AfterEllen.com is happy to bring you the first episode of the new weekly video blog U People, which follows filmmakers and partners Hanifah Walidah and Olive Demetrius on their amazing and humorous journey to bringing their new documentary U People [The Extraordinary Lives of America's Misunderstood] to the public. It also features roaming comedian Gloria Bigelow as she captures the U People stories of everyday extraordinary people on the street.
You can read our January ’07 interview with Hanifah for more information about her, or watch her on the fourth episode of She Said What?. But in the meantime, here’s a quick rundown on Hanifah and Olive:
Hanifah Walidah is revered as one of the more prolific chameleons of the arts. Her work over the past 15 years within spoken word, music, theater and film reads like a list of cultural milestones in almost every arm of the urban arts. You don’t ask Hanifah Walidah what she does, but how?
Olive Demetrius fights crime in her spare time. As a filmmaker, she has always adhered to a level of personal excellence in her work. Documentary has taken her from complaining about what she doesn’t see to changing the landscape.
Episode No. 1: “Fresh Out the Box”
Olive and Hanifah introduce the vlog and themselves. Gloria hits the streets and chats with poet Baron about not getting a gig because he was gay, and also talks to everyday extraordinary person Terrace Chilliest (yes, that’s her name) about her struggles to order a cup of won-ton soup. The vlog also features poet/singer Red Summer, who talks about her song “Stillettos” on the U People Soundtrack.
*Hanifah’s Disclaimer: Olive didn’t have her contacts in, so she is not intoxicated, just blind.
Watch it now below!
Look for episode No. 2 of the U People vlog next Wednesday, and then new episodes on AfterEllen.com on Thursdays after that.