Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Gone skiing!


Though on the surface it may appear that we've been MIA... we're diligently working behind the scenes to git some mo money, and build additional resources for "A Nation of Gods"... Shooting schedule to resume Spring/Summer 06.

In the meantime... while we're talking about major social movements, like the Nation of Gods and Earths... Kate is doing very big things in Brazil with Landless Workers Movement. Check out updates on the documentary "Terra Livre" at www.projectilearts.org.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Gangs of New York

Probably more so out of habit and conditioning than anything else, I turn to this guy whenever I need to further my understanding of something complex - and he is often not only my first recourse to breaking it down, but probably yours too. As a lover of language and knowledge, he ironically had much in common with Father Allah and even the Nation of Gods and Earths today.

As a product of the American revolution, he believed fervently in developing the cultural independence of the United States, and he thought that an integral part of establishing identity would be done through America's own language; it's own idiom, pronunciation, and style. When he wanted to write his book he learned 26 languages to be able to do so, and as a result he published the first truly American dictionary in 1806.

This is Noah Webster (I bet you thought it was George Washington)...

Since Noah Webster is still today the reigning authority on what means what, I wondered if he could define the word "gang" for us;

Gang: (2)(b): Group: as (1) a group of persons working together (2) a group persons working to unlawful or antisocial ends esp: a band of antisocial adolescents 2: a group of persons having informal and usu. close social relations

This just in…

"Gangs of New York"

On Sunday, Oct. 30th Gang hosts health & job fair… included were several initiatives on preventative care & wellness; the state of the Nation, and progress reports from the National summit, local and regional leaders were in attendance.

The brutality of it all—we were beaten over the head with greetings of "Peace", and offered food and drink prepared from the soul of somebody's mama - oooh the macaroni & cheese. The children of the gang all seem so happy, and well-adjusted... entering the room upright and almost regal. The women of the gang compile research on high risk diseases that affect their families, such as Diabetes-- 1.5 million African Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes and another 730,000 have the illness but are unaware. But perhaps even more appalling is that the women discuss things like reproductive health, and the importance of home schooling their children, but not to the exclusion of their socialization…

Kill Story.

Back in the day, I would watch the Gods get together in a cipher - I might have been twelve (wishing I were fourteen) - and begin to build and subsequently generations of avid linguists, poets, & rappers were born.

Perhaps not coincidentally, at that same time I would open up a five pound book called Webster’s Dictionary and marvel at how such a comprehensive work might have come about. The person who wrote this, I’d say to myself, must know EVERYTHING. I once dreamed of reading the entire dictionary - all 1554 pages, so that I too would know "everything".
I never did read the entire dictionary, but as one who loves language I am thinking particularly on the diligence of the man called Noah Webster; and I suppose my point is that whether or not we are able to make the distinction between "gang" or "group", "criminal" or "culture", "unlawful" or "constitutionally protected", we ALL have the ability to count the pages between Nigger and God.

Trina Love-Perrineau

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Calling on...

“A Nation of Gods…” a documentary film
Taping/Casting calling on the Nation of Gods and Earths
Oct. 30, 2005
3:00pm - 5:00pm
@Harriet Tubman School
Learning Center (Gymnasium),
250 W. 127th Street (Harlem) New York, NY

Q– Who is the original man? A-the Asiatic Black man...What are the 12 Jewels of Islam...What is the 14th degree? Why is knowledge one? Wisdom two? Always knowledge before you speak... Never mock those who don’t understand, but give them teaching of understanding….Earth is 93,000,000 miles away from the sun...Calling your alike out of his righteous attribute is a form of disrespect… What is the value of the120? When did you obtain KOS?

This is an opportunity to properly represent the Nation’s teachings. Welcoming all Gods and Earths to come by and show and prove.
"A Nation of Gods..."
is a documentary film/work in progress by SunConjunctVenus Works Inc.
- a completely different kind of work

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Quest for Quintessence

Insignificant: unimportant, of minor importance, of little or not import, negligible, nugatory, inconsiderable, inconsequential, of no consequence, inapplicable, irrelevant, immaterial, unessential, unportentous, unmomentous, of no matter or concern, of little or no account, of no great weight, trivial.

