ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes

   

Home  ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more)  

Google
 

 

Hollywood studios make action thrillers and horror movies

for 18 to 24 year-old audiences. They will have nothing to do with

these types of non-white dramas, and that’s understandable.

These stories must be told independently.

Colin Roach                                                                                                                                                                        Eric Roach

 

 

Kam Williams Interviews Colin Roach

Author of  Light the Flambeau & Son of Poet Eric Roach

 

 

Colin Keith Roach -- born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago -- migrated to New York City in 1970 before moving on to Los Angeles seven years later. He attended college out West, earning an undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering and a graduate degree in Public Administration from California State Dominguez Hills and California State Los Angeles Universities.

 In the mid-Eighties, he studied ancient Egyptian history and its related spirituality, authoring numerous articles on the Egyptian philosophy of MAAT, focusing on its application to contemporary life. After recently developing an interest in filmmaking, he wrote a screenplay, “Light the Flambeau,” and produced a very intriguing, professional-quality trailer for it which can be viewed at:

Born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, Colin Keith Roach migrated to New York City in 1970 before moving on to Los Angeles seven years later. He attended college out West, earning an undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering and a graduate degree in Public Administration from California State Dominguez Hills and California State Los Angeles Universities.

 In the mid-Eighties, he studied ancient Egyptian history and its related spirituality, authoring numerous articles on the Egyptian philosophy of MAAT, focusing on its application to contemporary life. After recently developing an interest in filmmaking, he wrote a screenplay, Light the Flambeau , and produced a very intriguing, professional-quality trailer for it.

By day, he’s the Industrial Engineering Manager of a large fireplace manufacturing company in L.A., though he’s currently co-writing another script called “Downside.” Colin is divorced and has two sons but he is about to remarry soon. Here, he talks about “Light the Flambeau,” which he hopes to turn into a full-length feature. The movie is about a suicidal, 21 year-old college student’s attempt to convince the father he has just met to take him back to their Caribbean roots to heal his illness.    

By day, he’s the Industrial Engineering Manager of a large fireplace manufacturing company in L.A., though he’s currently co-writing another script called “Downside.” Colin is divorced and has two sons but he is about to remarry soon. Here, he talks about “Light the Flambeau,” which he hopes to turn into a full-length feature. The movie is about a suicidal, 21 year-old college student’s attempt to convince the father he has just met to take him back to their Caribbean roots to heal his illness.    

*   *   *   *   *

KW: Are you related to the late Trinidadian poet, Eric Roach,* who is known as the black Yeats?

CR: He was my father.

KW: I was a black literature major, and enjoyed his work. Where did you come up with the idea for Light the Flambeau?

CR:  As they say, Kam, fiction usually has some elements of truth to it. My son entered my life when he was 21. To find answers, I simply drifted back through the generations and my experiences from growing up in a family in Tobago that really didn’t want me.

KW: Do you identify with the main character?

CR: There are two main characters and I identify with both of them. I’ll let the audience decide whose story it is.

KW: How would you describe the angst that he’s going through?

CR:  When one is battling for survival in an unorthodox way, you either build character if you don’t have it, or else lose your fight. Imagine a 21 year-old propelled by forces he cannot see, and fighting his inherited demons on a journey to save himself. Bloom or doom, human beings teach us something either way.

KW: What genre of film would you consider this picture and what themes will it be exploring?  

CR: To me and those who worked on the trailer, read and edited the script, it’s a spiritual melodrama. In Light the Flambeau, people are struggling with the cards they were dealt, and with the consequences of the decisions they made. The results are deeply transformed characters.

KW: What is your prior experience with moviemaking?

CR: None.

KW: Did you study cinema in school?

CR: Just some workshops and classes in screenplay writing.

KW: What audience do you expect this film to find?

CR: We are really going after spiritual communities globally, but specifically, the African-American, Canadian, English, African, Caribbean and Brazilian markets are our bulls-eye targets.

KW: Are you looking for help to turn this trailer into a full-length feature? 

CR: Boy are we! Part of our approach is to cast actors from each of the regions I just mentioned. We already have bios and photos from many actors. We have a budget done and would really like our community businesses to participate through our corporation that’s has already been set up.

KW: When did you decide to take a shot at showbiz?

CR: I have lived in Los Angeles since 1977 but I am not employed in that industry. Living here gave me access to training and professionals but this type of project is independent. Hollywood studios make action thrillers and horror movies for 18 to 24 year-old audiences. They will have nothing to do with these types of non-white dramas, and that’s understandable. These stories must be told independently. To be successful, we must take risks and have support from like-minded people across the globe.

KW: What’s the message of the movie?

CR:  I don’t want to give away much but I’ll say the story suggests the human capacity to grow and adapt is limitless when we step off the beaten path.

KW: Do you plan to bring back the same cast members from the trailer to be in the movie?

CR:  That’s up to the fine production company, Production HQ, and Judy Marcelline who produced it. It’s their call, but I’ll say probably not. I think they would love to talk with Delroy Lindo about playing Noah.

KW: Do you have any interest in perhaps acting in it yourself?

CR: Oh God, none.

KW: Who’s your favorite director?

CR:  Mira Nira, the Indian lady who made Monsoon Wedding.

KW: Don’t worry, he’s not a stalker, but Jimmy Bayan needs to know where in L.A. you live?

