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                                         CAN ANYBODY HEAR ME? Voices of youth

   (short stories, scenes, skits and monologues for middle        school  and high students)

Where will I be? What will I be doing?  Who am I?  Many times such small issues as inattentiveness, aggressiveness, and anger can be signs of larger issues which never are addressed.  Our young people have a lot to say about their lives but they often wonder can anybody hear them. In this collection you will hear the voices of some of those youth

             Bullying, peer pressure, dating, social networking and others


 



Autobiography of a PITBULL
Hear the voice of Mark, the captain of 1S 201’s basketball teams.  He’s a natural leader.  Usually he makes great decisions on and off the court.   But when he encounters Troy his decisions don’t only affect him, they affect others

YELLOW TAPE


Hear the voice of Angela and Rebecca two high school seniors who take a walk home from school.  They soon discover that an obvious sign keeps their community in fear, holds no one accountable and one of them has the voice to make the difference.



MAN OF THE HOUSE
Hear the voice of EJ a 17 year old student trying to maneuver his way through family, school and relationship.   For him life is full of uncertainty.  After a tragic lost he soon discovers the thing he wasn’t ready to become – he already is. 

                    
                                                         I CAN"T SLEEP
Hear the voice of Rasheeda A+ student who enjoys her friends and family.  But lately she can't sleep.  Rasheeda finds it hard to focus especially because she's holding on to a terrible secret. (Watch I CAN"T SLEEP) A monologue for a middle school girl)


Watch I LOVE HIM (taken from the book Can Anybody Hear Me?
 a scene for high school boy and girl

video

Which is stronger love or fear?
For more information or to order contact jgill433


   Scroll below to read the short story Graduation Day taken from the book
Can Anybody Hear Me

                                                 
                       GRADUATION DAY

We only just begun was the senior year motto for the   Ridgemont High school class of 2012.  The school’s band had just performed it to an audience of over 400 people.  Most were family members of the 2012 graduates.  Burgundy and gold cap and gowns could be spotted throughout the auditorium. Daquan laughed and hugged all of his fellow students as they jumped for joy when Principal Rodgers announced they were officially graduates. Saying   congratulations to his fellow students was the right thing to say but Daquan really didn’t know what to feel.  For him it was a day that seemed to take a lifetime to achieve.  He was 20 years old and just now graduating from High School. There was joy but still uncertainty because he wasn’t quite sure what he wanted to do with his future.
Trina his closest friend was focused on going to college.  Her plans were already set in stone.  Harold was going to apply for college as well.  He liked math and his interest was engineering.  Lastly Jonathan was going to continue working for ABC travel.  His internship was going to turn into a full time job for him in six months
So as Daquan hugged and laughed with his classmates there was a very clear understanding that he had no idea what he would be doing.  And it scared him.
Daquan didn’t feel he had the skills to go to the next level.  For years he had played around in school.  Not any one subject really appealed to him.  Math had too many formulas.  Reading didn’t excite him. He didn’t have the patience to stick around in school for a whole day.  The streets were more exciting.  Hanging out getting up late, those were the things he enjoyed. His grandmother raised him and his two younger brothers.  She encouraged him to go to school.  He tried to fulfill her wishes but every day he would get in trouble.

