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Emmy Award-Winning Indie Black Filmmaker To Release Two New Film Projects

- Filmmaker Dante James' company, Black Pearl Media Works, produces artistic, entertaining, profitable media that explores humanity through the lens of Black cultures worldwide. –

Entertainment News

Dante James, Executive Producer BPMW

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) -- Emmy award winning independent filmmaker, Dante James is pleased to announce the formation of Black Pearl Media Works, LLC (BPMW). The multi-media production company has received partial financing for two projects; a feature length documentary, God of The Oppressed and a series of dramatic short films, In Our Own Words.

“It has taken many years to marshal my own resources and cultivate a relationship with an investor who understands the importance of resources from black financiers,” James said in discussing the challenges facing Black filmmakers. “We believe this approach will shield projects grounded in our history and culture from the ‘filters’ that often come with resources from entities outside of our community, James said. For many years, I made films for PBS, however as a black man, independent filmmaker and activist coupled with the challenges black people face I’m committed to making the strongest, and most creative statements possible in my films. For me that was not possible with PBS. I’m not criticizing PBS or rejecting resources from outside our community but artistic and editorial control is a prerequisite. My new projects are representative of my desire to explore humanity through the lens of the black experience ‘unfiltered’ by the dominate culture.”

In Our Own Words

In Our Own Words, presents a creative chronicle of the African American experience through short stories by iconic and lesser-known black writers, some of whom could not get past the publishing ‘filters’ they encountered. The concept for the series is grounded in self-definition paired with concerns regarding the degrading, shallow images of African Americans, that are too prevalent in corporate controlled media. Unfortunately, many of these images are created by black people.

“Now with new means of distribution, liberated black filmmakers have opportunities to redefine the images of black people. Too often the view of black life is demeaning and perverted to the point that it has become the perception of who we are and that perception is literally and figuratively destroying us. More accurate definitions of who we are can be found in our literature,” James says.

Black writers have defined their own world, moving beyond the traditional definitions often imposed on them. The short stories of In Our Own Words will be selected by outstanding African American literature scholars, Maryemma Graham, Ph.D. and Joycelyn Moody, Ph.D. The first film of the series, THE DOLL, based on a short story by Charles W. Chesnutt was completed several years ago. It was awarded best dramatic short at the Hollywood Black Film Festival.

God of the Oppressed

Through the stories of Nat Turner, Bishop Henry McNeil Turner, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Rev. Traci Blackmon and others, God of the Oppressed will explore Black Liberation and Womanist Theology. Stories, characters and gospel music will celebrate and frame a perspective of God within the context of an oppressed people. Prof. James Cone, author of the book, God of the Oppressed, will serve as chief academic advisor. Cone argues for a theology constructed from the experiences of black people who understand God’s role in liberating those crying for the pain to end. He challenges theologians to abandon the white system defining the meaning of God. Cone’s work challenges black men and women to listen to the voices of black people to construct a theology framed from their experiences.

Rev. Carl Kenney, a Black liberation theology minister will be a co-producer. Kenney says, "Let my people go, is the age-old cry of black people holding to the claim that God loves the oppressed. Black theology isn't passive it fights for freedom while refuting claims of inferiority.”

God of the Oppressed is an extension of Dante James’ work as the executive producer of THIS FAR BY FAITH, the final series from Blackside Films. Both projects will begin pre-production immediately, however BPMW is seeking additional investors/partners with those who recognize the domestic and international profit potential of these projects, appreciate black culture and literature and are concerned about the shallow interpretations of black experiences. Media inquiries and interested investors should call Black Pearl Media Works at 919-475-9879 or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Job applicants can apply at www.blackpearlmw.com.

James comments, “These projects will require producers, directors, actors, screenwriters and other production personnel. Hopefully, they will be a vehicle to put our people to work telling stories that explore our experiences from our point of view. I also see this work and this new company as a connection to my friend and mentor the late Henry Hampton.”

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After Spending 12 Years Behind Bars, Black Entrepreneur Launches His Own Publishing Company

Wheeling,WV(BlackNews.com) -- Justin Daugherty spent 12 years behind bars, but he has always believed that he committed the offenses leading up to his conviction because of a lack of job opportunities and lack of guidance. For that reason, in 2015 he launched JourStarr Quality Publications, LLC (www.jourstarr.com), a small, independent press that offers second chances. JourStarr publishes quality works in the genres of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and even photo journals, offering talented writers an opportunity to be published, whether they are free or incarcerated.

“I spent the better half of my adult years behind bars. I was about 18 years old when I was arrested,” Justin says. “Around that time, there was the ‘Weed and Seed Initiative’ that led to an increase in racial profiling by law enforcement in my area. That, and a series of bad decisions, led to my incarceration. But I knew my story didn’t have to end there.”

