Ghetto Talks I and II Screen at the NYC Festival of Young Artists & Leaders

Story by Marlin Almonte, Photographer, Ghetto Talks II

On Saturday, June 5 the Ghetto Talks crew spent the day at the NYC Festival of Young Artists & Leaders sponsored by Downtown Art.  First we had brunch at Yaffa Café in the East Village and then we headed over to the festival to screen our film.  We walked around for a little while and then it was show time.  Ghetto Talks was presented in the Millennium Theater.
 Urban Assembly School for Criminal Justice, Ghetto Talks II
This was a screening like no other because this time we also premiered a response piece that was inspired by the original film.  The piece, called Ghetto Talks II by the middle school girls who created it, was a kind of urban dictionary in which students from the Urban Assembly School for Criminal Justice reflected on the word ghetto and other slang words like it.  Their message was that ghetto is just a word; each person gives the word its meaning by the way he or she chooses to use it.  The response piece was unbelievably adorable.  Those middle schoolers sure do know how to get a smile on people’s faces!
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Then it was time for the Q&A.  Cinematographers Omar Cyrille and Robert Matos went up on stage to lead the discussion.  The Q&A went on for about twenty minutes, with audience members wanting to know what schools we came from and why we created Ghetto Talks.  Most important, the audience seemed surprised that we as young people created a documentary that could change people’s perspectives on language.
The Ghetto Talks crew headed back outside to enjoy the festival after the Q&A.  We came across a high school troupe performing a dance number to a song about the ghetto.  I hope their dancing and our film will push people to think about the words they use.
The Ghetto Talks crew couldn’t have asked for a better day.  This was one of the bestscreenings we’ve ever had!