During an extremely heated discussion last night with a former NYPD detective - who is an African American male and had worked in a Brooklyn narcotics unit in the 1980's - I was invited to find, in his words, "one positive thing the five percenters have contributed to society... Not rap songs and lyrics, but evidence of some success and one member who is not a criminal".

I accepted the challenge.

Obviously the former officer was not, and still is not, a fan of the group, but our discussion inevitably became centered around his apparent disdain - which he acknowledged himself - for brothers "who on one hand tell me Peace God, and then the next day, what's up Nigga." He went on to say that he arrested many alleged "five percenters" back in the 80's, and thought that their messages never made any sense. "If one of them came to my house I'd tell them to get the f*ck outta here with that b*llshit".

As a living and critically thinking human being, I obviously have an opinion, or several opinions, including my own take on the history and organization of the Nation of Gods and Earths. For the sake of clarification, I have said from the very beginning that this film is not being based on any one person or group's opinion - least of all mine. When one has taken on the task of documenting actual historic events it is crucial to leave your personal opinion where it belongs - out and alongside all the others - like a**holes. I have said that it is my intention to tell another side of the story - something juxtaposed to the predominantly available dogmatism.

I think it relevant to note that when we initially sat down with the former officer, he told me that "the five percenters were not significant, and no one outside of hip-hop cares". If that is indeed true, then I am immediately confounded by the tenacity of his position from the beginning, and the venom that leaped from his opinion and right into my face at the mere mention of the Nation of Gods and Earths.

So again I ask- as I had originally - Were the Nation of Gods and Earths utterly an insignificant - and now defunct - group of Black radicals that operated solely in NYC in the 1960's?

The Producers welcome your feedback by email at NOGProducers@yahoo.com

Saturday, October 01, 2005

utilize, recognize, realize...

To the Allah School in Mecca: You are most gracious hosts, and we thank you unendingly.

To Allah B: You are truly a Jewel. Thank you for opening your heart and your doors.

To the Baron: Thank you for the reminder that what is said on the internet can never truly be "erased". Looking forward to building more with you and meeting the Minister. In the meantime, sending much light to Bagdad.

To the sister of Shakema Luanna Earth: Loved the simplicity; "I liked going to parliaments as a kid because I knew there was going to be good food and games".

To Busta Rhymes: Didn't want you to think you were being stalked, and your boys looked pretty scary at MIA.

To Dr. Peterson & Mr. Norwood: It was fun going to BED with you. We will definitely build more at Abington.

To Ariel Dominique: (That chicken knew what time it was, that's why he broke out.) Thank you always for the spirit of the revolution, never forget that you ARE the true spirit of Haiti.

To Steve Rosenbaum: No disrespect intended by the omission of CameraPlanet.

To the Intellectuals: Still not impressed by your ability to text message very quickly.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Literacy and Media: Is left going right?


Adult Literacy?

Media Literacy?

Literacy is the ability to use printed and written information [prose, document, and quantitative] to function in society, to achieve one’s goals, and to develop one’s knowledge and potential

Everybody's discussing it this election season. Seems to be of the highest "priority" on the lists of national and local government, Mike Bloomberg, the Democrats in the NY mayorial race; just last night- Lenora Fulani delivered an undeterred message on NY1 News. Ms. Fulani, when speaking about the political strength and diversity of her party-the Independent Party- while standing on 25 years of literacy and education initiatives for children, left one Dominique Carter seeming very small.
In the wake of tragedy and suffering caused by hurricane Katrina, we're now openly discussing media bias, rich vs. poor, disparities in social classes and standards. The voice of the independent emerges. The left. But if the mainstream continues to discuss it, does that mean that it's going right? And Is the Right becoming the left?

