IF HARLEM COULD TALK IT WOULD SCREAM
The BOOK - THE PLAY
Big up to NYC for the support of our 3 night run at the world famous
Nuyorican Poets Cafe. We had a blast.
I would like to thank all of the wonderful people who came out last week to catch the two
performances of IF HARLEM COULD TALK IT WOULD SCREAM. A great turnout. Special thanks to my Norman Thomas High School Alum for showing love both nights.
|JAZZ IS HIP HOP SCENE|
|NTHS Class of 84|
HARLEM COULD TALK IT WOULD SCREAM
SHORT STORIES IN HARLEM NOIRE
Over 3,000 sold
If there are 8 million stories in the naked city then Harlem has a million of them. Listen to the voices of it's greatest inhabitants as they share the passion, pain and beauty of the Harlem experience.
Listen to a small time drug dealer as he makes a new name in the crack game. He will soon learn that it's not what you do that matters but what you say.
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
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
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.
These are the voices of people who scream because they can't be heard.
WATCH VIDEO CLIP OF JAZZ IS HIP HOP
Read excerpt of story
WHERE IS THE LOVE
Nuttin make a woman feel
Nuttin make a woman feel betta
Than barrettas and Amarettas, butta leathers and mad cheddaz
Chillin in a benz with my ami-gos
If you say so, then I’m the same chick
That you want to get with
WHERE IS THE LOVE?
Sleep was good but it was time to make money. Simone had fallen asleep for 5 hours “shit its 12:00 am.” She quickly checked her messages. She had 12 new calls. Seven were regular. Five were new. At that very moment her cell phone went off. Hello… this is her…She would always change her voice to sound as professional yet sexy as possible. $250 for the hour, 200 for the half, you interested? Oh thank you…I got a pen … 338 w 138th street between 7th & 8th. Your telephone number? She wrote it down. And what’s your name.
“DANA”, ok, give her about an hour Dana.
138th between 7th & 8th was a known landmark of Harlem the street was named Strivers Row. It was known for its beautiful brownstones, which lined the street. At the turn of the century it was one of the richest streets in New York City. Upward mobile blacks that consisted of lawyers, doctors, entertainers, and the elite of African –American culture inhabited it. Therefore, it was dubbed Strivers Row. Simone viewed the area and was very impressed. She didn’t know blocks like this existed in Harlem. She looked at her make-up one last time. Made sure her outfit was on point. Feeling under dressed, she wondered if the leather pantsuit was appropriate. “Maybe, I should’ve worn an evening dress or something. Shit, Simone get a grip. He knows your style. He saw your picture. “This is me,” she couldn’t believe she was saying these things. A slight chill went up her spine and momentarily she though about leaving. Taking a deep breath, she realized after all she was “Passion” and this was just a person in need of her services.
Dana had sat back and poured himself a glass of Alize. He looked at his apartment it had all the makings of a bachelor’s pad with style. A contemporary couch set sat in the living room. A dining table carved from oak wood in the kitchen. African art decorated the walls, not heavily but enough to give it that Afro-centric look. A state of the art entertainment center completed the living room. Dana’s room had large pictures of his work lined against the walls. All the accents of an upward mobile brother were visible.
At times he would rush home just to work on another project. He couldn’t stand being alone. He felt socially inadequate at parties and clubs; everyone out on a mission to meet that certain someone. He needed someone. Star was cool. But they were not compatible. He found himself skimming through a guide, which he had picked up some time ago. He was always ashamed to look at it, but always unable to throw it away. He was drawn to it. It featured black and Latino women in the nude. At first glance it appeared to be nothing more than an adult magazine similar to Playboy or Penthouse, but unlike those magazines it had a guide to various gentlemen clubs and it was lined throughout with numerous escort services. Beautiful women posed in seductive wear. Dana knew the reason he never got rid of it. It was a beautiful sister who went by the name of Passion. Her face could barely be seen. Never the less her image was striking. A red sheer lingerie set which was slightly opened. It revealed the outline of the curve of her breast, tasteful, but yet effective. Her hands rested on her hips in a confident manner. Her full figure couldn’t be seen because her legs and hips were covered up. But she was wise. The lingerie was sheer and a glimpse of a firm thigh could be seen. Dana didn’t know what it was about this girl that turned him on. Maybe it was just the picture, he wanted to give props to the photographer but there was nothing aesthetically different from any of the other pictures. Most were done cheaply in rooms or studios. It was the stare, and pose. This young lady had confidence written all over her. It was obvious to see why. He felt the urge to call the number various times but couldn’t go through with it. He was ashamed. He would watch the basketball game. The Knicks were doing well and it was the stretch drive. “Every game counts, this is what it’s all about.” No sooner than he said it, his mind was back on the young lady in the picture. Temptation was strong but he held out for a moment. He found himself dialing the number. After each number he took a deep breath, and then he finally completed the call. An answering machine kicked in and a sweet voice replied…Hi you’ve reached PASSION. But leave your name and number and I will return your call. Please speak clearly. I don’t return cell phones or pages. See you soon. Dana felt relieved. It wasn’t meant to be. In reality Dana wanted to be alone. He watched the whole game but when it ended he found himself shuffling books in his bookshelf, and then he found himself at the magazine again. This time promising himself if no one answered that would be it. The phone rang twice than three times Dana had just promised himself he would let the phone ring no more than four times. At the fourth ring, a young lady answered. Her voice sounded a bit aggravated. Dana hesitated then spoke up. I’m trying to reach Passion. Is this her…” The young lady regrouped and her voice sounded smooth and professional. Dana decided it was ok to take a chance.
(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
REVOLUTION - taken from the book
Can Anybody Hear Me? voices of youth
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
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 HOUSEHear 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
Which is stronger love or fear?
For more information or to order contact jgill433
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
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.
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 islike any other urban center in America.