[The 90’s raw: Hell’s Kitchen poets, Richie Havens]

Raw footage for The 90's. Students in Hell's Kitchen read their poems about the 1990s, followed by an interview with musician and activist Richie Havens. Shot in New York City.

00:00Copy video clip URL B-roll, bars and tone. Various random signs and photos.

00:17Copy video clip URL B-roll, finger printing sign on a store window.

00:37Copy video clip URL B-roll a woman on a park bench calls for a squirrel and tries to feed it. She often feeds the squirrel peanuts. She notes sometimes the squirrel jumps up on her purse. She continues feeding the squirrel peanuts. She says she hates pigeons. They are greedy.

02:26Copy video clip URL Static.

02:30Copy video clip URL Change of location. The videographer, Skip Blumberg, shoots a portrait of a man with a unique hair style. Blumberg says he’s shooting a show about hair styles and has the man turn to show him his hair, a shaped Afro. The man mentions what kind of style it is, but his thick accent makes him difficult to understand.

03:08Copy video clip URL Change of location. B-roll of squirrel in a park in front of City Hall, New York City.

03:25Copy video clip URL Change of location. Another shot of the black man with the Afro hair style. Blumberg asks him what the name of his hair style. He responds it’s an Afro.

03:39Copy video clip URL Change of location. B-roll of a baby playing in an apartment.

03:55Copy video clip URL Static.

03:57Copy video clip URL Change of location. Low light. Inside a building b-roll of people greeting. A woman follows a man down a hall.

04:16Copy video clip URL Change of location. B-roll of an unidentified man rhythmically bouncing three balls off a table and two walls.

04:22Copy video clip URL Change of location. B-roll, surplus store window display. A fake skeleton wears a military outfit.

04:35Copy video clip URL Change of location. B-roll of two men on the street soliciting donations and handing out literature to passerby asking them to “Support your Guardian Angels.”

05:01Copy video clip URL Change of location. B-roll of a public notice reading: “Weapons are not permitted in New York City Board of Education facilities.”

05:08Copy video clip URL B-roll of an electronic moving message sign.

05:20Copy video clip URL Change of location. A high school student in a class room dances for camera.

05:32Copy video clip URL Interview with a woman talking about the Poetry Video Learning Project, part of an inner city high school drop out prevention program. A poet works with high school students to learn the art of poetry. She is the poet presenting to this class. She says the students are in a drop out prevention program. The program also helps with increasing literacy. She notes the students are in the ninth grade but are reading at a lower level. At the end of fifteen session a video crew joins the class to help students turn their poems into videos. She says for her this is a great opportunity. “I get to teach; I get paid.”

06:39Copy video clip URL B-roll the poet instructing her class of ninth graders. The class is disruptive. She explains Blumberg will be recording the students reading their poems.

07:19Copy video clip URL Blumberg records several takes with student Nestor reading a poem he wrote about the 1990s. “The ’90s will be so dumb and un-respectable / Hateness will get to all of you people / Everything will change, believe me it will / The weather will drop and give you a chill.”

09:58Copy video clip URL Another student, Kelly Simmons, records several takes of her bleak poem about the 1990s. “In the 1990s this may or may not be reality / But this is my version of how it’s gonna be / The violence will increase to a maximum level / Bodies buried every second, getting closer to the Devil / And the people down with peace right now, they won’t give a hoot / They’ll be the pimps selling the sisters as prostitutes.”

14:50Copy video clip URL Simmons reads rap disparaging lyrics she wrote for a song called “Rampage.” “I’m on a rampage coming after you like a shark / I’ll beat you down to the ground then rip out your heart, because I’m kind of cold yet I’m slick as ice…”

16:51Copy video clip URL B-roll of the poetry class.

16:59Copy video clip URL Student Patricia reads a few takes of her poem predicting what life will be like in the upcoming 1990s. “The 1990s will be hot like the fire that make us sweat / The 1990s will be the thunder because it sounds stronger like a burst / The 1990s will be a sunshine flying in the wind…”

19:04Copy video clip URL Another student reads her poem. “Love in the 1990s will be full of mazes / There will be drugs and violence and no way out except death / The end.”

20:22Copy video clip URL Student Steven Rodney reads a few takes of his poem. “The 1990s will be hot like the desert, but cool enough for satisfactions / The 1990s will sound like a never ending fantasy, but everyone’s is different / In the 1990s I will fly across the blue moonlight gazing into the stars / The world will be like a torch of goodness that will never out…”

21:47Copy video clip URL Student Cassandra James reads her poem predicting a bleak life in the 1990s. “I think life in the 1990s will only get worse / There will be more drug pushers, more drug users and more drug selling / Not only will the drug situation get worse, but the school situation will get worse too … “

22:39Copy video clip URL Student Patricia reads her poem again. The teacher guides her reading.

24:21Copy video clip URL Videographer stops recording.

24:25Copy video clip URL Tanya George reads Patricia Cox’s poem about what life in the 1990s will be like. “The 1990s will be cold like a metal fist punching you repeatedly / The 1990s will sound like whispers, whispers of the past, the present and the future / In the 1990s I will be the silence before the winds and the storm / The world will be like a carnival, loud, crowded, filled with people / Not enough room for everyone.”

25:16Copy video clip URL Interview with another teacher who says the school has enjoyed very much having a poet in the classroom. It’s brought out a level of maturity in the students’ writing. “I am very pleased with their progress. They look forward to the poet coming on Mondays and Wednesdays.” In a regular English class, she adds, the students probably wouldn’t share the thoughts they share in poetry because they’d be too embarrassed or conflicted with peer pressure, and the fear of failure. They feel less tense with the poet.

