Monday, June 22, 2009

1st ZEMIRA fundraiser an outstanding success!

Last Wednesday’s fundraiser for ZEMIRA was a huge success. Yes, Team Zemira got some great donations for the film (thanks again!) as our audience was entertained by our incredible talent:

You can find out more about our benefit’s headliner, Jesse Boykins III at This young brother had all the ladies in the room smiling, nodding their heads and caught up in the rapture of his music; all the fellahs thought the brother was good too. Talented is too stilted of a word to describe Jesse’s music, so just go to his ‘site and both listen to snippets AND buy his music so that two years from now when this brother is accepting huge awards, you can exclaim to your friends, “I’ve been a fan of Jesse’s for years! Where’ve you been?!?”

Our opening musical act, the ubër-talented hip-hop artist SoSoon - the truest Hip Hop representative of the working & thinking man/woman brought a wonderfully gritty sensitivity to our benefit. Go to to hear his music (‘Underclass’ is a personal fave) and see more about who SoSoon is. His music is what ZEMIRA is all about.

The national exploits of renown poet Delana R.A. Dameron can be found at her website: and at a bookstore near you with How God Ends Us, selected by Elizabeth Alexander as the fourth annual winner of the South Carolina Poetry Book Prize.

You may have missed her performance at our benefit, but feel free to watch one of the tightest young poets on the scene, Kayan Ali James here ( for just a taste of how she flows.

We may have been up in the Bronx, but my man WordSmith Jones killed it our June 17th benefit Brooklyn style! You can both hear & purchase a CD of his soul-discovering poetry at

Not only did she stand out at the literary arts movement for teens UrbanWord NYC

(, but as a finalist at the 2009 NY Knicks Poetry Slam, the (only!) 17 year old Thiahera Nurse ripped it(!) at our benefit. We’re so thankful that she got to represent a key demographic we’re approaching for this movie and she’s a prime example of what guidance and self-awareness can do for a young person from the ‘hood.

My partner Mecca’s old friend, and now one of my new favorite poets, Timothy

“Prolific” Jones can be found at, of which he is both founder and CEO. André Maurice Press is an outlet for the published voices of the hip-hop generation and is dedicated to cultivating talent, and providing writers with a means through which to transform their expression into a vehicle for economic empowerment. Being creative and getting paid for that talent – now that’s what’s up.

The smooth yet powerful poetic musings of Charan P a mainstay on Prolific’s Indelible performers/writers crew, flowed sweetly for us as well. A poet/performer/educator transplanted from Chicago to New York, her work uncovers the stigma and effects of racism on modern society. Check her out here in NYC, and in Philly and DC as well. Charan P. is in high demand.

And of course we can't forget to mention my man DJ Prototype who keep the audience both entertained with hot beats, head bopping music and even mad funny sound effects throughout the entire night. You can catch up to him on his blog at: where he displays his mindset, critical thoughts on Hip-Hop, and other artistic endeavors.

THANK YOU once again to all of our talented musicians and poets for helping make this fundraiser a big success!

Curtis Caesar John

Co-Writer/Producer/Director - ZEMIRA