL SOMEBODY? >> OH, MY GOSH.

YOU WERE THAT ANGRY.

>> I WAS THAT ANGRY, BUT ALSO THAT NAIVE.

I HAD SEEN THE PANTHERS ON TELEVISION, LEATHER COATS AND SHOTGUNS POLICING THE POLICE.

>> LOOKING VERY COOL.

>> LOOKING SUPER COOL, AND I GET TO THE PANTHER OFFICE AND THE PERSON RUNNING THE MEETING IS EXPLAINING THE PANTHER TEN-POINT PROGRAM WHICH TALKS ABOUT HOW EDUCATION — >> SERIOUS THINGS.

>> HE GETS TO POINT NUMBER FIVE IN THE TEN-POINT PROGRAM, WHICH IS ABOUT EDUCATION.

EDUCATION TEACHES OUR TRUE HISTORY AND NATURE OF AMERICAN SOCIETY AND I JUMPED UP.

I KILL A WHITE DUDE RIGHT NOW.

>> FUNNY NOW.

>> HE CALLS ME THAT AND I'M STANDING NEXT TO THE DESK AND ALL THE OLDER PANTHERS, I'M GOING TO PUT THIS IN PERSPECTIVE, THEY WERE OLDER THAN ME BECAUSE I WAS 15 YEARS OLD BUT THEY WERE 18, 19, 20 YEARS OLD.

HE LOOKS AT ME AND REACHES INTO THE BOTTOM DOOR OF THE DESK HE'S SITTING BEHIND AND MY HEART IS POUNDING IN MY SKINNY LITTLE CHEST.

HE'S GOING TO GIVE ME A BIG OLD GUN AND HE HANDS ME A STACK OF BOOKS.

AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MALCOM X.

SOUL ON ICE BY ELDRIDGE CLEAVER.

WRETCHED OF THE EARTH BY FANON.

AND I THINK IT WAS A TEST, MY FRIENDS WERE TELLING ME, EXCUSE ME, BROTHER, I THOUGHT YOU WERE GOING TO ARM ME.

EXCUSE ME, YOUNG BROTHER, I JUST DID.

>> THAT'S A LESSON THAT'S OFTEN MISSED ABOUT THE BLACK PANTHER IN TERMS OF HOW SERIOUSLY THEY TOOK THEIR SOCIAL ACTIVISM AND UNDERSTANDING OF HISTORY.

>> YOUR DAY IN THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY WAS ABOUT SERVICE.

ANY PERSON WHO WAS IN THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY WHAT IS — THERE WAS THE TEN-POINT PROGRAM AND THE RULES OF DISCIPLINE AND, OF COURSE, WE STUDIED A GREAT DEAL, BUT IF ASKED IF THERE WAS ONE PRINCIPLE, ONE THING THAT SUPERSEDED ANYTHING ELSE, GUARANTEED THEY WOULD ANSWER THE QUESTION WE WERE TAUGHT TO HAVE AN UNDYING LOVE FOR THE PEOPLE AND SERVE THE COMMUNITY MIND, BODY, AND SOUL.

>> AND YET AT 15 YOU'RE IN THE PANTHERS, YOU WIND UP IN JAIL, AND THAT WAS FOR HIDING PEOPLE WHO ARE HIDING FROM THE POLICE AND WHAT ELSE? >> WELL, THE PANTHER 21 CASE WAS A CONSPIRACY CASE, AND THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE ALLEGED THAT WE WERE IN SOME PLOT TO HAVE GUERILLA WARFARE IN NEW YORK CITY AND WE WERE ON TRIAL FOR OUR LIVES, AND TWO OF THE WITNESSES WERE UNDERCOVER COPS WHO INFILTRATED THE PANTHERS, AND THAT WAS A TRIAL THAT — >> PART OF — TUPAC, AS WELL.

>> YEAH, ABSOLUTELY.

>> BECAME YOUR GOD SON.

