Brooklyn Alumnae Co-Presents Tupac Doc Screening

Submitted by Nicole Duncan-Smith

The Brooklyn Alumnae Chapter partnered with the Brooklyn Academy of Music to present its opening night of the “Let The Record Show: Archived Cinema Series,” on Nov. 3. The screening of the “Tupac: Resurrection” documentary and lively discussion about the powerful film included director Lauren Lazin, Tupac Shakur’s godfather, filmmaker, Black Panther Party veteran and Omega Psi Phi member Jamal Joseph and chapter soror and music journalist, Nicole Duncan-Smith.

As the regional biennium theme is “Our Voices, Our Stories,” the Brooklyn Alumnae Chapter believed that supporting this initiative to celebrate the 20th anniversary of this powerful documentary was important as it allowed the “Dear Mama” recording artist to tell his life story in his own words with his actual voice (pulled from various interviews about his life) narrating the story.

Teens from Usher’s New Look attended the screening. It was fascinating to hear them reconcile the legend of Tupac and his actual legacy. The film showed how he, in the months before his death, embraced social action. Like his mother and the Black Panther leaders in his personal village, he went into communities, using his art to stop violence and push for equality.

There is a reason why the artist’s motto of Thug Life is tattooed on honorary soror, Nikki Giovanni’s arm.

At the same time, the documentary showed how as a young person his perspective often needed guidance, with him admitting that he regretted some of his reckless behavior— a message many of his fans have not heard.

The leaders at UNL have expressed their intention to utilize the movie as a tool to educate on the positive and negative aspects of art’s disruptive potential. They also emphasized that individuals with strong minds have the capacity to harness their talents for positive purposes… like ‘Pac was able to do in his short life.

The Brooklyn Alumnae Chapter has been a community partner with the historic Brooklyn Academy of Music for one year. The institution is a multi-arts center located in Brooklyn, New York.  For more than 150 years, BAM has been the home for adventurous artists, audiences, and ideas — engaging both global and local communities. With world-renowned programming in theater, dance, music, opera, film, and much more, BAM showcases the work of emerging artists and innovative modern masters.

As the chapter celebrates 75 years of service, 50 years of Arts & Letters, and 50 years of Hip-Hop, its goal is to present programming for the community that highlights the voices of Black artists and the ways that they use their craft to invoke messages of social action.

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