Since his release, Justin had been working in demolition and welding for the Honda Line at Yorozu Automotive, located in Tennessee. He has also been attending West Virginia Northern Community College for coursework in Small Business administration, and has been serving as director of an early-stage non-profit aimed to curb youth incarceration and drug abuse by promoting literacy and encouraging creative writing.

Justin has also been painstakingly sifting through manuscript after manuscript in search of quality material. “My goal for the future of the company is to consistently provide groundbreaking material. Right now, we have a lineup of authors whose real lives are just as compelling as the tales they write. We plan for JourStarr to be around for the long haul, offering an opportunity for talented writers to have their works showcased properly. We stand firm in, helping all talented writers pursue their dreams, including ex-offenders, because everyone deserves a second chance."

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National HBCU Pre-Law Summit Presents Unique And Game-Changing Opportunity To Aspiring Lawyers

Atlanta, GA (BlackNews.com) -- The Third Annual National HBCU Pre-Law Summit & Law Expo is scheduled to take place on Friday, September 23rd, 2016 and Saturday, September 24th, 2016 at Georgia State University College of Law in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. There will also be an Official Pre-Summit Kickoff Event taking place on Thursday, September 22nd, 2016 at Morehouse College, a well-known HBCU that is the nation's sole liberal arts college for Black men. This groundbreaking summit is the only major national event of its kind in the entire country focused on empowering HBCU students and graduates interested in going to law school and becoming lawyers, and addressing the unique issues, concerns and challenges facing them. Current students and alumni from all HBCUs are invited to meet and come together in Atlanta this fall to take part in three intensive and power-packed days which will expose them to game-changing information, resources, and connections designed to help them achieve success in a demanding educational endeavor and field in great need of diversity.

The summit will provide inspirational keynote sessions featuring prominent and dynamic speakers. Confirmed keynote speakers include Ronald S. Sullivan, Esq., Clinical Professor of Law and Faculty Director, Criminal Justice Institute, Harvard Law School (Cambridge, Massachusetts), Willie E. Gary, Esq. Partner, Gary, Williams, Parenti, Watson & Gary, P.L.L.C. (Stuart, Florida), Dr. Kim Hunter Reed, Deputy Under Secretary, U.S. Department of Education and Acting Executive Director, White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (Washington, DC), Pamela J. Meanes, Esq., Partner, Thompson Coburn LLP and Past President, National Bar Association (Saint Louis, Missouri), and Allegra Lawrence-Hardy, Esq., Partner, Lawrence & Bundy LLC (Atlanta, Georgia). All keynote speakers are proud graduates of historically Black colleges and universities.

There will also be unprecedented talks featuring deans from all six HBCU law schools including John Pierre, Esq., Chancellor and Professor of Law, Southern University Law Center (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), Angela Felecia Epps, Esq., Dean, Florida A&M University College of Law (Orlando, Florida), Phyliss Craig-Taylor, Esq., LL.M., Dean and Professor of Law, North Carolina Central University School of Law (Durham, North Carolina), Dannye Holley, Esq., LL.M., Dean and Professor of Law, Thurgood Marshall School of Law Texas Southern University (Houston, Texas), Reginald McGahee, Esq., Dean of Student Affairs, Admissions and Financial Aid, Howard University School of Law (Washington, DC) and Katherine Shelley Broderick, Esq., M.A.T., Dean and Professor of Law, University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law (Washington, DC).

In addition to keynote and special guest speakers, the event will showcase panel discussions on critical topics for aspiring lawyers including law school admission, the law student experience, and the different career paths for those armed with a law degree. Also planned are special sessions on financing legal education, managing student loan debt, writing an effective law school personal statement and diversity statement, preparing for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), knowing your rights, and getting involved and demonstrating leadership during the current Black Lives Matter Movement.

Further, a law school expo will take place on both major days of the summit where students will have the opportunity to meet with law school representatives from more than 50 law schools across the country to find out about their law programs and get answers to their questions. Refreshment breaks and networking receptions are scheduled to take place where attendees will have the opportunity to participate in both structured and informal networking activities to help them connect with other aspiring law students, current law students, and lawyers.

Moreover, attendees will have the opportunity to tour Morehouse College and all three Atlanta law schools including Emory University School of Law, Georgia State University College of Law and Atlanta's John Marshall Law School. They will also get the chance to participate in admissions sessions and mock law classes designed just for them at the law schools.

Even more, one-on-one consulting sessions will also be offered so that participants can receive personal assistance and feedback on their personal statements, diversity statements, resumes, addenda and get any burning admissions, preparation or career planning questions answered. Complimentary resources will be provided to all pre-law attendees and a free LSAT course will be raffled. The closing session will end on a high note with the National HBCU Pre-Law Hall of Fame Awards and the Aspiring Lawyers Pinning Ceremony.

Admission to the event is completely free of charge, open to the public, and seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. All aspiring lawyers, pre-law and career advisors, professors, parents and supporters are welcomed to register and attend. For more information, please visit the summit's official website at www.hbcuprelawsummit.org.

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