>> SO ACQUITTED OF THE MAJOR CHARGES, I WOUND UP SPENDING TIME IN PRISON FOR HIDING OUT PEOPLE WHO WERE ON THE RUN FOR THE FBI.

>> RIGHT, BUT OTHER WORK, BY THE WAY, WHICH IS NO JOKES.

WHILE WE WERE THERE, GRADUATED FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS.

>> K.

U.

, YEAH.

>> SUMMA CUM LAUDE.

>> SUMMA CUM LAUDE.

DEGREES IN SOCIOLOGY AND PSYCHOLOGY AND IT'S THERE I STARTED WRITING.

I STARTED WRITING POETRY, I STARTED WRITING PLAYS, AND I FORMED A THEATRE COMPANY.

>> IN PRISON.

AND SOME INTERESTING STORIES THERE.

THERE'S A TED TALK THAT YOU GAVE ABOUT AN OLDER PRISONER WHO TELLS YOU, OKAY, YOUNG BROTHER, YOU CAN EITHER DO THE TIME OR THE TIMES GOING TO DO YOU AND YOU TOOK THAT TO HEART AND CAME OUT OF THERE WITH WHAT WOULD TURN OUT TO BE A FANTASTIC, PRODUCTIVE LIFE, TEACHING AT COLUMBIA, HEADING TO FILM SCHOOL, GROOMING FILM MAKERS, AND HAVING AN EXCITING LIFE HERE.

WORKING FOR MOST OF THE BROADCASTING COMPANIES, AS WELL AS BEING IN FILM.

SO LET'S JUMP TO "CHAPTER AND VERSE," BECAUSE I KNOW THAT IT HAS A THEME, AS WELL.

AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL TO WHAT DEGREE? >> TO THE DEGREE THAT OUR LEAD CHARACTER IS SOMEONE WHO SPENT A NUMBER OF YEARS IN PRISON AND IS RETURNING TO HARLEM TO REBUILD HIS LIFE AND THE CHALLENGES.

HE'S SOMEONE WHO LEARNED HOW TO FIX COMPUTERS AND CAN'T GET A JOB.

HE'S SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO KEEP HIS HEAD DOWN AND STAYS OUT OF TROUBLE, BUT THERE'S POLICE ON EVERY CORNER AND GANG MEMBERS ON EVERY CORNER.

>> LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT THAT AND LET'S TALK ABOUT IT ON THE OTHER SIDE.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

>> GOT A GREAT REVIEW FROM "THE TIMES" I'LL SAY AGAIN.

>> MY NAME IS S.

LANCE INGRAM.

THEY USED TO CALL ME L.

>> HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN OUT OF THE JOINT, A FEW WEEKS? >> WHY YOU ACTING ALL SHADY? >> FIND A JOB? >> NO JOB.

NO JOB.

>> I'LL WORK THE FIRST WEEK FOR FREE.

>> PUT YOU ON THE VAN BACK TO GREEN HAVEN TOMORROW.

>> I SEE THE GOOD IN YOU.

>> WHY ARE YOU SO SAD? >> THIS IS MY GRANDSON TY.

>> WHAT? >> I AIN'T GOING BACK TO THE JOINT FOR NOBODY, YOU HEAR ME? >> HE'S A GOOD KID.

>> WHAT DID I TELL YOU ABOUT WEARING THEM PANTS? AND YOU, PULL UP THEM PANTS.

>> THEY JUMP YOU IN YET? >> STABBED TWO PEOPLE.

>> TWO UP, ONE DOWN.

GET IT IN YOUR HEAD.

>> NEED TO GET THOSE NUMBERS OUT.

MAKE THEM PROVE THEY WERE LOYAL.

THEY WERE FAMILY.

YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN? >> I GOT A SCAR FROM POLICE, MY HAND WAS SPLIT IN HALF.

>> SOME THINGS STAY THE SAME.

HARLEM USA.

>> GOT NO RULES AND REGULATIONS.

ALL EMOTION, MAN.

>> THANK GOD YOU HERE.

