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We are an international, intercultural community of personsengaged in achieving increasing understanding and cooperation between individuals and groups in support ofdemocratic procedures and the elimination ofviolence, religious, ethnic and gender persecution,youth exploitation, homophobia and racial hatred through the process of art, education, culture and dialogue.
Wir sind eine internationale, interkulturelle Gemeinschaft von Personen mit dem Engagement für ein besseres Verständnis undwachsende Kooperation zwischen Individuen und Gruppen,mit Unterstützung des demokratischen Prozesses und der Beseitigung von Gewalt,Verfolgung aufgrund religiöser, ethnischer und geschlechtlicher Zugehörigkeit, Kindes- und Jugendmissbrauch, Homosexuellen-Feindlichkeitund Rassenhass, durch die Mittel der Kunst, der Bildung, der Kultur und des Dialogs.
In Memoriam: Oscar Brown Jr.
PEOPLE, POLITICS AND ART
"If it looks like bullshit and smells like bullshit, its probably bullshit!" - Oscar Brown Jr.
Oscar Brown Jr., the man in the film, on and off screen
Oscar was a combination of personalities that often amazed and bewildered. He was a habitu of Bronzville, also known as the Black Southside of Chicago, Illinois, which graciously provided him with a direction for life.
The young Oscar was blessed with circumstances many persons would wish for their existence. Indulgent, educated, loving and disciplining parents, bestowed a comfortable and resource filled life upon their son and family members, through substantial real estate interests.
Oscar was a special kind of man, one who "existed" in the dominant group and lived in the culture from which he'd sprung.
Oscar Brown Jr. lived a life of enlightened schizophrenia, acquiring the social-psychological skills necessary to deal with the dominant group, who were often times not especially appreciative of his talents or existence, but on the other hand fortunately lived among sun kissed people, through whom he was acculturated and remained a source of inspiration, information and support throughout his life.
Oscar was a handsome man, tall, articulate and very charming, as attested to by the ladies who swooned in his trajectory.
He was also a source of possibilities and enlightenment for males, young and old, especially sun kissed males, seeking to breath fresh air in the oppressive atmosphere of a country conditioned to cultivate and perpetuate a permanent underclass.
Oscar Brown Jr. for example, had the ability to request and receive funding from persons such as the mayor of Chicago, boss Richard J. Daley and then travel to the bowels of Bronzville on Chicago's Southside and distribute the largesse, among groups and individuals as diverse as the Black Muslims to the Black Stone Rangers, a notorious and powerful street gang at the time, in Chicago.
Oscar's financial support, talent and personality, enabled him to create theatre and artistic creations with persons ordinarily recognized for their anti and asocial behavior. He also provided the financial and artistic inspiration and creations for work with many young people in Chicago and nationwide.
In addition, Oscar was also a friend and co-creator with many established and talented musicians on the jazz scene, U.S.A.
He often spoke of his affiliation with the Communist Party and his efforts to combat racism through Scientific Socialism. His experience with this methodology eventually led to disappointment, as he again found himself enmeshed in a hierarchy with "other folks" on top of the glass ceiling. Oscar was gifted with his ability to analyze personal and political situations and from these insights, create plays, poetry and songs which possess amazing humor, understanding and musicianmanship and which enabled him to enter the annals of gifted artists by virtue of his talents.
The documentary film "A Conversation With Oscar Brown Jr." occurs in Oscar's hotel room, after the completion of his invitational concert at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin/Germany. He is in an expansive mood and speaks at length about music, the relationship between politics and sleaze in the U.S.A., the state of affairs of Black America and the underclass, crack cocaine, racial prejudice as a mental illness, Affirmative Action and the evil spirit in human society, versus the godly side in humanity.
Oscar also reminisces about his childhood in Chicago, attending the University of Wisconsin, acting, Dick Durham, the cold war, W.E.B. DuBois, Paul Robeson, the Communist Party, Jim Crow, his army experiences, the collapse of Communism-Socialism, Black people in the Communist Party and his hopes for the future.
After witnessing his intelligent, experienced and artistic thoughtfulness for an hour, you may not agree with Oscar on all points, but the viewer will certainly be enthralled and entertained by the overview of and personal history provided on film, by the remarkable Oscar Brown Jr..
"I may not make it if I try, but I damn sure wont if I dont..." - Oscar Brown Jr.
Oscar Brown Jr.
October 10, 1926 - May 29, 2005
Author: Prof. Donald Muldrow Griffith
Griffith Prof. Donald Muldrow
(Fountainhead® Tanz Theatre/Black International Cinema Berlin/The Collegium - Forum & Television Program Berlin/Cultural Zephyr e.V.)
Fountainhead® Tanz Theatre is a production, performance and distribution unit, which was initiated and developed by Prof. Gayle McKinney Griffith and Prof. Donald Muldrow Griffith, both experienced artists from the U.S.A.
Fountainhead® engages people from various national, cultural, ethnic, socio-economic, religious backgrounds, and sexual identities, and works in a variety of artistic and cultural areas, with the goal of creating, experiencing and communicating intercultural exchange within its projects and to the world community.
Since its founding in 1980, Berlin/Germany, Fountainhead® has presented a variety of international, intercultural and interdisciplinary productions in the areas of dance, theatre, film festivals, television programming, film distribution, publications, seminars, exhibitions, workshops and musical presentations.
One of the productions is the annually presented Black International Cinema Berlin, which was founded by Fountainhead® in 1986 in Berlin/Germany and since then, has been produced and directed by Fountainhead® Tanz Theatre on a regular basis in Berlin/Germany, other European and US-American cities.
The festival screens cinema from the African Diaspora and other films from varied intercultural backgrounds or perspectives.
Black International Cinema Berlin originated from the Black Cultural Festival, which was produced and directed by Fountainhead® Tanz Theatre in 1986 for the first time in Europe, a 3-week event in Berlin, which presented the contributions of Black people to world culture through film, theater, dance, music, workshops and seminars, and was an homage to the legendary tap dancer, Carnell Lyons.
The venues were the Theatermanufaktur am Halleschen Ufer from March 3-16, music – dance – theatre; Hochschule der Künste Berlin on March 11, symposium; Kino Arsenal from March 17-23, film.
Organization and Artistic Direction: Prof. Gayle McKinney Griffith (USA/Berlin), Prof. Donald Muldrow Griffith (USA/Berlin), Donald Muldrow McKinney Griffith II (USA/Berlin), Dr. Ntongela Masilela (South Africa);
in cooperation with: Prof. Dr. Abdul Alkalimat (USA), Uazuvara Ewald Katjivena (Namibia), Getinet Belay (Ethiopia), Joliba Africa Center; Organization: Erika Gregor (Arsenal Cinema, Germany); Organization Assistance: Annette Koschmieder (Germany)
Additionally, Fountainhead® produces and directs since the founding in 1995, the weekly intercultural television magazine program THE COLLEGIUM – Forum & Television Program Berlin, broadcast Thursdays from 9-10 a.m. and Saturdays from 10-11 a.m. at Alex - Open Channel Berlin, and furthermore televised in Magdeburg, Wolfsburg, Dessau and additional cities.
In 1990 Fountainhead® Tanz Theatre established Cultural Zephyr e.V. as a not for profit organization, which administers the cultural and artistic undertakings of Fountainhead® Tanz Theatre.
"I may not make it if I try, but I damn sure won´t if I don´t..."
Oscar Brown Jr.
"Mankind will either find a way or make one."
”Whatever you do..., be cool!"
Joseph Louis Turner
”Yes, I can...!”
Sammy Davis Jr.
”Yes, We can...!”
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