Men with a message for young males
Mario Van Peebles’ ‘Fair Game?’ explores the challenges, solutions
Mario Van Peebles is working to connect the dots. The second-generation filmmaker this weekend participated in a screening in conjunction with Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE), of one of his newest films—“Fair Game?”—and says it is just the latest vehicle he has created to get out a message he feels is critical for young people to hear, particularly African American males.
“Fair Game?” looks at the plight of Black males in America, as told by . . . Black men in America.
The men range from ex-offenders to the president of a Fortune 500 company. They are community organizers, entrepreneurs, music moguls, actors, rappers and filmmakers.
They are people like P. Diddy, a former Howard University student turned music mogul, who said he pumped gas, cleaned toilets, washed windows and worked as a hotel doorman before “making it.”
But despite their different walks in life, the men in the film are saying the same thing—education really is the key to success.
Van Peebles says “Fair Game?” is, in part, a follow-up to his 2012 film “We the Party.”
“Subtextually (‘We the Party’) was saying it was fun to be in school. It was an effort to shift culturally from anti-intellectualism to smart is the game.”
It was a film in the genre of the Kid ‘N Play movies and focused on partying but with an underlying message.
“Fair Game?” is a 60-minute-plus documentary that talks directly to adults, according to Van Peebles. It reminds people that adults must be there to direct and guide the young men once they do obtain an education. It also demonstrates to young people what can be achieved.
“Mario Van Peebles’ ‘Fair Game?’ documentary touches on such an array of issues our community in particular has been dealing with for a long time and is continuing to manage and persevere through,” explained Dawn Modkins, organizing director of Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE), the local grassroots organization that connected with Van Peebles and the Pan African Film Festival to screen the documentary.
“The setting of Mario’s documentary being based in a post-Barack Obama era accentuates the opportunities for success in achieving attainable benchmarks along the road of addressing the many systemic issues highlighted in his film.”
“This year is SCOPE’s 20th anniversary . . . . of working to attain some of these benchmarks addressing some of the systemic issues the film highlights. From police brutality, to healthcare, welfare reform, green jobs, and now shifting the way our communities and voters think about the way government budgets work, as well as our tax system that is full of disparities where not everyone is paying their fair share,” continued Modkins.
“I watched Mr. Van Peebles’ film just two years after the election of Barack Obama, with a group of Cal State Long Beach students whose energy and spirits I saw jerked from ‘Fair Game?’ I knew this was a film that needed to be connected to broader audiences.”
Modkins says SCOPE plans to screen the film again the film itself, with designated demographics, fathers, sons and youth in general.
“We want to use the film to support our work by helping (increase) awareness to and help create dialogue around the strategic, systemic issues our community deals with—just pulling up ones boot straps or giving a kid a dollar ... We will use the film to inform and engage our communities who aren’t typically engaged.”
At the same time he was making “Fair Game?,” Van Peebles said he created a shorter version called “Bring Your A Game.” This 23-minute video—which the film’s director jokingly advised the audience to download, bootleg and get it out to young men by any means—can be viewed online for free, and according to Van Peebles is the movie between “We the Party” and “Fair Game?”
Van Peebles’ goal in creating “Fair Game?” and “ . . . A Game” was to use his Hollywood cache to get people to return his phone calls, donate their talents to then develop film vehicles that discuss the problems and offer potential solutions.
Among the solutions offered in the film were the benefits of mentoring and of such organizations as the Harlem Children’s Zone and the Eagle Academy.
This is the beginning of a series of articles about street gangs in our nation. Gone are the days back in the 1960s and before when gangs were social organizations and were geographically linked. Beginning in the 1970s, these street gangs evolved into criminal organizations. They are the generators of murder, drugs, robbery, etc. No longer are they cool or cute. They are pure savages craving fast money and a fast lifestyle. This week let’s take a look at Detroit.
One of the earliest gangs was the Errol Flynns. They took the name from the Caucasian movie star.
A new community plan for the West Adams, Baldwin Hills, Leimert Park and Hyde Park communities is proposing to roll back current limits on the number of stand-alone fast food restaurants in Council District 10 for up to 20 years.
In 2008, the City Council passed an ordinance restricting new fast food restaurants from being constructed within 0.5 miles of an existing fast food restaurant.
Bill Gates is putting out a call to inventors, but he’s not looking for software, or the latest high-tech gadget. This time he’s in search of a better condom.
On its Grand Challenges website, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is offering a $100,000 startup grant to the person who designs “the next generation condom that significantly preserves or enhances pleasure” and promotes “regular use.”
Your child has caught some bug that’s going around.
He has a terminal case of The Gimmes, and he’s not getting any better. It’s “Gimme that” and “Buy me this” all day long. It’s Gimme Gimme Gimme, usually accompanied by whining, pleading, and a maddening inability to understand the word “no.”
Successful fundraising begins long before a fundraising plan is ever created. It starts with your organization’s vision and mission. These two items are at the core of non-profit operations. It is the vision and mission that drive your strategic direction and goals. And it is the strategic direction that influences fundraising and the use of funds.
The chief executive for your organization is the person responsible for the vision and mission.