>> AND THE TITLE, "CHAPTER AND VERSE"? >> SO, IT HAS TWO MEANINGS IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY.

WHEN SOMEONE KNOWS THE BIBLE VERY WELL, YOU KNOW THE BIBLE CHAPTER AND VERSE.

WHEN SOMEONE KNOWS THE STREETS WELL, THE INS AND OUTS, CORNERS, ALL THE SPOTS, THEY SAY HE OR SHE KNOWS THE STREETS CHAPTER AND VERSE.

SO THE IDEA BEHIND "CHAPTER AND VERSE," DANIEL BEATY WHO STARS IN THE FILM AND WHO CO-WROTE THE SCRIPT AND IS A MAGNIFICENT ACTOR, ALUM OF YALE UNIVERSITY.

WE WERE SITTING IN HARLEM, REALIZING THAT THE MEN WHO LIVE IN HARLEM AND ESPECIALLY WHO HAVE BEEN THERE, RAISED THERE.

WIND UP IN PRISON, SO WE WANTED TO DO A — MY POLITICAL BELIEFS.

DANIEL'S FAMILY, HIS DAD AND BROTHER SPENT TIME IN PRISON, AND SO WE SAID LET'S DO A PORTRAIT SO THAT THIRD MAN IS NOT JUST A STATISTIC, BUT IS THE FACE OF THAT BROTHER, THAT FATHER, THAT SON IN A WAY THAT WE CAN LOOK AT MASS INCARCERATION AND ESPECIALLY EVEN AS WE REFORM PRISON, WHAT HAPPENS TO THOSE MEN AND WOMEN WHO ARE COMING HOME.

>> SURE.

>> THE WAY WE SEE THEM IS HAVING A SECOND CHANCE, A MORAL OBLIGATION, OR IS IT A HUMAN RIGHT? WE WANTED TO ADDRESS THAT THROUGH POWERFUL CHARACTERS AND HOPEFULLY A COMPELLING STORY.

>> RIGHT, VERY COMPELLING.

YOU SAY WHEN YOU WENT TO JAIL THERE WERE 500,000 PEOPLE IN JAIL.

NOW THERE ARE 2 MILLION.

WE'VE GOT THIS HUGE 2 MILLION PLUS, YOU KNOW, HUGE POPULATION OF PEOPLE WHO HOPEFULLY WILL BE COMING OUT AT SOME POINT IF THEY ARE NOT DOWN ON THE STREETS AND I THINK THAT WAS A PART OF YOUR MAKING THIS KIND OF FILM, TO SAVE BLACK PEOPLE.

I LOVE THE BEHIND THE SCENES WHEN YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT THIS.

LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT THAT AND COME BACK.

>> I WANTED TO SAY TO EVERYONE WHO HAS BEEN PART OF THIS, THIS FILM IS ABOUT FOCUSING, THIS FILM IS ABOUT MICHAEL BROWN, ABOUT THE STATISTIC SAYS THAT IN THIS VERY COMMUNITY, THAT ONE IN NINE YOUNG BLACK MEN MIGHT HAVE A CHANCE TO GRADUATE HIGH SCHOOL AND GO TO COLLEGE, BUT ONE IN THREE ARE GUARANTEED TO BE ARRESTED AND GO TO JAIL.

THIS IS NOT JUST A MOVIE, IT'S A MOVEMENT.

JUST TWO BLOCKS AWAY, 30, 40 COP CARS.

SO WE HAVE A CHANCE TO MAKE IT A POINT, THE SPIRIT OF THE FILM AND WHY WE'RE HERE, WE DO THIS SAFETY, WE DO THIS POWERFULLY, AND EVERYBODY OUT HERE I CONSIDER YOU NOT JUST PART OF THE "CHAPTER AND VERSE" FAMILY, BUT PART OF THE FAMILY OF PEOPLE WHO ARE ACTIVISTS, AS WELL AS ARTISTS, AND MAKES US ALL ON A MISSION TONIGHT.

