May Day debut for ‘Taboo Yardies’ docu

After years of anticipation, Jamaican filmmaker Selena Blake recently announced the opening of her much talked about documentary about Jamaica’s homosexual community titled “Taboo…Yardies.”

Promoted as a film that “represents the voice of those LGBTQ Jamaicans who are often publically ridiculed and beaten in the streets by angry mobs,” Blake’s expose offers “a cultural exploration of the influence of western religion, the lasting effect of colonization, misogyny and fear of the unknown.”

Slated to begin at 7:30 p.m. on May 1 at the Faison Firehouse, 6 Hancock Place, (between 125th & Morningside Ave.) in Harlem, the film about the stories of “Jamaican people who have long suffered from brutal treatment by their fellow Jamaicans and a political system that offers little protection” will be screened at the same time throughout the weekend with a matinee at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

According to Blake, “The documentary is a searing, at times poignant depiction of the myriad of perspectives surrounding the topic of intolerance and violence towards same gender loving (SGL) lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender living in Jamaica.”

The film has already been screened in Jamaica.

It was received “amid heated anti-homosexual protest, prompting media attention and open discussions on the Human Rights of the SGL/LGBT community in Jamaica.” Regardless of which side of the lifestyle one advocates, “Taboo…Yardies” is sure to trigger controversy and at the very least spark conversation. Reportedly, a portion of the proceeds from the opening night reception will help fund LGBTQ safe space charities in Jamaica; Quality Citizenship Jamaica (JCL).


Another musical tribute to a legendary entertainer hails hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur in a presentation beginning on May 29 billed “Holler If Ya Hear Me.” Slated for the Palace Theatre, 1564 Broadway at 47th St. the newest musical tome adds to critically acclaimed bio-musicals to herald Motown, Carole King, Janis Joplin and Liberace. Inspired by the lyrics penned by the hip-hop proponent, the new Broadway musical written by Todd Kreidler is directed by Kenny Leon, the director who is also enjoying acclaim with his dramatic direction of Denzel Washington’s lead character in “A Raisin In The Sun.”

Through the poetry of one of the 20th century’s most influential and culturally prominent voices, audiences are given a window into realities of the streets still relevant today.

The “non-biographical story about friendship, family, revenge, change and hope” will also tap into individual stories about “inner city lives struggle for peace against the daily challenges they face in this entertaining and original musical.


It has been a quarter of a century since The People of the Sun Middle Passage Collective started marking the historic but tragic sea voyage Africans endured crossing the Middle Passage to America.

On May 3, 2014, a pictorial display and spoken word event will celebrate 25 years of paying tribute to the Ancestors of the Middle Passage. Slated to be held at Medgar Evers College, EOJ Auditorium at 1638 Bedford Ave. (Medgar Evers Lane & Carroll Street) performances begin at noon.

Featuring a photo exhibition by Akeem and Reelz; spoken word performances by poets Ngoma, Osagyefo, Ras Atiba, Nena Blue, EKG, Osuntoyin, Poetry Flow, Her New She, James Gregory, Jessica Clarke, Finessa, Lyrisis, Imani Parker, Menes De Griot backed by Shanto, New Generation, Jelani Akeem, Jibri Akeem, Wayne Russell, Hermina, Jordan Franklin and other cultural entertainers, the program is slated to end at 8:00 p.m.

For more information, contact Akeem at 718-659-4999 and [email protected].

Catch You On The Inside!

More from Around NYC