Phyllis Montana LeBlanc displaying the black of the When the Levees Broke crew tee
"There were two things I asked Spike when we first met," says LeBlanc, sitting in a lawn chair outside her government-issued trailer home in New Orleans—the one she finally received four months after applying for it. "First I asked him, 'Are you going to tell the whole story and make it clear that all black people aren't poor, ignorant looters?' And then I asked if I could cuss." She laughs. "When he said yes to both, I said, 'Hot damn, we've got a deal!'"Excerpted from "Spike's Katrina", Allison Samuels, Newsweek, Aug. 21-28
I tuned in last Monday and Tuesday. I laughed, cried and cursed the fools responsible for this American tragedy: Nagin, Compass, Chertoff, Cheney, Condie, Blanco, Bush, Brownie, etc... Spike Lee did a helluva job iniating and completing this definitive document. I don't want to overlook the grassroots historiography that has and continues to take place but film is a much more accessible medium. I am not aware of any young MAINSTREAM black talent/artists who would endeavor anything in this spirit. I can't say how much of a generational/ethical shift I have observed between popular Black public figures of yesterday and today.*
HBO will air all four acts tonight, 8-midnight.
*I am reminded of the new Luda video, "Moneymaker", directed by Melina. It's a gimmicky but visually arresting twist on the standard t&a and t-bill backdrop. During the making of the vid, Luda, addressing his new haircut, explains that his fans acceptance of the new look represents the the parallel growth of him and them. He then mimes the get-low-and-make-this-money chorus. I flash back to "What's Your Fantasy" and have difficulty differentiating the thematics of the two. Later him and Pharrell play 'Reverend Brown' to the video girls as 'Ms. Black Awareness' contestants. It's not funny although one particularly eager video girl- the short haired lead- laughs loud and unnaturally.