Fighting, causing trouble, cutting class made him infamous and popular at the same time.  He would drop out for a month or two.  Come back and leave again.  His grandmother began to stop arguing with him.  She had more immediate issues to deal with.  One of his brothers had begun to flourish in the art of trumpet playing.  His horn playing was being noticed by other schools.  He was even asked to perform on some albums.  His other brother was doing well academically.  His grades were high in all areas.  He offered to help Daquan with school but Daquan never had time.  So his grandmother decided to stop arguing and focused her attention on the other brothers.  Years went by.  Daquan was seventeen and he wouldn’t be graduating.  He didn’t care.  The next year he did the same thing as before.  In school, out of school, cut class, fight, popular and infamous all at the same time.  At about this time Mr. Marshall the school’s art teacher saw that Daquan had a gift.  He had drawn a picture of a young man sitting on a bench and off in the distance was a image of the world.  Mr. Marshall was so moved by this picture he asked Daquan to paint a mural of it for the school.  For 2 months Daquan worked on it.  He purchased dozens of spray paint, measured the distance of each wall, focused on colors and detail.  It was the first time in his life that he had devoted 2 months to any one thing little did Daquan know that he was applying lessons from school while creating his art; Budgeting, math, and discipline.   The mural was a huge success and even got coverage in the local newspaper.  But as time went on Daquan went back to his old ways.  Another year went by and he would not be graduating.  The school tried its best.  He was in various special education programs.  He had numerous tutors but Daquan showed no interest.  Eventually they, just like his grandmother, began to pay little attention.  And now when Daquan showed up in class he would be marked just for attendance and little else. So as Daquan participated in the graduation ceremonies his smile hid the one thing that he only realized and that was he hadn’t put the work in.   He decided he would look for work.  Oftentimes he would window shop looking at the new sneakers which always seemed to come out.  There was a footlocker in his area and they were hiring.  Daquan filled out his application and in box which stated if he was a high school graduate he marked yes. 
Daquan made sure to bring his high school diploma to his interview.  It went well, but when he showed the store manager the piece of paper, he could see a hesitation in the manager’s face.  After a long pause, he was told his degree was not an official degree.  The store manager had to be wrong.  Daquan had graduated, he was officially out of school at least that’s what he thought.  He applied for several more jobs and the result was always the same. Finally he went back to his high school and spoke to his guidance counselor.  She informed him he had participated in the closing ceremonies and had received a certificate, but it was not an official high school diploma.  It was called an IEP (individualized Education Program) degree.  It looked exactly like a diploma but this degree wasn’t based on a student’s knowledge to pass high school classes or regents but on attendance.  Daquan had only passed a third of his high school classes during this term. In a real sense he had aged out of school.  Which means that the school could not allow him to stay in pass the age of 20.  Therefore, he was awarded an IEP degree.   But IEP’s were not recognized as official degrees to many places of employment.  Not only was it hard for him to find work with this degree it was not accepted by college.   This deeply bothered Daquan and he went into a deep depression.  He felt hopeless and afraid.  Unlike his friends his future seemed far away. He regretted that he hadn’t applied himself when he was in school.  Today matters he kept saying to himself, “Today matters.”  One day Daquan saw that there was a program which could help you receive your GED and place you in college immediately.  Daquan promised himself that he would get his GED and would go to college.  For the next 3 months he studied hard.  He saved up his bus fare and made sure to attend all of his classes.  He read books, solved math problems.  He felt this was his last chance.  At times he wanted to quit but he remembered the time when he had focused for 2 months on drawing the school mural and he knew he could do 4 months of learning.  On December 17th, Daquan received his results.  He had passed and was now the official owner of a GED.   Unspeakable joy went through his body.  This was better than attending high school graduation.  This was something he had worked for.    Daquan attended college majoring in business.  He now works at Foot Locker but not as a sales person but a regional manager.  


                                            THE PLAY JANUARY 2014 
                              IF HARLEM COULD TALK IT WOULD SCREAM


              

Somewhere in Harlem, in a room, choose a room with your favorite number. “Billie

Holiday’s Blues” sit down in a lone chair and wait patiently for the morning.  Two lovers

stare at one another, pausing silently, choosing words carefully.  A few moments earlier

their words contained nouns, and adjectives—but at this moment they both find
themselves speechless. 

 SOMEWHERE IN HARLEM - taken from If Harlem could Talk it would Scream

              IF HARLEM COULD TALK IT WOULD SCREAM "AUDIOBOOK"
                        Listen to the Soundtrack of the HARLEM EXPERIENCE
                                                          BY JAMES GILLARD   
                 VISIT KICKSTARTER TO BECOME PART OF THE MOVEMENT LINK BELOW

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/181568157/if-harlem-could-talk-it-would-scream-audiobook

                                       IF HARLEM COULD TALK IT WOULD SCREAM

                        Unompromising, bold, and soul stirring --  short stories in Harlem Noire

                                            


Harlem, New York--the birth place of the world famous Apollo Theater and the home of Malcolm X and Langston Hughes up until the last decade was considered an urban eyesore.   Its rich culture was mired in desolate buildings and an ever increasing crime rate.  With the popularity of rap music, economic rebirth, and gentrification Harlem appears to be headed for its second renaissance.  Although the addition of mega stores and various outlets have given its residents more choices, the African American male—one of its major dwellers seem to be forgotten. 