"What chu talking about? You so stoopid..."

Is it really necessary to advocate for literacy- even in 2005? Who advocated for literacy in 1967? What independent voice sparked a fire in the minds of young African Americans in the ghetto in the mid-sixties? Why is knowledge one? Word. Does anyone really care about the potential of you who are "underpriviledged"? Where do you get your media? And "why you so stoopid"?

In 2004, The New Media Monopoly, by Ben Bagdikian showed that only 5 huge corporations -- Time Warner, Disney, Murdoch's News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany, and Viacom (formerly CBS) -- now control most of the media industry in the U.S. General Electric's NBC is a close sixth. For merely pointing it out he was called an alarmist. That's FIVE. 5. Cinco major corporations that provide you with "news".

So who's telling you what you think?

And have times really changed that much since 1965?

Friday, September 02, 2005

Who Cares?

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me--
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

-Pastor Martin Niemöller, 1945

I doubt if the full magnitude and weight of this poem is lost on anyone who reads it; regardless of race, blood or origin. They are famous words from a complex man; a German who was an outspoken advocate for accepting the burden of the collective guilt for WWII. He was instrumental in producing the “Stuttgart Confession of Guilt”, in which the German Protestant churches formally accepted guilt for their complicity in allowing the suffering which Hitler’s reign caused to occur.

Why should you care about Nation of Gods and Earths/The Five Percenters?

Perhaps you've never read or been moved by anything written by Noam Chomsky; or you've thought that all the Black and Latino leaders of the 1960's were all phantoms- or already well represented by the media; or you've never heard of Cointelpro; or you wholeheartedly believe that your local and federal government is upstanding, straightforward, and trustworthy; or you've inwardly wondered why many of the Gods from your neighborhood wound up in prison; but maybe once - just once - you've used the term "word" to solidify your point when speaking with friends, or have you casually asked someone to "break it down" when you don't understand something?

Take this journey with us, and we'll show you alot about what you thought you knew.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised...but you might find it on the internet

For clarification: The grassroots call to action is not a SunConjunctVenus sponsored event, and is not affiliated with the production of "A Nation of Gods". We have posted this as a means of support and an avenue for action for our brothers and sisters at THE TALKING DRUM and "Hands Off Assata"!!! For information on this call to action please contact The Talking Drum collective directly...

Grassroots Call to Action/Action Alert Campaign

The Talking Drum Collective will be launching its Grassroots Call to Action/Action Alert Campaign. We are asking for the Unity and collaboration of all Afrocentric, activist, and grassroots organizations websites, mailing list, news services, individuals, and etc. to get involved with Grassroots Call to Action/Action Alert Campaign.

What is the Grassroots Call to Action/Action Alert Campaign?
Each month we will issue a "Call to Action" that addresses some problem that plagues the poor, disenfranchised, wrongfully imprisoned, undereducated, unemployed, culturally broken and politically destitute. If you believe in the spirit of ACTION and the POWER of PEOPLE, we ask you to join us.

What is required to help?
To be considered a supporter of this effort you must comply with the rules below, if you are a/an:

Websites: Carry one of the many Grassroots Call to Action/Action Alert Campaign banners and/or create one that directs traffic to the Grassroots Call to Action/Action Alert Campaign webpage (listed at the top).

Organizations: Have membership follow the directions of the Grassroots Call to Action/Action Alert Campaign.

Mailing List and/or News Service: Carry Our Grassroots Call to Action/Action Alert Campaign Emails.

Individuals: Follow the directions of the Grassroots Call to Action/Action Alert Campaign.

Extra ways to help: Promote and recruit other to participate in the Grassroots Call to Action/Action Alert Campaign.

All please keep in mind the most important aspect of the Grassroots Call to Action/Action Alert Campaign is to the ACTION component.

