A NEW CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT
I want to explain my background on civil rights, and why I feel there is a need for a new civil rights movement; a coda to the moral imperative this country set about to rectify but never fully achieved. And now, when we have risen to the pinnacle of success to that promise there has been a reversal of fortune. When I was born my birth certificate had my father’s and mother’s name, and who the doctor was who delivered me. And it identified me as being ‘colored’. It was not until I was six years old that legislation was passed that would guarantee me a right to a vote when I became eighteen years of age.
Many things happened between 1964 and 1976, for me and my family. My father had returned from Europe in WWII; thrice decorated with bronze star medals for bravery. He had a ninth grade education, a respect for himself and love of his country. He made himself a painting business, and befriended a black minister who came to town and moved next door into the house we formerly occupied. Reverend Ware liked the property because it had an abandoned church on it. He and my father worked together to repair it, to give the 6% of the black population of the town a church of their design.
It irritated some neighbors. One summer day, in 1966, a motorcycle gang drove back and forth on our street, flying the confederate flag. They didn’t say anything to us…just kept driving their motorcycles up and down the streets trying to intimidate us.
That night, they came back. Supported by whites in the community who were upset that the congregation was growing, they vandalized the church. They put racist writing on the wall with black paint. Made swastikas. That was what the people saw when they came to worship that Sunday morning. We were Christian Scientists, at the time. But we had attended the inaugural service of Reverend Ware’s church. That is where my father decided he needed to take action.
He began to organize in the community. He talked with people in the town who were Black, Mexican, Polish, and formed the Streator Interracial Council. It was a grass roots civil rights organization that worked to get housing for minorities in the town. It made the police and city government more responsive to the needs of its marginalized citizenry. Reverend Ware left, but the malignancy that forced him out of our midst was still in my town.
Daddy continued. His business grew, along with the Interracial Council. Maybe, because of it. Sometime, in the closing months of 1967 or early 1968, a conference by the HUD department was going to be held in Chicago, Illinois on April 5, 1968. I found out Bobby Kennedy had asked Vernon Jordan to reach out to my father and to invite he and my mother to the conference. He had said he hoped to be able to meet them when he would come to speak at the keynote.
Robert F. Kennedy did not come to the conference, however, because the night before Martin Luther King, Jr. had been assassinated. My mother and father were in downtown Chicago when the city began to riot. We were watching all the events from a close family friend’s home. Where we were safe, but worried about our pregnant mother, and our father. God watched over them, and they made it back to us safely, but I would never forget it. And then, the whole thing got the scab tore off again, months later, when Bobby was killed.
Civil rights, and fighting for them, is in my DNA. My father gave me that legacy. When I was an assistant principal at a high school district on the coast of Central California, I stood up to teachers and administrators who were discriminating against black students.
They demoted me because of it and I took them to court. Of course, I didn’t have the money to afford an attorney, but I had an education. I knew how to find the answers needed. I took what knowledge I had from a year of law school and filed a discrimination suit in the Ninth District. The NAACP would not help me. Al Sharpton would not help me. Jesse Jackson would not help me. But I kept forward. For four years. The school district did everything they could to kill my case. The federal judge did not want to hear it, and refused to manage the case objectively. He gave a summary judgment, without speaking to the merits of the case. I appealed, and a new review was done of the case.
The Ninth Appellate District read my briefs and set my case for oral argument. Now, that is quite a feat, but then they reneged on that and did a panel review. Their response to the appeal was something to the effect: though you have proven three out of the four prerequisites for a discrimination action, you have not filled the most important requirement. You cannot prove that you are a descendant of slaves, or that your forefathers are African.
That was a bridge to the 1854 Chief Justice Toney decision where he said, “No negro will ever have a cause of action against a white man, that that white man is bound to honor.”
So…there we had it. A complete EEOC hearing, and a court litigation enlightened me tremendously on what to do, and not do, when seeking redress of civil rights. I said to myself that it would be knowledge that I would use to continue fighting for others. And then this election season came around.
As of November 8, 2016 America has lost the high moral ground as leader of the free world. The president-elect has appointed a man for the attorney generalship who is a racist, immigrant-hating man, who chaired a House sub-committee on immigration. Now, as attorney general, he can work with the Congress to enact legislation that will allow for the rounding up of illegal immigrants, of all colors.
