by Taki S. Raton
Upwards of 300 Milwaukeeans locally and a grand total of 327 people nationally participated and was thoroughly inspired by the city-wide marathon viewing of the acclaimed documentary “Hidden Colors: The Untold Story of People of Aboriginal, Moor and African Descent.”
On Wednesday, February 15, 2012, Milwaukee was host to a city-wide viewing of “Hidden” in four locations around the city simultaneously beginning at 7 p.m. Viewing locations included the African American Women’s Center at 3020 West Vliet Street; Coffee Makes U Black, 2303 North Teutonia Avenue; Milwaukee Brotherhood of Firefighters, 7717 West Good Hope Avenue, and the Wisconsin Black Historical Society at 2620 West Center Street.
The Milwaukee Black Male Achievement Forum (MBMAF) expanded on this idea to additionally propose a “National ‘Hidden Colors’ Viewing Marathon” sponsored by individuals and respective Black Male achievement networks across the country also on this same date and time (CST).
The four Milwaukee venues together numbered 293 viewers; 5 viewers joined this marathon initiative at the home of Carlos Car Sr. in Omaha, Nebraska, a total of 22 from the Chicago area – 13 at the Afrikan Village and Cultural Center of Chicago at the invitation of Bro. Hassan Ra-Heru Akety, and 9 in the residence of educator Belinda Cummings. Seven people joined the Detroit viewing ranks in the living room of Karen Williamson.
“The Milwaukee Brotherhood of Firefighters was honored to be one of four venues to host the city wide viewing of this ground breaking Afrikan history documentary ‘Hidden Colors,” says Bro. Oshi Adelabu, lead organizer of this marathon viewing initiative.
“The importance of ‘Hidden Colors’ is that it gives the viewer a lot of information about Afrikan people that we did not know. It is unfortunate that many of our people believe that we never created anything of any substance. This documentary explodes such myths. It is a “MUST SEE” for our people,” he adds.
Since its release April 26, 2011 in select theaters across North America, “Hidden Colors” has been acclaimed throughout the country for its exactness of historical detail and the factual restoration of the African and African American image and contribution in the world arena.
The film is a documentary about the “hidden” history of people of color around the globe and throughout time. This DVD discusses some of the reasons that the contributions of African and aboriginal people have been left out of the pages of history.
Film footage features scholars, historians, and social commentators uncovering such facts about the original imagery of Christ; the true story of the Moors’ the original people of Asia, the African peopling of world populations; the presence of the African in America before Columbus; the real reason slavery was ended and the true competitive racial issues behind the need to hold the Negro back after 1865’s Emancipation Proclamation.
“Simply brilliant. Every parent should show this film to their children,” says Carr. “Why has this information been suppressed,” he asked? Carr submits that “Hidden” is an “outstanding film on African and African American history,” and that it was very well researched and masterfully presented.
Bro. Amon Ra attended the Coffee Makes U Black showing of “Hidden”. He shares that, “To see the numbers in Milwaukee and in other cities coming out to view this film demonstrates that our people are thirsting for knowledge; knowledge that for years has been in the grips of the European who not only colonized us physically, but mentally as well.”
Ra adds that the film “is the conversation of the day and we find that an increasing number of Black people are requesting copies.”
“We here in Detroit were so honored to be a part of this multiple viewing of “Hidden Colors,” says Williamson who read about the February 15 initiative in the Chicago based Black Start Project newsletter from a news release prepared and submitted by MBMAF. “The information comfortably settled deeply into all of us in the room and we felt exhilarated with the unfolding knowledge of truth that was presented. It was liberating, culturally fulfilling, and exciting to know that our hearts and souls were then connected to and with others around the country,” she positions.
On Wednesday, January 18, 2012, representatives from the four Milwaukee Black owned centers met at the Coffee Makes U Black restaurant to plan this area marathon showing of the DVD.
“The idea for a marathon viewing unfolded spontaneously following Bro. Tony Courtney’s January 7 Black Man’s Forum panel at Coffee Makes U Black,” says Adelabu.
“The energy and spirit in the room at the conclusion of the six member panel presentation was strong as Black men were talking amongst themselves and the topic of ‘Hidden Colors’ came up in one of the smaller group discussions. Given the popularity and historical importance of this documentary, the prospect was suddenly shared to present and even celebrate in Milwaukee the DVD at multiple venues on the same night at the same time,” he adds.
The Saturday following the multiple Wednesday viewing on February 18, a 1 p.m. panel discussion will was held at the Wisconsin Black Historical Society. Attendees from all of the four sites were invited to attend the five-member panel to ask questions and review pertinent points in the film.
“Bringing our people together in neighborhoods across the city and around the country to educate ourselves about our history is critical to the process of unity and self-determination,” says Marquette University student Joe Kellam who was also in attendance at the Coffee viewing. He notes that “Hidden Colors is “groundbreaking” in its work to restore the truth which has been deliberately hidden about the great contributions made to the world by our ancestors:
“This DVD dispels many of the myths about our history and if we are going to build anything sufficient and sustainable for ourselves so that our children aren’t standing in front of others begging for handouts, then it is our responsibility to provide them with the correct and proper path away from disillusionment and from the dangers that awaits them in the streets. Knowledge of our history will greatly assist in this effort. This means that we must all re-educate ourselves if we are going to have any chance of creating the change necessary to save our people.”
Aziza Courtney adds that “This documentary is beautiful. If makes one realize the greatness from whence we as Africans of the Diaspora have come and it even directs us to move out of a provincial mindset into a world scale when thinking about Black people.”
Quoting scholar Amos N. Wilson in his work “The Falsification of Afrikan Consciousness,” Wake Up Program founder and director Alfounzo Watkins shares that “The people who can manipulate history can manipulate consciousness, and when they can manipulate consciousness, they can manipulate progress, and when they can manipulate the progress of a people, they have control over those people.”
He adds that, “This quote very powerfully reflects ‘Hidden Colors’ in that once those of us who have been resurrected by the true history of our ancestors, it will force or consciousness to do a paradigm shift within this society. T
“his paradigm shift will change our false understanding of our relationship to white supremacy and with this new consciousness, we must create institutions that will continue, expand and cultivate this level of thought and awareness.”
Individuals and groups in other cities such as Louisville, Louisiana, Philadelphia, Richton Park, Illinois, and in Cleveland, Ohio made contact and expressed a desire to participate in the marathon showing, but was either unable to locate the DVD or did not receive it in time for the February 15 viewing.
Those interested in purchasing a copy of “Hidden” can go on their website: www.hiddencolorsfilm.com or contact this writer at: email@example.com.
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