Sunday, November 29, 2009

No Twilight for Award-Winning Indie Doc: Wal-Mart has "Dare Not Walk Alone" on Sale

For those who thought twilight might fall on this project we have news: Dare Not Walk Alone is very much alive, and available again from the world's largest retailer. This is a great opportunity to spread the word about the film and expand informed dialog about race in America. Here's a link to order at Walmart.com.

We see the fact that Wal-Mart is helping this effort as a very hopeful sign. Maybe if lots of people buy the film from WalMart it will help pave the way for more independent films.

Depending on where you live there may be free shipping or free in-store pickup (at your nearest Walmart). As you can see the price is VERY affordable. At this rate we will have to sell tens of thousands of copies to pull the project out of the red, but let's be real here, you don't get involved with a project like this unless you are a serious optimist.

And stranger things have happened. Think of the millions of young people who have bought, or talked their parents into buying Twilight on DVD for twice the price of Dare Not Walk Alone. Surely some percentage of those New Moon werewolf/vampire fans also want to uncover the truth about how bravely youths of a different generation fought, in the real world, risking real beatings and worse to win equal rights for all?
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Friday, September 25, 2009

"A tour de force of civil rights activism, attitude and violation"

That's the verdict of Marilyn Bauer writing for the Treasure Coast Palm Beaches paper in Stuart, Florida, under the headline: Filmmaker shows racism won't be tackled 'Alone'

It feels so good to be part of a project like this when people "get it" the way Marilyn does. Of course, the challenge is to get the message across to all those people who think, like the audience member in the article, that the answer is as simple as "get a job."

Let's see: A job takes education. So is the answer "Get an education"? Where do you get that education if you missed it in your first 18 years because, as a 6 or 10 or 16 year-old nobody made you go to school and simply living in our great society failed to convince you that an education would be a good thing? (Pop quiz: Name 5 rich and famous Americans in the news today who are synonymous with the benefits of getting a good education.)

And who is going to pay for this education? And so on. Clearly, there are way more levels to this than "get a job" and hopefully people who watch "Dare Not Walk Alone" will see that, if they don't already.
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Monday, September 21, 2009

Greetings Augusta, Georgia: Last night of The Southern Tour

Tonight is the final screening of Dare Not Walk Alone on the current leg of The Southern Tour. There is a good article in the Augusta Chronicle and already some lively discussion there.

This is the film's 9th screening in 8 states in 11 days. We are extremely grateful to the Southern Arts Federation for organizing this amazing event and to the Academy for Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for its support of this tour and of the independent filmmakers it is showcasing.

BTW, this is also Jeremy's 9th appearance in 8 states in 11 days. Talk about stamina and commitment. Go Jeremy! Well done Jeremy!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

On the Southern Road Again with Dare Not Walk Alone

We just got a quick update from Jeremy who says the screenings on The Southern Tour have been going very well.

The screening in Greenville, South Carolina was sold out. As a film maker you can't ask for more than that. There were about 400 people in attendance! And they gave Dare Not Walk Alone a lengthy standing ovation!

Check out Jeremy's Southern Tour blog entries. He is at the screening at Auburn University tonight and has the following events still to come (hang in there Jeremy):
  • September 17, 2009 Orangeburg, SC
  • September 19, 2009 Jacksonville, FL
  • September 20, 2009 Stuart, FL
  • September 21, 2009 Augusta, FL
For more details of times and places click here.
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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Go Auburn Eagles: To the DNWA Screening

As part of The Southern Tour, Auburn University will screen Dare Not Walk Alone on September 15. There is a really nice write up of the film and the director, Jeremy Dean, in the Wire Eagle. You can read it online here.


Thanks Auburn!
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WLOX: Film explores civil rights struggle in St. Augustine, FL

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - It was an incident that put St. Augustine, Florida, in the national spotlight during the civil rights movement.

"When I came to St. Augustine, I happened to cross some of this black and white archival footage showing some of the incidents that happened there. So, for me, it was a real moment of truth," says Jeremy Dean, director of "Dare Not Walk Alone." The year was 1964. That summer, the city became the focal point... Read more of the interview by Krystal Allan on WLOX.


