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Rebuilding Newark, Brick By Brick…


I have a special connection to Newark, New Jersey. I feel this city as if it were my home. The architecture of downtown Newark is so familiar to me. This was how NYC looked before all the steel and glass mirrors started to hide the fact that NYC had lost its sould sometime around the GIULIANI regime. Newark was like Detroit to me because it still retained it height and magnificence even through its depression.

The Newark Museum of Art was the first museum to embrace the Internets Celebrities. They cited our film ‘Bodega’ during their prestigious if not overcrowded Paul Robeson Awards ceremony. Newark retains a blue collar aesthetic the same way Philadelphia does. It is small wonder to me then that Dice Raw of the legendary, hardest working band of all time Roots crew was tabbed to compose the theme to the Sundance Channel’s documentary about the rebuilding city’s inner struggle.

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Dice Raw & Khari Mateen – ‘Brick By Brick’

The Brick City documentary mini-series features some of Newark’s soldiers from the young mayor CORY BOOKER, to the police chief to Blood and Crip and Blood gang members who are on the frontlines of the poverty and desperation within Newark’s ghettos. I’m hype for this program as the alternative to all the talk that ‘The Wire’ had generated in examining and exposing the urban phenomena created by capitalism over the past 40 years. Since the murder of MARTIN LUTHER KING Jr. the urban center has been abandoned by industry and the government. The story of Brick City is no different than that of Philadelphia, Baltimore, East St.Louis, Detroit and ALL of Ohio.

Those of us born into the full threshold of urban decay are now old enough and strong enough to progressively change our environs. The process is lengthy and arduous but we must rebuild our cities with our own hands. Brick by brick…

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