CR: The San Fernando Valley.

KW: What do you do to unwind?

CR: I am energized by going after Caribbean immigrant stories. I have three log lines in the can. My cousin and I are working on one about a young man who rejects his family’s deeply-held values of hard work and opted for a very different lifestyle. He is on a journey also but in the wrong direction 

KW: It seems like you are on a journey yourself.

CR: Absolutely!

KW: Where to?

CR: That’s the mystery of life. We think we know where we are going, and what we are doing, but do we really?

posted 24 February 2007

*   *   *   *   *

AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

*   *   *   *   *

So Rich, So Poor: Why It's So Hard to End Poverty in America

By Peter Edelman

If the nation’s gross national income—over $14 trillion—were divided evenly across the entire U.S. population, every household could call itself middle class. Yet the income-level disparity in this country is now wider than at any point since the Great Depression. In 2010 the average salary for CEOs on the S&P 500 was over $1 million—climbing to over $11 million when all forms of compensation are accounted for—while the current median household income for African Americans is just over $32,000. How can some be so rich, while others are so poor? In this provocative book, Peter Edelman, a former top aide to Senator Robert F. Kennedy and a lifelong antipoverty advocate, offers an informed analysis of how this country can be so wealthy yet have a steadily growing number of unemployed and working poor. According to Edelman, we have taken important positive steps without which 25 to 30 million more people would be poor, but poverty fluctuates with the business cycle.

*   *   *   *   *

The Flowering Rock: Collected Poems, 1938-1974

By Eric Merton Roach

This collection brings together for the first time the work of one of the Caribbean's major poets. It collects the poems published in journals between 1938-1973, Roach's early pseudonymous work and a substantial selection of his unpublished poems from manuscript. The collection is edited and introduced by Professor Kenneth Ramchand.Publisher, Peepal Tree Press, 1992

This is an extremely important book. Before its appearance no literary historian or critic, let alone lover of poetry, will have been able to measure the full richness of West Indian poetic creation. One always suspected that Eric Roach was one of the major West Indian poets. This book consolidates his name in a pantheon which includes at least Claude McKay, Derek Walcott, Louise Bennett, Martin Carter and Kamau Brathwaite.

I think what I respond to most is Roach's passion for the land and the people, both of which are so clearly and categorically West Indian. The intense feeling that informs his best poetry - and so much of the poetry is goodexpresses a very specific yearning for a shared identity which will leap over island isolation and bind together our fragmented historical consciousness into a coherent whole.Ian McDonald

*   *   *   *   *

Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

By Melissa V. Harris-Perry

According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel.  The selfless Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.     

Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies.

As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately.

*   *   *   *   *

A Wreath for Emmett Till

By Marilyn Nelson; Illustrated by Philippe Lardy

This memorial to the lynched teen is in the Homeric tradition of poet-as-historian. It is a heroic crown of sonnets in Petrarchan rhyme scheme and, as such, is quite formal not only in form but in language. There are 15 poems in the cycle, the last line of one being the first line of the next, and each of the first lines makes up the entirety of the 15th. This chosen formality brings distance and reflection to readers, but also calls attention to the horrifically ugly events. The language is highly figurative in one sonnet, cruelly graphic in the next. The illustrations echo the representative nature of the poetry, using images from nature and taking advantage of the emotional quality of color.

There is an introduction by the author, a page about Emmett Till, and literary and poetical footnotes to the sonnets. The artist also gives detailed reasoning behind his choices. This underpinning information makes this a full experience, eminently teachable from several aspects, including historical and literary—School Library Journal

*   *   *   *   *

Black Yeats

Eric Roach and the Politics of Caribbean Poetry

By Laurence A. Breiner

In this impressive and much-needed book, Laurence Breiner sets out to present a study of Eric Roach “as a publishing poet . . . concentrating on how Roach in fact presented himself—or found himself presented—before the world of his contemporaries.” This means that while the work of Roach the Tobagonian playwright, fiction writer, and journalist exists as a sort of sunk context surrounding or permeating much within the scope of Breiner’s consideration, by the time page 279 (or page 297, for those who read endnotes) is reached, Roach stands forth from the crowd of named and unnamed tragic Caribbean figures who have pre-empted their natural time, forcing the sea to swallow them up (his suicide was in 1974)—to be known as himself, as much more than the author of the occasional anthologised federationist verse or the “hurt hawk” subject of posthumous tributes . . .

It is through his literary skill as writer and reader, working with his historical knowledge, that Breiner establishes his interpretations of Roach’s evolving sense of self as a federationist poet, and the tragedy of this rural Tobagonian whose voice did not find itself heard in time for the times according to which it launched song and endeavoured speech.Vahni Capildeo, Caribbean Review of Books

*   *   *   *   *

The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

*   *   *   *   *

Ancient African Nations

*   *   *   *   *

If you like this page consider making a donation

online through PayPal

*   *   *   *   *

Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues


1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        

Enjoy!

*   *   *   *   *

The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

*   *   *   *   *

The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

*   *   *   *   *

*   *   *   *   *

ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more)

 

 

update 15 July 2012

 

 

 

Home Kam Williams Table     Inside the Caribbean  West Indian Narrative

Related files:  Eric Roach and Flowering Rock  Kam Williams Interviews Colin Roach