Thanks for the coverage WLOX. We appreciate it!
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Acclaimed civil rights film, 'Dare Not Walk Alone,' at Peace Center Sept. 14

As reported in The Gaffney Ledger.


We have to say that the Southern Tour has done a great job with the PR for these screenings. We hope to see a big turnout in Greenville on Monday night. Thanks!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hey Baton Rouge, Dare Not Walk Alone is playing tonight, 9/10/09

This is Louisiana's first chance to see this award winning documentary in theaters. It plays this evening, at 7:30PM, at Manship Theatre. Details are here.

And there is an interview with the director, Jeremy Dean, right here in the Tiger Weekly. Jeremy will be there this evening to conduct a Q&A session after screening.

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Dare Not Walk Alone on Southern Tour: Advance coverage

It's great to see all the advance coverage that the Southern Tour is receiving in local media:

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Screening Schedule for September: 9 City Tour

We're playing in 9 locations across the South this month!

  • September 10, 2009 Baton Rouge, LA
  • September 11, 2009 Ocean Springs, MS
  • September 12, 2009 Clarksville, TN
  • September 14, 2009 Greenville, SC
  • September 15, 2009 Auburn, AL
  • September 17, 2009 Orangeburg, SC
  • September 19, 2009 Jacksonville, FL
  • September 20, 2009 Stuart, FL
  • September 21, 2009 Augusta, FL
For screening times and locations click here. If you live in or near any of these locations, we'd love to see you at a screening. Director Jeremy Dean should be accompanying the film for Q&A sessions.

How is this happening? We are part of the Southern Circuit, something that is supported by the Academy for Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. We are honored to be part of this. Southern Circuit is the nation’s only regional tour of independent filmmakers.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

We're Back: Blog posts and tweets will resume shortly, screenings too

Even the most tireless of activists get tired sometimes and Dare Not Walk Alone is no exception. We had to take a couple months off, to regroup, recharge our batteries, and map out the future of the project (not to mention keeping up with days jobs to pay the rent, which an indie film seldom does).


Admittedly, we feel a bit wimpish for taking a break, particularly when we think of the tireless efforts of civil rights campaigners in the early sixties, like the young woman pictured here in St. Augustine, Florida, in 1964. (She is one of the St. Johns County foot soldiers who bravely faced down violent opposition and helped pass the first civil rights act 45 years ago last month, as documented in the film.)

But we also had to ask ourselves some serious questions. Like: Is there still a role for an NAACP award nominated indie film about race in America? Will screening the film help move us forward, closer to the more perfect union of which President Obama speaks and the beloved community of which Dr. King spoke so eloquently?

We think the answers are Yes and Yes. We sat out the Prof. Gates arrest thing but say what you will about the incident and its aftermath, surely it proved we are not yet in a post-racial state of communal harmony.

Now we are set to tour the film in a number of Southern states next month. We will be posting details here shortly. Director Jeremy Dean will be on tour with the film.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

I Grew Up in Mexico and the Amazon Jungle: Not your typical filmmaker

Kenneth Cole's Awearness blog features a cool new interview with Jeremy Dean, director of Dare Not Walk Alone. It contains the kind of sentence you just don't see very often in filmmaker interviews: 

I was born in Lubbock, Texas, and grew up a missionary kid in Mexico and the Amazon jungle of Peru where I fished for piranha and was forced to eat monkey on several occasions.
It's all true and it explains a lot, like why Jeremy was such a resourceful twenty-something, able to make a movie about race in America when just about nobody was willing to put up any money.

Good answers like that come from good questions and we want to thank David Alm for doing the interview and reviewing the film. You can read it here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Brooklyn Artist Jeremy Dean at BAM: Screening his film Dare Not Walk Alone

Brooklyn artist Jeremy Dean will conduct a special Q&A session after the 6:50PM screening of his award-winning film Dare Not Walk Alone at BAM on Thursday, May 28.