>> AND I LOVE THAT YOU ARE SHAPING LIVES, YOU KNOW, IT'S MORE THAN A MOVIE, YOU SAY, IT'S A MOVEMENT.

AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I LOVED ABOUT THE TIME, YOUR TIME IN PRISON, IS THAT EVEN WHEN THE BODY IS LOCKED UP, THE SOUL CAN BE FREE.

AND SO THAT'S WHAT — YOU'RE THE PRIME EXAMPLE, THE PERFECT EXAMPLE OF THAT, OF GOING ON TO PRODUCTIVE LIFE.

I LOVE THE FACT THAT YOU'RE ONE OF THE WINNERS OF THE PURPOSE PRIZE, WHICH REALLY MEANS THAT YOU'VE ACTUALLY ARE DOING SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE WITH YOUR LIFE.

TO PEOPLE WHO COULD DEMONSTRATE THAT.

TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THAT.

IT CAME OUT OF YOUR WORK WITH IMPACT, THE COMPANY YOU RUN FOR YOUNG PEOPLE HERE IN THE CITY.

>> WELL, THE PURPOSE PRIZE WAS CREATED BY ENCORE.

ORG, WHO LOOK FOR PEOPLE IN THE ENCORE PERIOD OF THEIR LIVES.

>> ANYWAY — >> AS BABY BOOMERS, WE ARE LIVING LONGER, WE ARE LIVING HEALTHIER, AND IT MEANS THAT WHEN WE GET TO OUR 50S AND OUR 60S THAT WE STILL HAVE SOMETHING TO CONTRIBUTE, AND PEOPLE ARE SAYING WHAT CAN I DO WITH THIS EXPERIENCE IN MY LIFE TO CONTINUE TO GIVE BACK AND TO HELP TRANSFORM LIVES.

AND SO MY WORK WITH YOUNG PEOPLE, THE PURPOSE PRIZE, MY WORK WITH IMPACT REPERTORY THEATRE, I'M DEDICATED AND INSPIRED BY THE IDEA THAT THEY ARE THE LEADERS OF TODAY, AND THAT ONE OF THE WAYS THAT — ONE OF THE THEMES IN "CHAPTER AND VERSE" AND ONE OF THE THEMES THAT I WORK WITH IS IF PEOPLE ARE BROKEN, IF THEY ARE BROKEN BECAUSE OF POVERTY, IF THEY ARE BROKEN BECAUSE OF THE SCHOOL TO PRISON PIPELINE, IF THEY ARE BROKEN BECAUSE OF HEALTH ISSUES, WE DON'T HAVE TO STAY BROKEN AND HOW CAN BROKEN PEOPLE LOVE AND HEAL EACH OTHER, AND SO THE CREATIVE ARTS AND EDUCATION HAS THE ABILITY TO DO THAT.

WITH YOUNG PEOPLE, AND THE REASON WHY WE TALK ABOUT ACTIVISM AND ARTS TOGETHER, IT ALLOWS THEM NOT JUST TO LEARN HOW TO WRITE AND TO SING AND TO DANCE, BUT IT FIRES THEIR IMAGINATION, LETS THEM SEE THE WORLD THROUGH BRAND NEW SUNNY INSPIRATIONAL LENSES, ALLOWS THEM TO IMAGINE — REIMAGINE THEMSELVES IN THEIR COMMUNITIES DIFFERENTLY AND GROW UP AND BECOME CHANGE AGENTS IN THEIR OWN LIFE AND IN THE COMMUNITY.

THAT'S THE POWER OF THE ART AND THAT'S WHAT WE TRY TO DO.

HE OR SHE TOLD STORIES THAT WERE MEANT TO EDUCATE, TO INFORM ABOUT WHAT WE NEEDED TO BE AWARE OF, BUT IT LEFT US WITH THE CHARGE, IT INSPIRED US TO SAY THIS WE MUST DO.

THIS WE MUST DO FOR OUR VILLAGE.

