Little Known Black History Facts, and More Events

I am not a historian by inclination. Being young means you focus more on the future and where you want to be when it gets here. But because of several projects that required research into Birmingham’s past has shown me the value of understanding the here and now. Continue reading →

February Events This Weekend and Beyond

As very connected folks in Birmingham, I’m sure you’re well abreast of the latest events going on across the city as February /Black History Month closes out.

I’m sure you know about Bill Cosby’s two performances tonight at the Alabama Theater to benefit Miles College. The Cos has been in the ‘Ham several times over the past year, working as he can to encourage and strengthen the community with his words of wit and wisdom. A good fatherly kick in the pants and advice can motivate us to do better. I hope that somehow his words can especially touch the hearts of some of our youth who seem headed for trouble, like the sage counsel former Judge J. Richmond Pearson shared last week with disgruntled teens at Huffman High.

But you may also want to check out the free film festival that’s going on right now. For Black History Month, the Carver Theatre is hosting the 5th annual E. Desmond Lee Africa World Documentary Film Festival (AWDFF). It’s open to the public and FREE, folks. Continue reading →

Birmingham Arts and Music (BAAM) Festival Returns This Weekend

Can lightning strike twice in the same place? Forces of nature are hard to contain, especially when it comes to the power of music.

At last year’s inaugural launch of the BAAM Festival, co-founder Sharrif Simmons and his band played “Beautiful Day,” where the superb bass player lays down this hard-thumpin,’ blood-pumpin,’ signature funk rhythm that makes you wanna jump, jump, up and down. And so the crowd at Stillwater Pub went wild. As much as I wanted to do the same, I couldn’t because I was holding my little video camera. Continue reading →

ATL Film Workshop Prepares Takers for Potential New Job Creators: Filmmakers

I’m under no illusions: Birmingham is not Hollywood. Heck, it’s not even Atlanta when it comes to the business of filmmaking and video creation. But I believe it can be.

It has everything a moviemaker could want: historic old buildings, gritty urban alleys, antebellum homes, rolling hills, and suburban oases. And if we expand our vision to the state at large, we have waterways and lakes, picturesque towns, sandy white beaches, not to mention places of historical significance for the Civil War to Civil Rights. (We wrote about this topic years ago in our article, “Birmingham Rolls Out the Red Carpet for Hollywood.)

Yes, Alabama is far behind the curve among states that offer tax and other incentives (like Michigan and Louisiana) to draw location scouts to consider Birmingham and other parts of Alabama. But we are getting there. Continue reading →