Nominated earlier this year for an NAACP Image Award, Dare Not Walk Alone has been described as "a powerhouse of a picture, minutely attuned to disparities of class and race...a triumph of outrage and empathy." Los Angeles City Beat called it "Mesmerizing and heart-rending." And Variety said:

"Dean's ability to explore history through such a local nexus creates a uniquely intimate document."
BAM is screening the film at 4:30PM, 6:50PM, and 9:30PM. Click here for tickets and details.
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Saturday, May 16, 2009

BAM! Dare Not Walk Alone at Brooklyn Academy of Music

There will be 3 showings of Dare Not Walk Alone at BAM on Thursday, May 28 and the film's director, Jeremy Dean, who now lives in Brooklyn, will be in attendance.

Screenings are at 4:30PM, 6:50PM, and 9:30PM. Jeremy will be there for a Q&A after the 6:50PM screening. Click here for tickets and details.

Free Screening of Dare Not Walk Alone in Corvallis, Oregon

There's a great opportunity for everyone in Corvallis to see the NAACP Image Award nominated documentary Dare Not Walk Alone this coming Tuesday. The film will be shown at 6:30 pm on May 19 at:

LaSells Stewart Center
875 SW 26th Street
Corvallis, Oregon

The event is free and open to the public. Please encourage high school and OSU students to attend. Heck, please encourage everyone to attend. You won't regret it. And thanks to the City's Commission for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., OSU Office of Community & Diversity, and OSU Black Cultural Center for making this happen!

City of Corvallis Oregon Syndication

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Dare Not Walk Alone is Taking a Break

DNWA is going offline for a while, no blog posts, no tweets.
However, we should be back in mid-May. See you then.
In the meantime, please check out our YouTube clips.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Black History, White Apology: Proof Obama's America is not post-racial

Stephen Cobb, Executive Producer of Dare Not Walk Alone writes:

At the end of February I posted a video on YouTube titled "Black History, White Apology." Using footage from Dare Not Walk Alone, the two and a half minute video shows a special church service held in 2004 in which the church apologized to African Americans who had been turned away from the church in 1964 and arrested. Within a few weeks it had been viewed over 1,000 times and received more than two dozen comments. Sadly, some of those comments were deeply racist in nature. I deleted the worst of them but what you read there now is representative and some of it is quite depressing.

I posted the video because of the "apologies" offered last month by Rupert Murdoch and his New York Post relating to a cartoon published in that paper. The cartoon portrayed the architect of our government's proposed stimulus package as very black chimpanzee lying in a pool of blood, shot dead by a pair of white and arguably smug looking white police officers from NYPD.

Coming less than 30 days into first African American presidency of these United States, this cartoon was loudly condemned as offensive. Personally, as someone who voted for Barack Obama, I found it not only offensive but deeply distasteful and frankly very worrying. Apart from anything else, the trigger for the cartoon, an incident in which a woman's face was savagely ripped off by a chimpanzee, was not something that should have been made light of in any context; add in the history of NYPD race relations and the widely known history of "monkey" and "ape" as racial slurs, plus the fact that the president is both black and the architect of the stimulus package, and I think a joke about a police shooting of said architect, comparing him to an animal that violently attacked a woman, is clearly very, very wrong.

In this context, the apologies by the NY Post and Mr. Murdoch were very, very weak. In fact, I'd say they bordered on smug and insulting. But as I was reading through blog posts about the whole incident I realized a lot of people didn't "get" what was wrong with both the cartoon and the apologies. Indeed, there was a lot of talk about how the cartoon was not offensive because it refers to the writer of the stimulus package and the president didn't actually write the package and so: no offense, no foul, no apology needed.

It seems to me that people who think like that probably don't spend much time thinking about what it's like to live your life on the receiving end of pervasive, violent, and demeaning prejudice. I thought the apology video might put things in perspective. However, in the description of the YouTube video I did not reference the cartoon or draw any direct parallels between the church apology and the New York Post incident. I assumed the connections were fairly obvious. (I had already posted a separate clip "Why the New York Post cartoon was offensive" in which two of the women involved in the 1964 church integration incidents described how a deacon of the church called them "monkeys.")

