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"MINISTER OF SELF DEFENSE"



Last year I remembered a documentary I saw produced by Antoine Fuqua called, "Bastards of the Party" about the Bloods and the Crips. The director, a former gang member felt the gang turf wars grew out of the restless generation that came after The 

Black Panther Party who patrolled to monitor police brutality during the civil rights era. I thought it was fascinating it got me to thinking about Huey P. Newton co-founder and Minister of Self Defense of The Black Panther Party. I started reading everything on his life and work. Truly a labor of love one book on Eldridge Cleaver (Eldridge Cleaver author of Soul on Ice and Minister of Information became a Republican ) would lead me to a book on Geronimo Pratt and on to a book about his lawyer Johnnie Cochran and so on. I read Alondra Nelson' book, “Body and Soul The Black Panther Party and the Fight against Medical Discrimination” for her extensive research on the Party's healthcare activism. Tumbler is a great source for historical research. I found photographs by Stephen Shames, artwork by the Minister of Culture  Emory Douglas and the first copy of The Black Panther Party newspaper, "Who killed Denzil Dowell"? I had conversations with David Hilliard of The Huey P. Newton Foundation. Another great archive of The Black panther Party is It's about time by Billy Jennings. YouTube has an awesome archive of news footage including my favorite of Huey and William F. Buckley on "Firing Line"
I’ve read FBI files and court transcripts of the famous murder trial of Officer John Frey that made Huey a cause celeb.
 I researched "The Glass House Tapes" at the Rose Room at the Schwarzman Building. I read Huey's poetry and letters. I felt it was a rich slice of American History that hadn't been told. I wrote a treatment and took a meeting with my entertainment lawyer Tom Selz .We strategized a game plan for an independent feature film. First I drafted a development proposal and he added the legal stuff.  HPN Prod. LLC was formed.
My frustration in finding a screenwriter led me to many profanity-laced tirades and to write the script myself. Generally it's not me to pepper my speech with motherf**er this and that.  I'm sure Tom Selz's wonders if I'm a hood rat.  But HPN's kick ass style has inspired my bitchassness. The first draft of the screenplay, "Minister of Self Defense" has been written.

 Not boring histories lesson but a portrait of Huey the man. There are many roles to cast talented African American actors.  I imagine Malik Yoba as Bobby Seale, Idris Elba as Eldridge Cleaver common as Geronimo Pratt and Daniel Sunjata as Huey P. Newton. My wish lists of A-list actors are Bill Murray as Charles Garry, Maggie Gyllenhall as Fay Stender and Brad Pitt as Bert Schneider. The part of Elaine Brown would be any actresses dream role. Elaine Brown is a singer, activist, adventuress and first chairwoman of The Black Panther Party. Today Elaine campaigns for prison reform and Occupy Wall Street.
When I secure development funds I would hire a screenwriter to polish my script a Michael Genet, Kevin Arkadie or Richard Wesley. Much needed is a feature film director who shoots lean and mean like Oliver Stone,  Mike Figgis, Bill Duke, Clark Johnson or Jim Sheridan. I want to make a great film; raw and edgy in high-def with love, family, incarceration, friendship, sex, courtroom dramas, shootouts and the cause.  Power to the People!






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