.
African American males still struggle with themes of morality, identity and survival.  They often find that it’s a thin line between “keeping it real” and “doing the right thing.”  As both a Harlem resident and an African American male, I have faced these pressures first hand.  In my fictional collection of short stories, “If Harlem Could Talk It Would Scream”, I describe, with passion, humor and uncompromising realism -- stories that reveal the inner struggles of the black male in today’s society.  These stories fuse the flavor of Hip-hop, history, and social conditions all into one—with Harlem serving as its main character.

These Men scream, because they can’t be heard.          These are their tales.

                                         IN THE DISS
 Listen to a small time drug dealer as he makes a name in the crack game.  He will soon learn that it’s not what you do that matters, but what you say that does

 https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/181568157/if-harlem-could-talk-it-would-scream-audiobook

In Where is the LOVE? 
Then there’s the talented photographer tormented by artistic obsession and carnal desires.  He encounters a mysterious woman who reveals the one thing both have tried to avoid – the truth

In Home For the Holidays 
Then there’s the rehabilitated writer who returns back to Harlem a place where his past and present collide and only he can tell the difference.  Unbeknownst to him he is about to write his greatest work – his life. 

In Jazz is Hip Hop
Then there’s the jazz connoisseur who watches with apprehension as the young rapper moves into his building.  This sets in motion a chain of events, which proves change if even not welcomed, is inevitable

VIDEO CLIP OF JAZZ IS HIP HOP taken from the book " If Harlem could Talk"

                                  

                        BUY NOW                http://www.135thandinfinity.com/store/store.html

watch Video below 

and read excerpt taken from book


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                                                 Zora Neale Hurston is back in Harlem


 Antonia Badon as Zora Neale Hurston

 At one time there were more African Americans per/square mile in Harlem than in any other place on Earth, but that was long ago.  Now Harlem is
 like any other urban center in America.                    

Therein, lies the problem. IT"S NOT!!! Unbeknownst to many Harlemites, they walk on the same streets of cultural icons.  Names like Langston, Billie, Marcus, Duke, W.E.B., and Malcolm. And that's only a few. 

There was one who had a love for Harlem possibly like no other -- that was the greatZora Neale Hurston, writer, activist, biographer.  She was the first black woman to attend and graduate from Barnard College.  She is most famous for her wit, style, and uncompromising viewpoints on art, and history of African Americans.


Well Zora returns to Harlem, walking through it's famous streets.  This past Saturday she visited the Dark Tower,where A’Lelia Walker, daughter of Madam Cj walker is holding one of her lavish parties --( 108-110 West 136th Street) now known as Countee Cullen Library.  Then she whizzed by The NIGERATI MANOR,(267 w. 136th st) birthplace of "FIRE." The avant garde magazine written by Langston Hughes, Bruce Nugent, Wallace Thurman, Aaron Douglas and herself. 

monospace;">She stopped at The National Urban League,(202-206 West 136th Street), to chat with Charles Spurgeon Johnson editor of “Opportunity” Magazine.  She said," while she was studying at Howard University Johnson encouraged her to come to Harlem."

She paid respect to  "THE HOBBY HORSE", (205 w. 136th street.) This was the small bookstore that all the Harlem writers hung out at.
Zora walked with an heir of elegance, and did a Harlem strut which was symbolic, of attainment, celebration and pride.
Watch Zora in Zora's Harlem History Moments.  Presented on youtube.


Actress Antonia Badon performed Zora Returns to Harlem at
                            the Schomburg Center a birthday celebration of life and times
                                               of Zora Neale Hurston.
I've walked these streets of Harlem for many years, but I had no idea how close to greatness I was.
There will be Zora sightings throughout Harlem for black history month.  Sunday Literary talk --
  chatting with harlemmites about harlem's rich and storied history.    Uptown never looked so good 

                                       
                                                               James Gillard


          


 Harlem - Beyond the new real estate, underneath the economical resurgence, lies a greater divide between the haves and have nots.  In Harlem Could Talk, you will hear the voices of it's greatest inhabitants as they share in a collection of scenes (drama, movement and poetry)that reflect the passion, pain, beauty and torment of the Harlem experience.  This is real Harlem.