26:18Copy video clip URL B-roll of a group of high school students posing for the camera.

28:20Copy video clip URL B-roll of another teacher working with the students.

28:38Copy video clip URL B-roll, feedback from the television monitor. A student introduces herself, the school, and the program. Recorded intro to the segment.

29:26Copy video clip URL A student shows off her earrings.

30:04Copy video clip URL Student Sharon Ferguson reads her 1990s poem. “In the future I see a lot of greed / People only worrying about their own selfish needs / Everyone rushing and young guys in cells / This whole damn Earth will be a living Hell …”

31:03Copy video clip URL Student Shelli reads a few takes of her poem. “In the 1990s everyone will be trying to please / Trying to find a cure for the toughest disease / Searching hard and working long, fixing all the things they done wrong / Justice and law will be in full effect / Grown ups and children with birth defects…” She reads an ID for The 90s TV show.

34:27Copy video clip URL B-roll of the students.

34:32Copy video clip URL Student Cory reads several takes of his 1990s poem. “Here’s a poetic view of the 90s where in the future death and destruction is tiny / An onsite overview of what is meant to be / Cars and planes run on electricity / Garbage and waste used to power the Earth …”

37:16Copy video clip URL Student LaTisha reads her 1990s poem. She says she hopes the future will be positive. How can the world improve? By not selling drugs, finding a cure for AIDS. She says that in order to graduate she needs to make up classes. It’s easy now because she’s used to it. “I really don’t like poetry.” She reads another poem.

43:08Copy video clip URL Student Shakar reads his 1990s poem.

44:50Copy video clip URL Student Cassandra Miller reads her poem. She fears the 90s will be a negative place because of all the violence and negativity that’s happened leading up the 1990, but she won’t allow it to destroy her future.

47:53Copy video clip URL Student J.R. reads his poem. He thinks there will be peace and world problems will be resolved.

51:03Copy video clip URL Student Shelli reads her poem again. She thinks the future will be hopeful, crisp and clean, and poverty a thing of the past.

51:52Copy video clip URL J.R. shows off his hair style. One side is braided, the other is flat top. He described how he created it.

53:25Copy video clip URL B-roll of a student getting his hair braided.

54:50Copy video clip URL B-roll of a digital news marquee.

55:20Copy video clip URL B-roll of a posted flier reading “Fur is Dead.” “Fur-Free America March.”

55:28Copy video clip URL Establishing shot of a building on W. 44th Street.

55:36Copy video clip URL Interview with a woman in a recording studio. She says she’s been with singer/songwriter Richie Havens for fifteen years.

56:06Copy video clip URL Interview with Richie Havens who describes himself as someone working in the communications business. He says he is a performer, singer, guitarist. He says music, though, is only about 25 percent of who he is. The rest is connected to media and communication with his community and the world. He says that a performer is only limited by his ability to communicate through his chosen medium.

58:56Copy video clip URL Havens says he was born in Brooklyn and grew up in a neighborhood made up of many cultures: Hungarian, German, Jewish. He adds the Civil Rights movement turned his neighborhood of Bedford into a Ghetto. It changes the whole world to a microcosm. As a result of this, he has a very particular kind of view point.

1:00:46Copy video clip URL He says he was raised by his grandmother. His mother worked nights, his father worked days. As a result, his grandmother was the main figure in his life. Coming from a 3-generation household has an affect on a person. You see depth: young people, middle-aged people, and old people right in one house. If you didn’t grow up like this you don’t have that viewpoint of your home or of the world.

01:06:16Copy video clip URL Havens adds it’s important to cooperate to prevent a failed system. Our system has never worked, he says. Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have taken us into a better world. Our lesson for the 1990s will be in figuring what an American is, what America is, and what is his duty?

01:08:03Copy video clip URL Havens thinks the defense budget must be cut because the people won’t stand for it otherwise.

01:11:14Copy video clip URL He says hippies started in the Lower East Side. They were a bunch of kids swept the streets of the Lower East Side on their own initiative. They kept it clean for free. They also opened up a store called The Free Store which allowed people to come in and take what they wanted or needed. They were labeled “hippies” by the newspapers, but their deeds didn’t get publicized.

01:15:50Copy video clip URL He says passive activism is for people who’ve never done it before. “We in the 60s already did it.”

01:17:56Copy video clip URL Havens argues that  the President must work for all people, Democrat and Republican. The best candidate must be one liked by both parties. He thinks in time Jimmy Carter will be proven the best President because he brought us together. “He was a Libra. Balanced. He addressed three wars with one money: foreign affairs, home affairs, and the war on our economic situation. No other President did that.”

01:21:21Copy video clip URL Havens says if he was elected President he would decline the offer. He says the global-minded generation was born in the 1940s onward, the Baby Boomers. As they come into power we might have the world in our thoughts as we lead.

01:24:20Copy video clip URL Havens shares his plans for the 1990s. He wants to write the new encyclopedia of cooperation, using mental, physical, and musical tools to write a message each day. He wants to use the arts to address social, cultural, and political problems. A library of consciousness. He thinks there should be a museum of extinct animals to show people what we’re losing so we can slow down. We have to ask new questions of the 1990s. “Whose side is the press and our Government on? Theirs or humanity’s?”

01:29:20Copy video clip URL He records several bumpers for The 90s.

01:29:55Copy video clip URL END



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