In the next chapter making 99% Occupied filmmaker Dami Akinnusi follows Occupy The Hood to Atlanta for Hood Week where Jamaine is discovered as a young voice of the future.
I arrived in New York a couple of weeks ago filled with anticipation, excitement and nerves as I was unsure of what the next three months would bring. I had come to the city to undertake an internship with Darkling Productions and also research for my dissertation (I am currently doing a Masters in Media, Communications and Critical Practice at London College of Communications).
My first assignment was a road trip to Atlanta for Hood Week hosted by Occupy the Hood, in which Darkling Productions would shoot the next chapter of 99% Occupied. The film has been following Malik Rhasaan and other community activists exploring the notion of leadership and black revolutionaries in current times.
Upon arrival I got straight to work helping out with the preparations for the three day event, a highlight for me was learning how to make Arroz con Gandules (a Puerto Rican rice dish) by a member of Occupy el Barrio. To me this highlighted what Occupy the Hood is all about; sharing, teaching and enriching each other to ensure that communities can prosper and be self-sufficient.
Hood Week commenced with a Meet & Greet evening filled with poetry, music and delicious food! This gave everyone the opportunity to put names to faces and also raise funds for the cause.
On day two of Hood Week we met Jamaine Stanley, an inspirational young man who had heard about the event and wanted to attend as he felt passionate about how, as a young black boy, he could be involved in making improvements to his ‘hood’. One of the main ideas 99% Occupied the film explores is identifying ‘where are the Black Panthers of the 21st Century?’ and Jamaine certainly made an impression on the audience as you can see in the video above.
Day three was the Hood Week Cookout; Darkling set up a temporary office on site and continued to interview members for 99% Occupied Film. Ben & Jerry’s had donated ice cream to the event and we all enjoyed the treats which gave some respite to the scorching hot day!
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Words by Nyomi Cleghorn-Ball