Basically I wanted to show the world what a heartfelt apology from white Americans to black Americans looked like. Then the reactions started to pour in. They ranged from the electronic equivalent of a Ku Klux Klan cross burning to a vicious condemnation of the minister leading the church service because he appeared to be reading the words of apology (maybe the video was misleading--he was actually struggling not to choke up with emotion).

The comments continue to come in. While nobody can reasonably claim that YouTube is an accurate reflection of a nation's state of mind, it's clear from some of these comments that we have not yet reached the "post-racial" state of mind that some have posited. Particularly worrying to me is this sense that "white people have nothing to apologize for."

Here's how I see it. I'm white. My ancestors ruthlessly exploited the people and resources of Africa, Australia, and North America. The standard of living and quality of education that I enjoyed as a child flowed from the "benefits" of that exploitation. In a very real sense that gave me an unfair advantage in life. So yes, if you are black, I'd like to let you know I'm sorry that happened. I apologize for what my people did. And I make that apology regardless of whether or not any actual relative of mine did anything wrong.

Sure, my parents were hard working white people. But they lived in a society, the standard of living of which flowed in no small part from massive theft of property and exploitation of people, the "benefits" of which are obvious to anyone who cares to look, in countries as diverse as Britain, the United States, France, and Belgium. Many citizens of those countries have worked for generations to make the most of what they have, but you can't escape the fact that some of what they had was at one point stolen (like the hill my house sits on in upstate New York, taken by force from the original owners of this land).

Living in denial of how we got here will not help us achieve a better future for ourselves and our children, a future of which we are all equally worthy.
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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Greetings Nashville! Dare Not Walk Alone's Jeremy Dean to Host 2 Screenings

Jeremy Dean, director of the NAACP Image Award nominated documentary Dare Not Walk Alone, will host two Nashville screenings of the film co-sponsored by the International Black Film Festival of Nashville.

The first is 7 p.m. tonight (Thursday February 26) in the Watkins College Theatre in MetroCenter, and the second is 7 p.m. Fridy (February 27) at Gallatin's historic downtown Palace Theatre. Tickets are $7. For more details, check out the Nashville Scene web site.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Murdoch Apology: What a difference a few days/decades make

Today Rupert Murdoch of Newscorp, Fox News, Fox Sports, Fox Entertainment, and a whole lot more, one of the richest men in the world, said this:

"As the Chairman of the New York Post, I am ultimately responsible for what is printed in its pages. The buck stops with me. Last week, we made a mistake. We ran a cartoon that offended many people. Today I want to personally apologize to any reader who felt offended, and even insulted."

According to the BBC, Mr Murdoch said he had spoken to a number of people since the publication and that he could now "better understand the hurt this cartoon has caused". So maybe Mr. Murdoch is one of the more than 300 people who have watched the clip from Dare Not Walk Alone that I posted on YouTube and this blog a few days ago. The point of that clip was to educate. It seems Mr. Murdoch needed some education.

The clip shows two black women who, as young girls, accompanied a white woman to First United Methodist Church in St. Augustine, Florida, in 1964 describing their experience: The white deacon barred the door and said to the white woman "You're welcome to come in but your little monkeys can't."
That reference to monkeys was clearly racial and intended to hurt and demean. White bystanders shouted other racial slurs at the young girls. Several black adults who attempted to enter the same church were arrested and taken away by police. An apology for that incident came 40 years later when the church held a special service to personally apologize to those who were turned away. It took Mr. Murdoch about 4 days. There has indeed been much progress, but personally I think we still have a long way to go.
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Friday, February 20, 2009

When Words Are Weighed Down By History: Should we make light?

The controversy surrounding the New York Post's chimpanzee cartoon brought to mind a moment in the film, so I decided to post it here.

video
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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dare Not Walk Alone Wins: Even though it didn't get the award

I know it sounds corny, but everyone who was at the 40th Annual NAACP Image Awards tonight was a winner. Never before have I experienced that much shared love in an auditorium full of people, never have I felt so much collective hope and joy.

(And never before have I witnessed a musical performance as moving as Jennifer Hudson singing "The Impossible Dream" to Muhammad Ali, but I digress.)

