From Incarceration to Success
By Develyn EdwardsOn August 1, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Mr. & Mrs. Michael & Debbie Afrika showcased their fifteen-minute film, “Further More” to a packed house. This documentary spoke of the personal testimonies and tragedies from people caught in the jaws of the US legal “justice” system who spent their time incarcerated for crimes not […]
By Develyn Edwards
On August 1, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Mr. & Mrs. Michael & Debbie Afrika showcased their fifteen-minute film, “Further More” to a packed house. This documentary spoke of the personal testimonies and tragedies from people caught in the jaws of the US legal “justice” system who spent their time incarcerated for crimes not always guilty of.
Examples of the following three successful individuals include Mr. Banks, Ms. Arters, and Mr. Wolfsolk. Mr. Tom Banks was released over thirty years ago. He came out of prison making $10.00 per hour and today he owns the profitable Banks Gas Company with over one hundred employees. Not all, but many of his qualified workers have prison backgrounds. Ms. Dana Lomax Aryers created an organization “CADBI Delco”. CADBI stands for Coalition Against Death By Incarceration. Her organization highlights how incarceration needs to be adjusted toward a more humane outcome with rehabilitation laced profoundly in education. Mr. Terrell Wolfsolk teaches poetry and creative writing at Drexel University in Philadelphia. He has written three books which can be found on Amazon.com.
The viewing of “Further More” took place at the Scribe Video Center in West Philly. Ironically, SVC is located in an area where Debbie and Michael grew up as children. Malcolm X preached two blocks away and Paul Roberson resided in this community, as well. Debbie Africa met Asada Muhammed via e-mail after seeing the film “40 Years A Prisoner”. Asada Muhammed was so impressed with this sincerely, loving, strong married couple that he was very instrumental in assisting them in receiving a monthly stipend while attending film school. “Media In Neighborhood Groups” (MING) was extremely critical in getting this film completed.
Mr. El Sawyer is the founding Father of MING Media. He was incarcerated for eight years and has been free for the last twenty. The prison was his canvas where education transformed his mind.
It took two years to create, edit, and finalize “Further More”, which is a pilot film supporting community storytellers whose objective is to positively impact the world via media producers and filmmakers.
The Tuesday afternoon edutainment was made possible because of the combined efforts of MING Media, WHYY and the Scribe Video Center. Sociology Professor Sheena Sood and Michael Afrika were two major supporters of this educational, community event. Suggestions for a new title for this film were requested.
Mr. Jamal Mumi, in a reflective meditative moment, stated “My life is about Love and Living. I stand before you as a physical being marveling about the people in our world.” This film clip truly confronts the inner core, moral compass of America.
The film most certainly displayed that all people incarcerated are not a liability; but many more are true assets to society and our world!