THIS WE MUST DO FOR OUR COUNTRY.

THIS WE MUST DO FOR THE WORLD.

>> WE HAVE A CLIP.

LOOKING FOR THIS, I WANTED TO SEE THESE KIDS IN ACTION, AND THIS IS JUST A VERY, VERY MOVING OF THE KIDS AND THIS PROCESS THAT YOU TALK ABOUT.

LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT THAT.

>> DO NOT TAKE MOMENTS LIKE THIS FOR GRANTED.

AND I MEAN THIS NOT ONLY AS IT RELATES TO OUR PERFORMANCES, I MEAN THIS AS IT RELATES TO YOUR LIFE.

DO NOT JUST THROW IT AWAY.

WE STARTED IMPACT WHEN A YOUNG MAN IN OUR BUILDING GOT SHOT TO DEATH.

HIS MOTHERS APARTMENT WAS TOO SMALL TO CONTAIN HER GRIEF AND SHE WENT OUT ON THE STREET AND SHE BEGAN CRYING.

I HAD TO DO MORE THAN JUST WATCH THE WOMEN CRYING.

I'VE GOT TO DO SOMETHING RIGHT HERE WHERE I LIVE, AND SO WITH NO MONEY, WITH NO PERMISSION, WE STARTED IMPACT.

>> WHAT IS IMPACT? >> NOT A GAME.

>> HOW COME IT'S NOT A GAME? >> WHAT WE DO NOW LASTS FOREVER.

>> UNDERSTAND THAT LINE.

WHAT WE DO NOW.

THIS IS NOW.

>> AT IMPACT WE'RE CONNECTING ARTS WITH YOUTH DEVELOPMENT.

WE THINK THE CREATIVE ARTS IS A WAY TO BUILD CONFIDENCE, COMMUNITY, AND CRITICAL THINKING.

WE DO LEADERSHIP TRAINING, WRITING WORKSHOPS, HOMEWORK HELP AND PHOTOGRAPHS CREATING SONGS THAT ARE ORIGINAL.

>> I STARTED IMPACT WHEN I WAS JUST 14 YEARS OLD.

MY FATHER WAS MURDERED, AND MY MOTHER WAS LOOKING FOR SOME TYPE OF PROGRAM TO KEEP ME ENGAGED.

IT GAVE ME THE ABILITY TO STAND UP AND NOT BE AFRAID OF HOW MY VOICE SOUNDED OR WHAT I HAD TO SAY.

>> WE ARE MOTHERS AND FATHERS WHO HAVE LOST KIDS TO GUN VIOLENCE.

I LOST, TOO, AND I AM VERY PROUD OF IMPACT, BECAUSE YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE.

I CAN'T BRING MY KIDS BACK, BUT I CAN CERTAINLY TRY TO HELP ANOTHER MOTHER OR ANOTHER CHILD FROM GETTING KILLED.

AND WE HAVE DONE THAT.

>> SAFE SPACE BECOMES EXTRA IMPORTANT BECAUSE I KNOW WHAT IT IS TO BE IN A BROKEN SPACE.

>> WOW, JAMAL.

JUST TERRIFIC, TERRIFIC WORK.

SO THERE HAVE BEEN 1,500 YOUNG PEOPLE WHO HAVE GONE THROUGH YOUR PROGRAM, AND 75% OF THOSE HAVE GONE ON TO COLLEGE.

>> YEAH, AND THIS IS OUR 20th ANNIVERSARY YEAR.

>> INCREDIBLE.

>> WE HAVE YOUNG PEOPLE WHO NOT ONLY ARE COLLEGE GRADUATES, BUT WE HAVE YOUNG PEOPLE NOW WHO HAVE THEIR GRADUATE DEGREES AND TWO WHO ARE IN Ph.

D PROGRAMS.

>> IN FACT, ONE OF OUR STELLAR PRODUCERS WAS ONE OF YOUR KID.

>> I HAD A PLEASURE OF MENTORING.

>> THANK YOU FOR THAT.