How will I be counted?
The Grassroots Call to Action/Action Alert Campaign webpage and The Talking Drum Collective Newsletter Grassroots Call to Action/Action Alert Campaign Issue will carry all supporters. In order to track the success or shortcomings of our collective progress there will be a place for participants to give feedback so organizing effectiveness can be determined.


Who is The Talking Drum Collective?
The Talking Drum Collective is a collective of organizers and website owners who have came together in the spirit Unity for the upliftment of Afrikan People. Over the years we have become the premier Afrikan informational websites. Some of the more popular websites include: TheTalkingDrum.Com (The Talking Drum); AssataShakur.Org, which is currently engaged in the Hands Off Assata Campaign; and Afrikan.Net, who constantly updates mailing list with information about Political Prisoners and other issues. Though these sites are the most popular all of the collective sites are notable. Why the talking drum symbol? During the 1800's the talking drum was banned throughout most of the western hemisphere, for fear of unregulated communication amongst Afrikan People and for fear of coordinated rebellions, due to its ability to communicate with Our People in code and great distances. In the spirit of the talking drum we communicate to Our People information, pride, and hope. The collective is used to create a United Front for Our People to effectively fight as one.

The Talking Drum Collective's Family Of Sites:
www.TheTalkingDrum.Com – The Talking Drum, The Largest Afrikan Informational Site
www.AssataShakur.Org – Dedication site Sis. Queen Assata Shakur, Hands Off Assata Campaign
www.AssataShakur.Org/forum/ - Largest Afrikan based Discussion Board
www.RootsAndRooted.Org – Afrikan Traditional Relgion
www.FTPmovement.com – FTP Movement
www.PanAfrican.TV – Free Library of Audio/Video of Our Leaders/Educators
www.Afrikan.Net – Afrikan Centered New Service
www.PositivelyBlack.net – Official Junious Ricardo Stanton website
www.HedrushLLC.com – Official site for Tahir
www.BlackAugust.Net – Official Black August Website
www.FuckThePolice.TV – The Revolutionary Rap Group FTP
www.AhsheEtc.Com – Afrikan Centered New Service
www.Ag-East.Org – Afrikan Centered New Service
www.BlackMic.Com – Black Mic Online Radio
www.TheDrum.Org – Coming Soon, The Talking Drum Collective site
www.AssataShakur.Net – Mirror site to AssataShakur.Org,
www.FTPdesigns.Com – Web Design and Development
www.BirthofaNation.TV – Coming Very Soon, Official Site for Birth Of A Naiton Mixtape (hosted by M1 of Dead Prez & Tahir)
www.HandsOffAssata.Net – Hands Off Assata Campaign
www.POCConline.com – Coming Soon, POCC organizational page


For more information contact Atlanta@thedrum.org

Friday, August 12, 2005



A year ago we embarked on a miraculous journey that began with one simple question, “Where are the Gods today?” When I set out to research the organization, what I discovered thereafter was pretty astounding. Today, all over the world the NATION OF GODS & EARTHS still stand strong but continue to be beleaguered and often misunderstood by misinformation, and in many cases extremist propaganda being made readily available to the general public.

The Nation, its founders and members have been called everything from black nationalists to hate mongers to a criminal gang. This is certainly not the movement I remember as a young woman growing up on the streets of Far Rockaway Queens and East New York Brooklyn. In fact, if you were to ask an African American person between the ages of 25-45 who have been exposed to the true doctrine on any level, the viewpoint might be entirely different.

The Nation of Gods and Earths have a unique history that influenced most of us who grew up in the ghetto – whether or not you converted or agreed completely. The average person does not know that the movement advanced primarily on the principles of the first amendment, or that Father Allah obtained the school in Harlem with the help of Mayor John Lindsay - and I hope to do the Nation justice by telling another side of the story.

At the height of the crack epidemic and failed social services systems, the messages offered by Father Allah; Clarence 13X Smith, were far-reaching for a Diaspora of people ignored by the mainstream. We will take you back in time - New York City circa 1964 – to a powerful movement whose contributions can be linked directly with the birth of the Hip-Hop culture. This documentary goes inside an urban political faction that has essentially promoted itself for more than four decades solely through the channels of self expression and urban youth.