In , If Harlem Could Talk, you will hear the voices of it's greatest inhabitants as they share in a collection of scenes (drama, spoken word, beats, jazz)  the passion, pain, beauty and torment of the Harlem experience. 
Listen to the jazz connoisseur who watches with apprehension as the young rapper moves into his building, setting in motion a chain of events , which prove; change if even not welcomed is inevitable
Listen to the young woman whose innocence once considered a  virtue,  now has become a curse.
Listen to the small time drug dealer who will soon learn that it’s not what you do that matters, but what you say that does.These are some of the voices of  people that scream because they can’t be heard. This is the Real Harlem.

 starring Aaron Llewelyn, Roslyn Campbell Myrtis Thweatt, and Victor Streety Jr.  written by James Gillard


                                                   Click link to buy tickets Now!

  Eventbrite - If Harlem Could Talk IT would SCREAM !  The Play             



Aaron Llewelyn
Roslyn Campbell
                                            
Victor Streety, Jr









          Read below to discover the stories that inspire the play.



           




Read an Excerpt of "SOMEWHERE IN HARLEM" taken from the book If Harlem Could Talk

                                   SOMEWHERE IN HARLEM



Pick a hotel any hotel, the one where the rates are cheap and the lonely visit each and
every night.  You know, the ones where the shady characters, sit in locked rooms –
scheme and play hands of spades or poker.  The ones, where nomadic travelers visit just
to rest their heads.  The ones, where lovers meet to continue affairs cloaked in secrecy;
always running.  They run from husbands and wives who have turned their matrimonial
vows into contracts of despair.  They toil in the monotonous rituals of dealing with one
another instead of loving one another.  Then they escape to places like this hotel, a hotel
anywhere, any night, but somewhere in Harlem. 



Somewhere in Harlem, in a room, choose a room with your favorite number. “Billie
Holiday’s Blues” sit down in a lone chair and wait patiently for the morning.  Two lovers
stare at one another, pausing silently, choosing words carefully.  A few moments earlier
their words contained nouns, and adjectives—but at this moment they both find
themselves speechless.  He notices the cracks on the ceiling and the tattered rug which
rest underneath the bed.  She notices the yellow light that seeps through the window in
the bathroom revealing a rust colored stain on that same tattered rug. He knows that
yellow light comes from the huge neon sign which reads “Liquors wholesale, open
till1:00.”  He smiles, just one hour ago he had purchased a fifth of Jack Daniels from that
same store.  Hoping the bitter taste would validate his sinfulness.  “I was drunk, see smell
the liquor on my breath,” that would be his excuse if ever caught. 
On the other hand she watches his smile and remembers it was the first thing she ever
noticed about him.    It was three months ago, in a club or bar, on a small dance floor
somewhere in Harlem.  They both watched each other across a crowded bar where
faceless bodies moved to the beat of their own music.   Soon he would tire of the stares
and make his way through ebony hued limbs approaching what he called his destiny.  She
waited patiently for his advances knowing full aware of the consequences.

“I’m married, he whispered in her ears.  Her body rocked back and forth to the rhythm of
his, she had long blocked out the music and the voices of the sea of people who stood

next to her.  “I know”, she whispered back in his.   It was the way he ordered his drink,
darting in and out of the crowd like an unwanted guest.  It was the eyes that revealed the
look of wanting so much but used to not having.   She empathized with this man because
she knew exactly how it felt to have an affair.  Her hands glided up his back and rested in
between his shoulder blades.  He smiled, because for the first time that night the lump
that had buried itself in his back was gone.  He knew it would find the shoulders of
another man or woman at another club or bar somewhere in Harlem.  She nestled her
head on his chest, his smile was contagious and masked the anxiety both felt.  It was the
same smile she saw pierce his lips in this room, in this hotel somewhere in Harlem.
  