GREAT DUANE.

>> YES.

>> SO NOW, WHEN INTRODUCED YOU AND I SAID SONG WRITER, TOO.

IT'S ALMOST YOU'RE TOO TALENTED, JAMAL.

NOMINATED FOR AN OSCAR BECAUSE OF THE SONGS THAT YOU WROTE FOR AUGUST RUSH.

TELL US ABOUT THAT.

>> THE SONG WE WROTE AS IMPACT.

I'M A COMPOSER, I'M A LYRICIST AND HAVE TALENTED MUSICIANS WITH ME TO HELP ME, BUT AUGUST RUSH STARRED, ROBIN WILLIAMS, FREDDY HIGHMORE ABOUT A YOUNG MAN WHO ESCAPED FROM AN ORPHANAGE TO COME TO NEW YORK CITY TO FIND HIS PARENTS.

AND IMPACT PLAYED THE GOSPEL CHOIR IN THE FILM AND KRISTEN SHERIDAN ALLOWED US TO WRITE A SONG AND WE WROTE A SONG CALLED "RAISE IT UP.

" >> OF COURSE, WE HAVE IT.

>> YOU HAVE "RAISE IT UP," WHICH PERFORMED IN THE FILM, GOT NOMINATED FOR AN ACADEMY AWARD.

>> RIGHT, OKAY, LET'S TAKE A LISTEN.

>>> JUST FANTASTIC.

>> THANK YOU.

IT WAS SO AMAZING TO HAVE 30 YOUNG PEOPLE FROM HARLEM TO BE ABLE TO GO TO L.

A.

>> PERFORM AT THE OSCARS, RIGHT, FOR THE NOMINATION.

JUST FANTASTIC.

>> BUT TWO DAYS LATER, WE WERE BACK IN NEW YORK CITY AND WE PERFORMED AT A PRISON AND CAN I SAY THEY GOT AN OSCAR CALIBER PERFORMANCE, BECAUSE THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE YOUNG PEOPLE IS HERE'S WHAT WE'RE HERE TO DO, WE'RE HERE TO USE OUR VOICES AND OUR GIFT AND OUR WORDS TO TRANSFORM LIVES AND BRING HOPE.

>> JUST, JUST WONDERFUL.

SO YOU'RE DOING IT ON ALL LEVELS.

AGAIN, PROFESSOR AT COLUMBIA IN THE FILM SCHOOL.

TALK TO US A BIT — I NOTICED IN READING ABOUT YOU THAT YOU'VE HANDLED A LOT OF DISCUSSIONS ABOUT GETTING INTO THE BUSINESS, THE WHOLE GAMUT AND YOU'VE DONE IT ALL.

IS IT MORE DIFFICULT NOW OR EASIER NOW? WHAT'S YOUR TAKE? >> IT'S DIFFERENT NOW.

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT CHERYL HILL AND I, THAT FOUNDED THE HARLEM FILM COMPANY THAT PRODUCED "CHAPTER AND VERSE" DID THAT BECAUSE WE HAD COMBINED EXPERIENCE IN HOLLYWOOD, BUT WE KNEW THAT HOLLYWOOD WAS NOT GREEN LIGHTING THE KIND OF STORIES THAT WE WANTED TO TELL.

SO PEOPLE HAD THE ABILITY TO HAVE CAMERAS.

YOU CAN SHOOT MOVIES ON YOUR iPHONE OR SAVE SOME MONEY AND GET A POINT AND SHOOT CAMERA.

IT'S IMPORTANT TO TAKE SOME FILM WORKSHOPS AND LEARN THE CRAFT OF STORY TELLING AND FILMMAKING, BUT THERE'S SO MANY OPPORTUNITIES TO TELL MEANINGFUL STORIES AND INCREASING PLATFORMS FOR STORY TELLING.