No, Dare Not Walk Alone did come away with the Image Award for Outstanding Documentary, but to be nominated and considered and embraced in such a way, this is a big win for the film as far as I'm concerned. I am sure there will be more screenings because of this, and an uptick in DVD sales.

On a personal level, I think the director Jeremy and I look just a little bit like zombies here at the after-party, wearing dazed grins on our pasty white faces in a mixture of sheer joy and disbelief that our "little" film had come so far. We had no star power and no marketing budget, yet we're here with fellow nominees from studio films like Cadillac Records, Miracle at St. Anna, The Secret Life of Bees and Seven Pounds. We're rubbing shoulders with stars from amazing shows such as The Wire, a TV epic that Jeremy and I both hold in highest esteem (and which got the same number of awards we did).

The personal and professional interest being shown in the film is genuine and real. People have sought us out and introduced themselves. Several studio executives have personally requested screeners of the film. We are pumped! And I think we will be able to carry that feeling through to a new push to get the film seen more widely than ever.

So Thank You NAACP, and happy HAPPY 100th BIRTHDAY
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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

100 Years Ago: The Founding of the NAACP

This week, 100 years ago, a most amazing meeting took place, on the 100th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln. This meeting resulted in the formation of the NAACP which went on to become the oldest, and arguably the most influential, of the civil rights organizations. The stated mission of the NAACP is:

"To ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination."
It is hard to think of a more worthy mission than that, then or now. The NAACP has a year of events planned and a new drive to further its mission. Check it out at http://www.naacp.org/ and consider becoming a member.

As you probably know, NAACP stands for National Association for the Advancement of Colored People although the term colored people is these days retained mainly in accordance with tradition and is generally not used anywhere else.

One of the most amazing things to me about the founding of the NAACP is the diverse group of people who got things started at that first meeting. These days a cynic might think this group was assembled just for the sake of diversity. There several African-American men, two women (one white, one African-American) plus several white men, one of whom was Jewish.

But hey, their hearts were all in the same place, and it was the right place, and the rest, as they say, is history: a glorious 100-year history of improving the rights of all.
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Sunday, February 08, 2009

NAACP Image Awards on Fox, 8PM Thursday, Feb 12

Since Roger Moore over at the Orlando Sentinel mentioned the NAACP Image Awards being on BET, I thought I would point out they are on Fox, 8PM Thursday, Feb 12 (check the schedule here).

Thanks Orlando Sentinel! Rooting for Dare Not Walk Alone

Under the headline "A great Florida film to root for in the NAACP Image Awards Thursday" the Orlando Sentinel film critic Roger Moore had these kind words:

"Dare Not Walk Alone is up against the great Katrina documentary Trouble the Water in the best documentary category at the NAACP Image Awards, airing Tuesday night on BET. but Jeremy Dean's terrific film has a shot."
As previously noted in this blog, Trouble the Water is indeed a fine film and it is already "Oscar Nominated." That has put it on the radar for many people who might otherwise have overlooked it, and that's a good thing. The localized events of Hurricane Katrina, dealt with in Trouble the Water, drew attention to broader American issues and struggles. Likewise, by focusing on the racial conflict in St. Johns County, Dare Not Walk Alone seeks to draw attention to problems encountered across America. We are really looking forward to meeting the folks from Trouble the Water in Los Angeles this week.

Here is what I posted in reply to Roger's piece in the Orlando Sentinel. I'm not sure if all of it appears on the site:

Thanks for the kind comments Roger. To say that Jeremy and the rest of us on this project are thrilled that the film is up for this award would be a huge under-statement. The sense of history this year is almost intoxicating: the Image Awards ceremony is being held on the very same day that the NAACP was founded, 100 years ago (the same day that Lincoln was born, 100 years earlier).

The struggle to create a just and equal society has been long and hard, but it is not over yet. Yes, we have elected the first African American president, and we the people can take pride in that. But even as we take some time this month to honor the brave and heroic achievements of past campaigners for equality, we need to be thinking hard about how we can accomplish the difficult work that still needs to be done.

