Sunday, February 27, 2011

"My Family"

Here's one of my Dad's cousins doing his showbiz thing in the 1950's somewhere. My family was into showbiz on Dads side. They was all show folks. My Mom's side were teachers or business folks. Heck of a mix I can tell ya. You should have been at the Thanksgiving dinner table with our lot. Never a dull moment,...not a chance.

Here's a short clip from "da Newz" as we calls it here that features a bit about my family. Yeah there's other material too, but I just wanna show off my family stuff.


"Capturing black New York: Bronx filmmakers launch Digital Diaspora Family Reunion Roadshow"

BY Katie Nelson

Documentary filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris believes a photo is more than just printed paper - it's also a patch of community history that shouldn't ever be lost.

This week, the Bronx native is quilting photos and the stories they evoke into the Digital Diaspora Family Reunion Roadshow, an interactive, multimedia picture book of sorts.

His goal: To create a collective cultural history of colored New York.

Harris and his team started interviewing New Yorkers earlier this week at the Harlem Stage Gatehouse on Convent Ave., combing through curled, yellowed images from weddings, parties, holidays, dance recitals and formal portrait sittings.

The interview process "tends to be the very first time they've shared their photographs with someone outside of the family, so it's a moment of discovery for everyone," Harris said.

Sylvia Smith, (my dear sister), of Chinatown, showed up with a thick stack of pictures of relatives who danced their way into show business, and old newspaper clippings about her grandfather's brother, who was lynched in the Deep South.

"I heard this was like that traveling Antiques Roadshow, but for family photographs," said Smith, 58, referring to the PBS series about antiques appraisals. "For me, family genealogy is a passion. It's part of our history, an American story of migration and immigration that hasn't been written about yet."

( Yep that's my dear sister speaking. She even had a 100+ year old photo of Great Grandma. Also snap shots of Grandma, and my Mommy, as a little girl, in San Francisco during the last Great Depression.)

(That, and photos of a cousin that settled in Ireland,..(?!!), Dad in WW2, images of the farm we once had down South, me in my confirmation suit when I was 11, and my brother in Viet-Nam. There's more about other families in the piece, but ya gets the point here.)

Langston Hughes reading his poem "I, Too"

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