An Educator’s Perspective on Ghetto Talks

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Today the Urban Arts Partnership Media Lab Team interviewed Mr. Matt Brown, principal of the Kurt Hahn Expeditionary Learning School in East Flatbush inside the Tilden Campus.  We booked the interview because we felt that speaking to a person who has traveled around the United States and the world to places that may experience the word ghetto differently was essential to our documentary.  We were curious about Mr. Brown’s experiences before coming to New York City and about why he chose to help found a new high school in Brooklyn.  The stories he shared with us about working in Africa, Los Angeles and for the Outward Bound program were interesting, especially the connections he made to our film Ghetto Talks.

Mr. Brown stated that he had no real association with the word ghetto until he watched our film.  He said we pushed him to think more deeply about how the word was used in the past versus how it’s used today.  His call to action is to stress to his family, students and staff the importance of using the word in a positive sense instead of a negative one.

After we interviewed Mr. Brown we captured some b-roll of the school setting and everyday life at Kurt Hahn.  We’ll combine this footage with the b-roll we shot at our first in-school screening.

This was my first time directing an interview so I learned a lot about the director’s responsibilities on this shoot.  Basically, the director makes the final decisions and keeps the project running efficiently.  I think I did a great job.  In the words of Mr. Brown: “Ya’ll really are professionals.”

Thanks for reading the Ghetto Talks blog, and keep checking back.  We’d love to read your comments.