Dare Not Walk Alone has always been about both of these things, seeking to convey both the raw heroism of those who stood up to segregation and the reality of the present, where injustice still lingers, even as a heart-felt desire for reconciliation begins to emerge. It is our hope that the film will turn that desire into action and a renewed effort to achieve Dr. King's "beloved community." It is not too far out of reach.

Stephen Cobb
Executive Producer

Friday, January 23, 2009

"Trouble the Water" Gets Oscar Nod: Bravo Tia Lessin & Carl Deal

We were delighted to see that the Nominees for the 81st Academy Awards recognized the film “Trouble the Water” from Zeitgeist Films in the category of "Best documentary feature." The work of Tia Lessin and Carl Deal, this impressive documentary, which won a Grand Jury prize at Sundance 2008, presents "a unique, ground-level perspective on Hurricane Katrina that's been sorely missing from previous accounts of the disaster" (Roger Ebert).

Some people might feel like Hurricane Katrina is old news, but you would only think that if you had never experienced a hurricane or The South. Having experienced both, I think it is hard to overstate the importance of this cataclysmic event in America history, particularly Black American History. In many ways it was a turning point.

One reason I say this: our own documentary, Dare Not Walk Alone, might never have achieved theatrical release, were it not for Katrina. The reason? A lot of people who saw Dare Not Walk Alone before Katrina thought we were exaggerating the racial and social injustice we had documented in Florida.

While it is true that a documentary film maker can do that, choose the images he or she includes in the film to overstate the case, that is not what Jeremy did when he made Dare Not Walk Alone. There was as a lot more Jeremy could have included in the film about how bad things were and still are, but the problem, pre-Katrina, was that "the truth" was known only to a segment of the American people, a segment to which few people listened and about whom, judging by our government's reaction to Katrina, few people cared. In other words, pre-Katrina, people thought Dare Not Walk Alone lacked objectivity. That made funding (which has been, and remains, a huge challenge for the film) hard to find.

What happened during and after Katrina is that the measure of "objective" changed. Americans outside The South--and those who had managed to live in the South without fully experiencing The South--saw the harsh and undeniable reality on their TV. This was both important and unprecedented in so many ways, not least of which is the huge outpouring of support and aid that came from "regular" Americans, locally and nationally.

I don't think it is a stretch to say that you could glimpse the possibility of a black president in the aftermath of Katrina. It was clear from the positive responses to this natural disaster that a critical mass of Americans felt that the storm victims were their peers, their fellow Americans, worthy of equal treatment in all aspects of American life. Equally clear is the fact that many Americans now reject as unrepresentative and unworthy, a government that does not care equally or enough--as measured by real world action--about all Americans.

However, just as the election of an African-American president does not mean the Beloved Community has now been achieved, the passage of time does not mean that the wounds of Katrina are healed. There is much work still to be done and "Trouble the Waters" is a powerful reminder of that. So we say Thank You to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for recognizing this film and Bravo to its makers.
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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan Confirmed by Senate

So why does the Dare Not Walk Alone blog care that Arne Duncan was confirmed U.S. Secretary of Education by the Senate (it happened yesterday, January 20, right after the inauguration of President Obama)?

Because Arne Duncan is going to be a great Secretary of Education? Well yes, we think he will be that. And we extend our congratulations on his appointment. But we also care because he is one of a number of public officials who in the past have been very supportive of the Dare Not Walk Alone project and whose profile has been rising of late. No, we're not suggesting that endorsing Dare Not Walk Alone will boost your standing as a politician or public servant. What we are saying is that our country is changing, and for the better!

We didn't post anything yesterday, Inauguration Day, because we were too caught up in the emotion of the day. As another public servant and DNWA supporter, who was there at the capitol yesterday, said to me today: "Words alone cannot express...Words alone cannot express..." Yes, he said it twice, and that really made the point.

Then he said he had to go, he was due to meet with the President. And too late I though to ask him: "Do you have a copy of the DVD you can give him?" Darn! Maybe next time.
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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Breaking News: Dare Not Walk Alone to screen in St. Augustine today

This just in...a screening of the film in St. Augustine this evening, Saturday January 17, at Memorial Presbyterian Church, 32 Sevilla Street.