I, along with some of my very talented production friends, have endeavored to shine some light on the overlooked, missed, and misunderstood elements of the story. What began as a modest start from the streets of Harlem, NY soon spread rapidly over the nation and was grounded firmly on the principles that built America; freedom of speech, and the divine right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

In the coming weeks, we will be reaching out to ask you to help us document this incredible story. If we don’t find you, please feel free to contact us at NOGProducers@yahoo.com. In the meantime, be well and be blessed.

Trina Love-Perrineau

The Producers

Trina Love-Perrineau - Writer/Producer
Trina, impassioned writer and producer of "A Nation of Gods" lends her vision, resources, and personal experiences to the development of the film.

Trina has a diverse range of experience in different media outlets, including music, magazines, television and film. Her film credits include support roles in notable films such as "Drumline" (Fox 2000 Pictures/Directed by Charles Stone), "Motives" (Rainforest Films 2003/Vivica A. Fox, Shemar Moore) "With All Deliberate Speed" (Discovery Channel/Directed by Peter Gilbert (HoopDreams), "Journalists: Killed in the Line of Duty" (TRIO/ feat. Anderson Cooper, Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, and the late Peter Jennings).

She has also served as a committee juror for the New York Film Expo; and in 2004, she coordinated the ballot for the Board of Governor elections at NATAS (National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences; Daytime, US & regional Emmys) Trina currently works on editorial projects for Rodale Publishing in New York city.

Kate Cunningham - Consulting Producer
Katie, a multi-talented visionary, brings her passion and excitement for telling stories that destroy the imaginary lines drawn by different cultures to this production.

Kate Cunningham is an independent documentary filmmaker who has done extensive fieldwork in Brazil. Credits include: Producer “Inside the Bubble- Life on the Kerry Campaign trail”; Coordinating Producer, “With All Deliberate Speed” (Official selection Tribeca Film festival/Discovery Channel) Directed by Peter Gilbert (Hoop Dreams) ; Associate Producer, “Journalists: Killed in the Line of Duty'” (TRIO);‘”Decisions that Shook the World” (Discovery), Editor, “Epiphany in Progress” (PBS); Co-Producer "God's Son EPK-Nas" (Sony Music); Consulting Editor "Take Me to the River"; She is currently a developer/producer for Projectile Arts.

Katie is also working on her extraordinary documentary film "Terra Livre". Terra Livre (Free Land) is a film about the struggle, strength, and organization of a cooperative farm in southern Brazil developed and supported by the Landless Workers Movement (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra, MST). www.projectilearts.org

Keisha Wooten - Associate Producer
Keisha lends her keen communication and shrewd critical thinking skills to the foundation of the production.

Keisha is currently an Associate Producer for the VOOM Network, the first and most complete provider of high definition television programming. She works in the office and from the field on Rush HD programming, a new network dedicated to high action extreme sports; BMX biking, kite-boarding, racing, high velocity surfing. Prior to working for VOOM, Keisha worked as Talent Coordinator for the 2005 African American Women in Cinema Film Festival, working with A-List talent such as Cicely Tyson, Miguel Nunez, Robin Givens, Rosanna DeSoto and many more. In 2003 Ms. Wooten worked as Associate Producer for the independent film "Scorn". Earlier that year she also worked as Talent/Production Manager on the feature film "Destination Fame" starring R&B star Mario and musical icon Joe Jackson.

Keisha is also working on her documentary entitled "Hold My Hand", an intimate look at woman of color and their intricate relationships with their fathers.

What's up with the name?