The idea of such a thing ever happening in this country is appalling. What message is sent to our citizens whose families were irreparably harmed by the last time America stood by as fascism gathered Jews in ghettos in Europe? As Japanese Americans were placed in interment at Manzonar. We vowed as a country, “Never Again”, but our memory is short term, it seems.
A third of my brothers and sisters are gay. I have bi-racial children, and grandchildren. And I am sitting in a classroom where, through the walls, I hear 10th graders listening to the audio of the novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird”. To hear the word “nigger” used in teaching while disciplinary students sit in front of me, hearing it just as well. And yet, if they said that it would be wrong. As wrong as me not being protected from that. America is so much more. It was.
We endeavor to still form the more perfect union. There are still self-evident truths that propaganda and hate cannot incinerate because the literal fact of the matter is: there are more people in this land who want to live together in peace, than those who don’t.
It is in that spirit, that I seek to lead the American Interracial Council. With your help, and God’s blessing, we will all join together again to say, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, We are free at last.”
The website has passed the 110,000 visitor mark! The average monthly outreach of my blog and articles, etc. is 1,000 people per month, now. The editing of the film is crucial, at present, and hence the lack of new material being placed. So, there probably won't be too much committed to print until after Halloween. There is much content on here that could interest a newcomer, so spread the word. Thanks!
The state of the company is very, very, busy. There are presently many projects coming into fruition, all living up to our mantra of being diverse and dynamic. We have an historical novel (Four and Twenty Blackbirds) that will publish shortly. Our feature film, Moon Creek Cemetery is into the midst of heavy editing on the last 30% of the footage shot for it. Approximately 70% of the movie has already been edited, so it's only a matter of combining the two segments. Now, there are the animation effects that need to be folded in, as well. We had hopes for New Years, and will bust our butt up until that point, but it might be more around Spring Break before you see it. IT WILL BE WORTH THE WAIT. Our composer, Michael D. Koehler is laying down tracks for the first scenes that have been blocked out. If anyone saw the trailer on the movie's Facebook page, you can hear the recording artist's work.
T.R.I.A.G.E GROUP has been juxtaposed (compared) to other seminars in multicultural education. Mr. Pierce took in a recent seminar in Cultural Proficiency at The Museum of Tolerance, in Los Angeles. While there, he had a chance to hear keynote speaker Dr. Terrence Roberts, who was one of the nine students in Little Rock, Arkansas that volunteered to integrate Little Rock High School. Mr. Roberts was presented a copy of Pierce's "Microaggressions Across The Great Divide", which he immediately recognized as dealing with the threat of stereotype and it's nominative innovator, Dr. Claude Steele. Dr. Roberts shared an amusing aside with Mr. Pierce as to how dissimilar, politically, Claude is, to his twin brother Shelby. Pierce in turn shared with the civil rights icon how he felt encased in history, having met Martin Luther King, Sr. and one of the Little Rock Nine...Pierce saw how his T.R.I.A.G.E. program was as viable as any that was being offered by institutions or resource centers dealing with sensitization. He looks forward to taking the next step forward with this empowering process.
The fundamentals of legal structure that I learned (and modified my preliminary legal training) through the Jurisdictionary instruction continues to be essential to me. I cannot speak to the particulars because of a pending settlement, but I am on the verge of getting an out of court payment against a defendant in a civil suit. It is a property management firm.
That's powerful. I have used Jurisdictionary to enable me to plead a case through four years of litigation and an appeal to the Ninth District's Circuit Court of Appeals; I was even going to be given an oral argument hearing. That again, is powerful.
I am no more intelligent than any of you, that is, we all have the ability to learn what we choose to have value and meaning. To be able to defend or litigate for oneself is a great accomplishment. I wholeheartedly encourage you to purchase the materials. They are yours to go back for reference and there are many resources within it. Worth every cent, believe me.
The publisher had my approval for going-to-print in her junk mail ! No worries...nothing lost, but time. Rest assured (to our faithful friends in Dublin, and St. Petersburg's, and China) that the novel "Four and Twenty Blackbirds" is now HERE !
AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC
On other fronts..."Moon Creek Cemetery" has hit a post-production snag, due to the editor having a personal crisis and working under pressure (poor me) the film media of the wrap segments has been hidden in the laptop drive. A technical call to Avid should get things right. Fingers crossed.
HAD A VERY NICE CLIP OF THE NEW MOVIE OPENER, BUT MY SITE HERE ISN'T DOING YOUTUBE TOO WELL
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Jurisprudence still reaps dividends to those who use it. And T.R.I.A.G.E. Consultants is still poised to deliver much needed discussion facilitation for cultural proficiency needs. We are still here, because you are. Use what we have to offer.