The event, at 6 p.m. in Fellowship Hall, is free and open to the public as part of the services of remembrance planned as tributes to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
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Thanks Gainesville! Great evening at The Hippodrome

A huge thanks to Shirley Lassiter and the Crystal at The Hippdrome State Theater in Gainesville for the opening of Dare Not Walk Alone last night (runs all week folks--don't miss it). The Hipp is an impressive venue.

It was great to catch up with (Vice Mayor) Errol Jones and I really appreciated the way he jumped in to answer questions in the lively Q&A session after the screening. (He later told me he is up for more such events, so if you have sponsorship for a screening, that can be arranged--he really is an articulate voice for the community.)

Thanks to everyone who came out to see the film [on a relatively cold evening]. Please spread the word. And if your company would like to sponsor kids from Alachua County Schools to go see Dare Not Walk Alone, please call 352.373.5968 and ask for Shirley. Thanks.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Errol Jones to Join Producer at Gainesville DNWA Event

Great news, film fans. I have just learned that St. Augustine City Commissioner Errol Jones will be attending the Dare Not Walk Alone reception at 6PM at The Hippodrome State Theater in Gainesville on January 16 (yes, that's next Friday).

If you have seen Dare Not Walk Alone you know that Commissioner Jones has some pretty insightful things to say about what happened in St. John's County in 1964 and conditions in the African American community there today.

I am delighted Commissioner Jones will be attending the reception and the first Gainesville screening of the film (at 7PM) because he can speak to current conditions better than I (as one of the film's producers, I will also be there--but I have spent most of the past twelve months traveling and moving my family to Upstate New York).

This will be first screening since last week's announcement of the film's nomination for the NAACP Image Award in the category of Outstanding Documentary, so I'm thinking there will be a big turn out. (Why not buy your tickets ahead of time, right here.)

Hope to see you there!
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Friday, January 09, 2009

NAACP Image Award Nomination Information

Some more data on the NAACP Image Award nominations.
The award ceremony is on February 12 in Los Angeles.
Live television coverage is on FOX (check local listings).
Here's a handy list of the nominations.
Dare Not Walk Alone is nominated for Outstanding Documentary.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Dare Not Walk Alone Nominated for NAACP Image Award

We are honored and delighted to report that Dare Not Walk Alone has just been nominated for an NAACP Image Award, as reported in Variety today.

In this busy award season it is hard to think of an award nomination more significant for Dare Not Walk Alone than this one. This year the NAACP celebrates its 100th anniversary. And these are the 40th annual Image Awards. We are extremely grateful to the 40th NAACP Image Awards’ Nominating Committee for recognizing Dare Not Walk Alone in this way.

Dare Not Walk Alone is nominated in the documentary category, along with "The Black List" (HBO); "Black Magic" (ESPN); "CNN Presents: Black in America" (CNN); and "Trouble the Water" (Zeitgeist Films). We are honored to be competing with such prestigious programming.

We will be posting more on this development shortly. Right now we'd just like to thank all our supporters for having faith in this film, and express our thanks again to the NAACP nominating committee for shining a light on Dare Not Walk Alone.
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Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

Dare Not Walk Alone wishes everyone a great 2009, and sends out a huge Thank You to all who supported the film in 2008. Your emails, comments, blog posts, ticket and DVD purchases, all were much appreciated.

2009 is going to be an historic year. The inauguration on the 20th of this month will be a landmark in the ongoing struggle for a truly equality in the world. But let us not forget that the struggle continues. We are nowhere near achieving the "post-racial society" that some commentators are talking about. We agree with Michael Fauntroy on this:

Those who see America as "post-racial" may well be guilty of prematurely hoisting the "mission accomplished" banner. They should be aware of some unfortunate truths that still frame the world in which many Americans still live. For example, African Americans comprise nearly half of the 2.4 million people incarcerated in the United States, but make up but 12 percent of the total population. African Americans also suffer from disproportionately high school dropout and poverty rates.

So, at the start of this new year, let us take heart from all that was so bravely accomplished in the past (remember, January 1 also marks the anniversary of emancipation, 146 years ago this year). A lot of progress was made in 2008. Let us dedicate ourselves to achieving even more in 2009.