WHEN YOU LOOK AT ALL THE POSSIBILITIES FOR CABLE AND FOR DIGITAL CONTENT, I LIKE TO TELL YOUNG PEOPLE ASPIRING TO BE FILM MAKERS TO DO IT BECAUSE YOU LOVE IT AND DO GOOD WORK AND WHAT'S SUPPOSED TO FOLLOW WILL FOLLOW.

DON'T MODEL YOUR CAREER AFTER SOMEONE ELSE.

DON'T THINK OF IT IN TERMS OF MONEY FIRST.

THINK OF IT IN TERMS OF ART AND STORY TELLING FIRST AND BE PASSIONATE AND CONTINUE TO CREATE CONTENT.

>> WHEN YOU SAY THE OTHER PLATFORMS, AS WE TAPE THIS, THE WRITERS UNION IS TALKING ABOUT STRIKING BECAUSE EVEN THOUGH PEOPLE ARE WORKING THE SAME AMOUNT, THEY ARE GETTING PAID LESS BECAUSE OF THE FORMATS ARE SHORTER AND — >> ABSOLUTELY.

AND — AND THAT'S WHAT — AND AS IT EXPANDS AND AS THE BUSINESS BECOMES CORPORATE AT THE TOP AND STARTS LOOKING AT ARTISTS AS WORKERS AND ALMOST AS LOW PAID LABORERS INSTEAD OF WHAT THEY DO, YOU KNOW, IT'S AMAZING HOW MUCH — HOW UNIONS HAVE SHRUNK AS CORPORATIONS GET BIGGER.

IT'S KIND OF THE STORY OF CAPITALISM, PUTTING PROFIT OVER PEOPLE.

>> WELL, YOU KNOW, WE ALWAYS END THE SHOW, AND I'M SORRY, YOU'LL HAVE TO COME BACK.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

>> FASCINATING LIFE.

WE ALWAYS ASK OUR GUESTS TO FINISH THE STATEMENT, THE POWER, THE STRENGTH OF BLACK AMERICA LIES IN- HOW WOULD YOU COMPLETE THAT? >> THE POWER AND THE STRENGTH OF BLACK AMERICA LIES IN ITS ABILITY TO CONTINUE TO LOVE, TO HEAL, AND TO SEE A BRIGHTER DAY.

>> AND THE PART OF FILMS, THE ARTS IN THAT? >> WELL, ARTS, YOU KNOW, AS — ARTS HAS THE ABILITY TO BE THAT MIRROR THAT HELPS US LOOK INWARD AND OUTWARD TO SEE, AS MY WIFE ALWAYS LIKES TO SAY, MY WIFE JOYCE, OUR GREATER SELVES IN LIVING COLOR.

>> AND YOUR PREDICTION FOR THE STUDENTS THAT YOU HAVE IN YOUR CHARGE EVERY SINGLE DAY THAT YOU SEE LIGHT COMING OUT OF THEM FOR ALL OF THEM? >> OH, ABSOLUTELY.

YEAH, WE HAVE A MOTTO IMPACT THAT SAYS KEEP A POSITIVE THOUGHT, BECAUSE A POSITIVE THOUGHT CANNOT BE DENIED AND WE'VE SEEN THEM GO FORWARD AS LEADERS, AS ARTISTS, AND AS ACTIVISTS, UNDERSTANDING THAT THEY HAVE THE ABILITY TO CHANGE THEMSELVES AND TRANSFORM THE WORLD AROUND THEM.

>> JAMAL JOSEPH, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING WITH US TODAY.

SO ENCOURAGED BY THE WORK THAT YOU'RE DOING AND THE TALENT THAT YOU'RE PUTTING OUT THERE IN THE WORLD.

SO THANKS FOR BEING HERE ON "BLACK AMERICA" TODAY.

>> THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE AND ALL THAT YOU DO FOR OUR COMMUNITY.

>> WELL, THANKS.

AND THANKS FOR JOINING US OUT THERE.

I'M CAROL JENKINS, THE PROGRAM IS "BLACK AMERICA," AND WE'LL ♪ [THEME MUSIC] ♪.

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