With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Friday, April 4, 2014

The kids are alright

Sam Spitz met Teddy Williams at a barber shop, and they documented their story in a film, "The Greens."
I couldn't be prouder of my friend Sam Spitz, a budding young film maker with a good camera eye and a strong social conscience. With film-making activist parents like Jeff and Jennifer Amdur Spitz, neither is any surprise. Sam's first independent, no-budget film, The Greens, is starting to get some play. If you put a camera in Sam's hand and turn him loose in Chicago, he's going to use it to tell some great stories. Here's one of them, picked up by CNN.

I know something about this kid also. Jennifer Klonsky is a wonderful Chicago elementary school teacher, mom, and local rock-and-roller who also created and directs Little Kids Rock at her school. She made a guest appearance Sunday on Live From The Heartland where she tells Katie Hogan how she integrates art and music in and out of her classroom.  Her interview starts at 4:55.

GOOD READS...Just got my advanced copy of teacher/activist Jose Vilson's book, This is Not a Test. Lots of great personal stories about Jose's baptism-under-fire as a New York public school teacher intertwined with his notions of race, class & social justice. I can't put it down.

Jose's book pulled me away (for a moment) from Gregg Kot's I'll Take You There: Mavis Staples, The Staple Singers and the March Up Freedom's Highway. Kot is the Tribune's great music critic who is obviously taken (as I was) with the power of music in the Civil Rights Movement. Mavis and the Staple Singers are practically a metaphor for the freedom movement which followed the great migration of African Americans from the south to Chicago.

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