"Hood Prophets," A Short Film
Directed by Anthony Jamari Thomas
How would you describe love? ... Where does it all begin for you?
Harlem. The answer is as simple as that, for the Hood Prophets at least... (and me, too!)
Hood Prophets is a short film that takes place in Harlem, New York. The sole purpose of this film is to express an admiration and gratitude for Harlem, a neighborhood that is filled with such a rich culture. Vivid imagery of Harlem's landmarks such as the infamous 125th street, and Lenox Avenue flash amongst the screen while a series of inquisitive, thought provoking questions (and answers) play in the background. Is it Harlem?
This film resonated with me personally being as though I, too, am a Harlem native. If you are not from Harlem, you may not truly understand just how influential it is to the culture. All throughout history, it has been widely viewed as a home for black people. In fact, by the mid-late 1920's, Harlem was a predominantly black neighborhood. It is internationally regarded as the Black Mecca of the world. Harlem is expressive, and thrived particularly within the arts, such as music, dance, poetry, and fashion. Harlem has and continues to breed creatives and legends; there is just a certain level of individuality, vibrancy and artistic creativity that comes from here.
During the political uproar of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960's, Harlem, again, proved to be impactful within American history. With leaders such as Malcolm X, Adam Clayton Powell Jr., and more, the community refused to be silent. Its leaders fought against the injustices brought upon them socially, economically, and politically. Discrimination and segregation were at an all time high, however that did not stop them from fighting back. Being Black was (and is) something to be prideful of, and that is exactly what fueled the fire for the Civil Rights Movement. A sense of equality, respect, and overall humane treatment was being demanded. As a result of the continued social unrest, many began to move out of the neighborhood. This ultimately led to a widespread decrease of the population, and an increase in housing and other amenities, which thus left many to become underprivileged.
Overtime, Harlem has experienced many changes. In present day, it is now another gentrified neighborhood. With gentrification comes more expenses, lack of accessibility, and displacement. The history and culture still exist today, and many even come to visit such a historical piece of the world.
This film placed an emphasis on peace, faith, and community. The Hood Prophets are on a mission to bring back these themes that seem to have slipped away overtime. As one of the narrators stated, Harlem is one of [my] most treasured possessions, one of the most beautiful places [I've] ever known. What do you believe in? Community? Harlem? Death 2 Hatred?
So, what is a Hood Prophet?
"A Hood Prophet is an individual who’s a product of an urban community that possess leadership qualities in which their goal is to help empower, inspire and deliver knowledge. Due to traumatic events and lack of resources that takes place in urban neighborhoods such as Harlem, a Hood Prophet is a innovator whose willing to push boundaries in order to bring advancement in our communities." // Hood Prophets
"Hood Prophecy" is a movement that was founded by Modibo Sy and Mamadou Doumbouya, (pictured above) first-generation West African Muslims who were both born and raised in Harlem, New York. As stated in their mission, they aim to provide the tools and resources for residents of low-income communities of color to be advocates of social change. The mission of this movement is to help provide knowledge for community building and social impact through multiple outlets. Based off of their own experiences growing up in Harlem, they have witnessed immense violence, crime, lack of resources, and social inequities. In retrospect, they want to be the change they want to see. In order to do so, they developed this movement to not only serve as leaders within their communities, but to also contribute to the common goal of bridging social gaps and dismantling hostility and violence in their city first, and eventually globally. In true Harlem fashion, they have utilized their extensive creative nature, as well as their passion for social change to curate "Death 2 Hatred."
What is D2H? D2H stands for “Death 2 Hatred.” Death 2 Hatred is a worldwide mission that was curated by the Hood Prophets. The mission behind “Death 2 Hatred” is to display the duality between Love and Hate, in hopes of creating ideal environments where we can influence individuals to empower/uplift their peers through genuine gestures showing that love always wins in the end.
Director: Anthony Jamari Thomas
Art Direction/Producers: Modibo Sy (MINX$) & Mamadou Doumbouya (Dussè)
Cinematography: Ben Hype
16MM Cinematography: Raheem Stanley
Drone Operator: Drew Espinoza
Sound Design: Trevor Rivkin
Voice Over: Brigitte Miles
Color: Alex Jimenez
Hassan Kone (Hass Irv)
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