“…about what is going on in the hood.” One of the many infamous quotables from Ice Cube as the character Doughboy in John Singleton’s 1991 masterpiece “Boyz N The Hood”.
Doughboy was solemnly reflecting on the tragedy of what seemed like indifference by American society to the many issues stacked on inner city African-American communities at the time. From police violence, to drug abuse and poverty, to Doughboy, it seemed like no media, no politicians, no one that is supposed to care, gave a shit.
The Cambridge dictionary defines “indifference” as “the quality of not caring about or being interested in something or someone.” That word, and particularly that Doughboy quote, stuck in my mind this morning as I was reflecting on what I wanted to share about our recent work with you.
From April to now in July, we have worked on several Community Media projects. In partnership with the Blackville CDC, The Newberry Arts Center, and The Haven Newberry – all powered by the SC Arts Commission – we have been crisscrossing the state developing, implementing, and training everyday people to use media to tell compelling stories about their communities.
At the center of all of our media training is Media Literacy. I believe that it is the first AND last line of defense in a world ruled by devices – what Stephen Apkon calls “The World of Screens.” And if Media Literacy is self-defense in this new age… no wonder we are getting our asses kicked.
We aren’t prepared, equipped, educated, knowledgeable, aware, or doing nearly enough to equip humans living today to be literate in a world we’ve forced on ourselves. And each and every person or entity participating in the screen world, seems to be indifferent.
At OTRMG we are on a mission. To train as many people as we can and make as much noise as we can about the work we and folks like The Center for Media Literacy or NAMLE are doing to prepare us for this age.