JUNIOR SCHOLARS PROGRAM
MEDIA & VIDEO PRODUCTION
By Any Means Necessary
The Schomburg Center
Malcolm X once said, “The media is the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” After reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley, viewing Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls In Schools, and reflecting on Malcolm’s words, the Video Production Scholars began to question the media's coverage of Black women and girls. We were guided by questions, such as: Why is there a lack of media coverage for Black girls when they go missing? How does colorism show up in the media in 2020 and affect women of color? Why aren’t Black girls diversely represented in film and television?
Our scholars began making plans to answer these questions in the form of a documentary film. But, before we could pick up a camera and start recording, COVID-19 hit. In the blink of an eye, our world as we knew it changed. Suddenly, our scholars were fighting a pandemic, attending school via computer screens, managing their loss, stress, and uncertainty, all while practicing social distancing. COVID-19 brought the world to a halt, but the public execution of George Floyd at the hands of police officers took our breath away.
And the media, our focus, was at the center of it all. Our scholars paid close attention to how the media shaped the story. Were they telling the full story? We decided that our voices were just as powerful as those of the news anchors on television. Our final project began with questions posed and ended with questions answered. Guided by curiosity and research skills, our group created a five-segment showcase that is intended to provoke conversations with friends and family on topics that have been plaguing our communities and our Black girls for years.
- Sharee Hereford, Media Instructor
When black girls Go Missing
According to The Black and Missing Foundation, in 2014, 64,000 black women and girls went missing. Today, The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says that number translates to 35% of all missing children cases being African American children. This episode explores the power of media and the necessary steps we all can take to ensure that when Black girls go missing we receive proper media attention.
In our first segment, the scholars interviewed Candice Gaines, the creator of the Crime Noire podcast. Her podcast tells the stories about missing and murdered Black people. The first case Gaines took on was the disappearance of Relisha Rudd. Relisha Tenay Rudd is an 8-year old Black girl who went missing in Washington, D.C. in February 2014 and has not been found.
black girls In Film
The scholars got the chance to talk to editor, filmmaker, producer, writer, and entrepreneur, Asha Boston. She currently runs The Dinner Table Doc, a non-profit organization that partners with schools and community organizations to provide college and career readiness workshops and programming.
According to the dictionary, colorism is defined as a prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group.
The scholars had a candid conversation on the topic of Colorism with the Executive Director of the New York City Commission on Gender Equity, Jacqueline Ebanks.
black girls Magic Part 1
Black Girl Magic is a celebration of who we are just as we are. The scholars had an open and honest discussion about creating space to celebrate ourselves with actress, comedian, and rapper Destiny Mabry and Assistant Principal, Writer, and mom to one of our scholars, Shavonn Doughlin.
black girls Magic part 2
In the segment, the scholars spoke to author, entrepreneur, lawyer, and former Deputy General Counsel for Time Inc., Rhonda Joy Mclean.
Mclean shared all of the ways Black girls can find, protect, and create their Black Girl Magic.