SunConjunctVenus Works, Inc.
- A completely different kind of work

Sun (You)
Conjunct (Alignment)
Venus (Love, Harmony, Beauty)

In the Science of our heavens - commonly known as astrology - the Sun represents the ego or the individual personality; this is why when someone wants to know about you they might ask “What's your sun-sign?” Similarly, the planet Venus is the guardian of Love and symbolizes all that is harmonious and beautiful in the cosmos. A conjunction (unification, mergence) is a powerful occurrence that happens when two planets occupy the same longitudal position. When the Sun and Venus are said to be forming a conjunction - the formidable energies that govern those planets are angeled in a profound way. In other words, we believe that when the personality is well aligned with the energies of love, harmony and beauty we will all “work” differently.

SunConjunctVenus Works, Inc. is dedicated to establishing a new model for enterprise; a model that evades conventional ways of working, industry and doing business in entertainment and the arts. We avoid any attitude or orientation that invites the survival of the fittest in the rat race theory. In our model, there is no rat race because "if you win, you're still a rat".

Through each of our individually unique gifts, we will develop and advance creative projects that speak to the human spirit, and those that foster greater understanding and unity; particularly in minority cultures.

Currently, "the works" are intellectual properties which include a documentary film entitled "A Nation of Gods", currently in pre-production; and two non-fiction books in development.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Pork Knockers?

Over the last couple of weeks, we've talked to a number of different non-5% African American people- both young and old- about their personal experiences with the Nation of Gods and Earths, and there is one particular family of responses that has come back with such overwhelming consistency, I've actually considered changing the name of this film.

"Oh the guys that don't eat pork?"; "I never converted because I like pork too much"; "A pig ain't never done nothing to me".

Surely an entire movement that won converts by the hundreds of thousands would be grounded in a theology that goes deeper than a pig? Yes? No? Have the Gods & Earths somehow fallen short of conveying what they were truly all about? Are we all really that ignorant? Can we buy a clue? Why are they so against the pig? Why are they so against the pig? "Why are they so against the pig?" Does the love of bacon preclude any fundamental understanding of what the Gods taught so passionately? What has the pig ever done to me? What has the pig ever done to me?

What has a pig ever done to me?

Q & A


We decided to put up answers to some of the more frequent questions that have been coming in. Hope this helps...

Q - Why do you want to do this?

A - As a young woman, the Nation of Gods and Earths played a significant role in my life. Its influences in my adult life and in our culture are unmistakable, but we never hear about that side of things. We only hear about the brothers that are in prison, and about things that are pretty much dogmatic. We're going after another angle. Also, we intend to reveal a direct correlation between the 5% movement and the birth of HipHop culture.

Q - How much will yall pay me for my story?

A - Zero. Sorry. We're shooting an independent documentary, and there is no budget to pay for something like that. But even if we were a major theater company with big bucks, there still wouldn't be an allotment for that. Even documentaries scheduled for major theatrical releases don't pay for interviews and personal stories. They pay for talent, which are usually actors in a union. We hope you, like many others, will decide to share your story because you want too and because you believe this is important for people, and future generations to see.

Q - When is it coming out?

A - We are currently in the pre-production stage of the film. While we're still in pre-production and production, there's no way to know that, and we've been working hard. It is considered to be a work in progress. At the time, we don't have major distribution. But we'll make sure that you are the first to know whenever it screens anywhere.

Q - Are you or were you ever in the 5% Nation?

A - No. Although I have had family ties and close personal relationships with members of the Nation of Gods and Earths, I have never personally converted, or claimed to be a member. None of the immediate producers have. But I think this is what makes us uniquely qualified to be telling this story in a non-subjective voice.

Q - Can I Help?

A - Yes, yes, yes! Your home videos, photos, stories, insights, and energy is exactly what is making this so special. And we're a small team. Please send an email to NOGProducers@yahoo.com. Especially if you have production experience.

Q - Do you know what you're getting yourself into? This is a major undertaking.

A - Yep. We realize the leg-work, and that there are some who really don't want to see this happen. But, I've heard from a higher source that this is already written.

I can't say thank you enough for the mountains of encouragement and support we've been getting. Until next time, Be well, and Be blessed,

Trina Love-Perrineau