In the distance he could hear people talking in muffled voices.   Sure it was coming from
just outside the window, the same window with the reflecting light.  Distant voices had
traveled through the alley that was adjacent to this building. On the other side was a small
jazz cafĂ© which played the sounds of Miles, Bird and Dizzy.  Hard and fast music, that
provided a perfect haven for the discontented.   He remembered it was a Thursday, the
second one of the month, the day when city workers reaped the rewards of their
municipal labor.

 The wise ones would seize the opportunity to take care of their everyday needs and if
lucky cater to their wants.  Others would do vise versa.  He peered down at the woman
that lye next to him and wondered if she was a need or a want.  The muffled voices were
now clear, he was sure it was an argument escalating in that same small alley just outside
the window with the yellow light.
 “Get out of here”, a man yells, another screams “touch me again, and I’ll kill you.” 

The voices reminded him of the same argument he had with his wife a week ago.  She
had become weary of his late Thursday night early Friday morning rendezvous.
   “This is the 3rd time this month you’ve worked late.  We hardly see each
other, can’t they call someone else in.”  He hated it when she spoke in the voice of a
pleading angel.  It bought up memories of a time long ago when her words were filled
with sincerity and love.
 “Did you say that to him, when you were lying in his arms, in my bed?
“You’ll never forget, you’ll never forgive,” is all she could say.
The women that laid next to him was a need, he needed her to strengthen him, to pick
him up, to console him, nourish him, to make him feel like the man he used to be, and the
man he still was.   He kissed her passionately knowing it was an argument.  An argument
that had played out a thousand times in his mind.
 The woman also heard the sounds in the distance.  She was sure they were coming from
outside the door.  The door that led to a dimly lit hallway surrounded by paisley
wallpaper-- on the far right side stood the ice machine that constantly churned and
moaned as if it were dying of a broken heart.  Next to it were the stairs all leading to the
front desk where the clerk sat motionless—detached from the lives of the patrons he
served. 
 How many secrets did he know,” she wondered to herself.  The clerk was involved in
some altercation. 
 She could tell it was a man by the way his voice reverberated against the wall.  Low
husky sounds followed by choppy words
 ‘I just want to look at the guest book.” 
I’m sorry sir, that’s confidential.  I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”
 “Get your hands off of me before I kill you.”
 The voice was so similar to her husband’s.  But her husband would never visit a place
like this.  He had too much pride.  But pride was the sin of all sins, and long ago it had
revealed itself
. 
There were no more caresses, flowers, understanding words.  Oblivious now to her laced
lingerie which at one time could stir up un-imaginary possibilities.   PRIDE had hardened
him. It also masked the undeniable truth.  They would never have children.  Nature had
taken away the one thing which he had defined himself by “LIFE.”  He was too proud to
adopt to ashamed to have her artificially inseminated,                         
“I couldn’t live with the thought of another man inside of you, I would kill you first.’
Yes, he would but she had died a long time ago. 

This man next to her represented another chance at life again.  Although, it would never
amount to more, pretending had become her great equalizer.  
Subconsciously, she returned his kiss and once again ebony hued limbs locked in
syncopated motion, and faintly in the distance both could hear the knock on the door, in a
place, anyplace but somewhere in Harlem.



An excerpt from the book IF HARLEM COULD TALK IT WOULD SCREAM

                                                              
                                                                                          
 

EXCERPT FROM HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS
taken from IF HARLEM COULD TALK...




But his wife looked back from behind him,
And she became a pillar of salt
Genesis 19:26:

November 21,

The 7:10 had just pulled into New York's Penn Station. It was rush hour the busiest time of the day. Darcy peered out the window and watched the young, old, businessmen, lovers, students and workers scurry along the platform, most hurrying home due to the short week, and Thanksgiving was right around the corner.  Darcy pulled his carrying bag from the top of the train rack effortlessly. He was traveling light.  His stay was for three days.  Thursday he would be back home digging into the huge spread Tanya had prepared.   She had to be the hardest working, most considerate woman in North Carolina,   But at this very moment New York was calling. He glided through the train doors, and strode past the herds of people. He exited the station at the 35th street exit hoping he could avoid the crowds and catch a taxi unfortunately the City streets threw him a curve with hordes of shoppers and vendors milling around 8 th avenue.  A robust older Spanish man, had set up a table with name brand perfumes and colognes, 
“Got that Armani, Polo, Calvin Klein, whatever occasion I got the scent. 10 dollars people you can’t beat that.”  A little further up the block another crowd had formed.  Three young brothers, dressed in sweat suits and baggy shirts moved their bodies to the beat of Soul Sonic Forces, “planet Rock.”  They popped, intertwined and showcased an assortment of flips and break dance moves that drove the crowd crazy.  Darcy could feel his body jerk to the beat of Bambatta’s classic hit.  He realized that’s what was fresh about the city -- any place could be your playground.  He dropped 10 dollars in the boy’s hat and thought about his next move. It had been 4 years since he was back in the city and nothing had changed. .  A young black woman walked by wearing tight fitting jeans and carrying Macy bags. She watched his every move.  He stood just over 6ft with a boxer’s build, wide shoulders and a face that revealed a neatly lined goatee and striking bald head. He was sure to catch admiring eyes.  The added weight only made him feel good about himself. He could feel the tautness of his muscles through his blue wind-breaker-- those early morning workouts were starting to pay off.  Who would’ve known that only four years earlier this same man was being stepped on as he slept on the sidewalk.  The young lady gave a glance which acknowledged her interest. Joshua thought for a second about something his uncle always used to tell him, “money and a fine ass woman will always throw a man off his shit.”  It doesn't matter how righteous he is.” Joshua decided to pass on the opportunity. After all, he was a married man and only home for the holidays, why complicate things.

Darcy looked at the spacious master suite at the Marriott Marquis.  The room was adorned in gold and red tapestry, a couch, full length bed and 32 inch TV. The C.A.A.W (Conference of African American Writers) had spared no expenses for their 25th annual convention.  Darcy was honored to be the featured speaker of this year’s convention.  He opened his duffel back pulling out the convention invite.  The past few years he had declined to attend always citing family issues, but in all reality Darcy was scared.  Crowds seemed to bring unnecessary attention, and he was constantly ashamed about had he had handled success in previous years there were too many questions about his addiction and state of mind.  2001 marked a new time, one for self discovery.  His writings now garnered him fame not only in African American circles but in white and Latino markets.  He took time to reflect on this unashamedly.  After all he only started writing because, “he needed to eat”.  At least that’s what he liked to say.   A humble beginning with the publication of a few short stories and then in 1995 his landmark essay for Essence.  "INNER VOICES OF A DROWNING MAN." Title alone got him six more writing gigs.  Some said he possessed the gift. of writing stories that questioned society's values,  He soon followed that up with his searing expose titled, “BROWN VERSUS BOARD OF ED,  A CHILDREN”S STORY,” Ebony cited it as the clearest indictment on urban America’s failing school system which had ever been written.  Then the book deals came in.  He was the new “hot shot writer,” on the scene.
His first book Writer’s Block quickly moved up Time’s Best Sellers List, ending the year at no.18.  Huge numbers for a relative unknown. He was rising, but just as quickly came the fall.  A child was on the way, and Darcy was concerned about being a one hit wonder.  He realized years later that he had put too much pressure on himself, and his insecurity provided an opening for cocaine.   Just the thought of it sent chills through his body....

BOOK ON SALE NOW. 
http://www.135thandinfinity.com/store/store.html

                                                            $12.00 incl shipping handling

   GREENPOWER 

          http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/green-power-now-available-in-black/x/2145650

Over the past few years African Americans have spent 900 billion to 1 trillion dollars.  Yet they still suffer from high rates of unemployment and poverty? Why is that
As a community, what has happened to our small businesses.  Why is it that in our communities we have more foreigner and non-American nationalities with business.  Where are we?  Greenpower the new Documentary will focus on our economical, political, cultural plight.   Speakers like Prof. James Smalls, Prof Leonard Jeffries, Booker T. Coleman and more will add insight as well as solutions.  This is a must see project.  Directed by James Gillard.  Get involved


Help Support this film/

A documentary shot in HD.  Great storytelling, Fact, solutions for our economic, social political condition.
click link to find out more.

  http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/green-power-now-available-in-black/x/2145650

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Something to think about:
What’s the most important day of your life, yesterday, today or tomorrow


  


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