Today (December 19, 2015) the ending of the movie shall start to be
edited. To be at this point in the film production has been a 6 year
long dream...it's like being in a prize fight and knowing you're going
into the final round. Spent, but juiced up on the turmoil it took to
finish the fight. Then, with the major units being spliced together,
it's like backing a caboose up to a train; there's the recent sequences
that will be done and the finished sequences from prior years. We will
be tying them up into a bow of After Effects and rotoscoping and
presenting our gift to our fans around Spring Break. Stick around,
you'll like it.
December 21, 2015
Yesterday a scene was edited together from our wrap shoot that was
written especially for a very special actress from our film, Margo
Gignac. Miss Gignac is paraplegic, and was such a delight to have in the
cast. She plays MARGOT BIERS, Delores Biers' (the film's first Hatchet
Lady victim) older sister. We blocked the scene together, editing wise,
but the audio had difficulty due to the proximity of some vending
machines that were on a management property that day. Today, however, we
were able to do some audio engineering, and "sweeetened" it out to
manageable levels. Margo is a beautiful and talented actress, I'm sure
you would agree. You all will love her as much as we do.
"Moon Creek Cemetery"
The blog is just 9,940 people from reaching 100,000 visitors over a span of 7 years. There is naturally an increase in viewership every year, but the interest in the past 2 years has shown great strides. We are happy to maintain such a presence, and will be doing our utmost to translate that into more reciprocal interactions. Our production company is prepared to monetize our film, and its marketing products. Our multicultural group is five steps ahead of the current diaspora concerning human rights in America, and has a seminar that is avant garde in its approach. Our legal videography component is fully prepared to deliver swaying testimony on behalf of customers, both in and out of court. Mark A. Pierce, Inc. and its companies Lundy Street Productions, T.R.I.A.G.E. Group and Victory Video are directed, dynamic, diversity.
September 19, 2015
Half hour of drone footage done for spfx
composite footage and aerial establishment shots, today. Vital pieces of
needed film for the final master. Good day.
September 20, 2015
The Moon House in the local lore of Streator, was a Victorian that was
about an eighth of a mile from the cemetery. The Hatchet Lady would have
been able to see any nefarious wanderers out by the graves, and then
would set out to do her duties. Our Moon Mansion is an old
farmhouse right off the South 101 in Santa Maria, CA. As you pass
Betteravia Drive exit you'd see it starkly cornering the land for about
an 8 hectare area of farmland. Lil' Nellie went out from the edge
of the field, across from the house and flew about halfway in towards
the house. Had to admit, it's a little scary to trust it coming back,
but the aircraft is a serious tool that brings up production value
September 21, 2015
location, is the cliche', but settings relative to a story must be
found, and to serve full benefit to the film. Finding any location that
makes this prerequisite value is a boon--what takes it to a higher level
of characterization, as it were, is the ability of the omnipresent
audience to see the focus from an altered perspective. Not more
than 15 years ago, shots like these would cost a production company
hefty insurance premiums, and that not even adding the cost of a
helicopter or single-engine plane. DJI and the Phantom Series of drones
has rewritten independent film budgeting and production value.
The farmhouse is California, but the area has the expanse of Illinois
prairie, and--there's a very important excavation that you see
there...in the front, which has historical meaning in the story. There,
will be some gentrfied distressing done with animated facades to bring
it all together, but the place has a presence--and that's what we were
after; drones are tricky to operate and maintain between flights.
But what a budget beater, and uptick in production value, big time.
But believe you, me, everything has not been all that rosy during this
post-production. More later--the good, the bad, the asinine.
This is one of two rubber appliances that we made for one of the final pick-up scenes for the movie. The green half-dome will be used for a chromakey effect. So, the outer parts of the appliance will be all trimmed away--make-up applied, and...well, I can't tell you the rest. That would be spoiling it for Halloween.
In other news, we have copyrighted the name "Moon Creek Cemetery" and the concept of the film. What does that mean? Well, merchandising, for one. And secondly, anything revolving around the title or conceptualization of Moon Creek Cemetery has been assigned rights by the U.S. Copyright Office. No one may use the title or the plot of the film without the producer's permission.
Still plugging away at the editing and we have a new trailer that will be trotted out this next week. Check us out on Facebook using the film title, or Lundy Street Productions. Both pages have lots of information about the making of the movie. Thanks