“Lupita Nyong’o and Charcoal Alley”

by refixico

            NOW IS THE TIME !  All the pieces are in place ,to resolve controversies over historical events that have remained, HIDDEN and FORBIDDEN, for far to long. Congratulations, to Ms. Lupita Nyong’o. Her career accomplishments are the STUFF that DREAMS are MADE OF. Her personal attributes, qualify her to , (with the help of love ones and professional advisors)  make the right decisions. I’m going to make a public pitch, that I feel, could help , ensure and immortalize her (as Andy Warhol would say) “15 Minutes of Fame”.

           The operative words, in this pitch are: “Charcoal Alley”. Charcoal Alley, is a working title, for a film about, the 24 hours in America, that lead up to the , “Watts Rebellion” of August 1965. It would be a, Star Driven Vehicle, from start to finish. The STAR driving it, could be Lupita Nyong’o. Ms. Nyong’o’s character, would be Rena Frye Price. Rena and her son Marquette Frye, were falsely accused, of starting the, “Watts Rebellion”, which followed a Police stop, gone wrong, in a tinder box neighborhood. 

           A brief synopsis of the film is that, Rena, was born in, Seminole County, Oklahoma, in a town name Lima, Population of 99 souls. She was born to a family of Black Seminole Freedmen of the, Dosar Barkus Band, who 75 years earlier, had won their  Freedom, to go to Indian Territory, by fighting the U.S. Army, Navy and Marine Corp, in Florida’s 2nd Seminole War. That war, just like the Watts Rebellion had cost America, approximately, 40 million dollars. The Watts Rebellion, jump started,   mandated, but not yet in place, Poverty Programs and the War in Florida gave freedom to the Black Seminoles by Treaty, if they stopped fighting and removed, to Indian Territory.

           Fast Forward to Rena’s, adult life, after 2 failed marriages ( one included Alcohol and Spousal Abuse), she wound up, on the Westcoast, again following, what she thought would be a, Network to Freedom. However, Los Angeles, California, in 1965, for a Cleaning Woman and Babysitter, proved to be a land of unemployment, frustration and despair. Her fearsome condition was complicated by her son, Marquette’s penchant for Driving Under the Influence . Rena had warned Marquette, about getting in trouble, with her car and  , she raced to the scene, to save the 1955 Buick  from becoming impounded.  Even though, it was an essential tool for her survival, when she saw her son being forcefully subdued, her Protective Maternal Instincts kicked in , and she jumped on the  huge police officer’s back .

           Of course, this script would include, enough plots and sub-plots , to make it an enduring and entertaining moviegoers experience. The “Good Cop Bad Cop” scenario, are roles, that beg to be filled, by the likes Kevin Costner, Leonardo Dicaprio, Liam Neeson, and others. The cast would require an abundance of multi-ethnic character actors and extras. This is the film, that the world is waiting to see and I’m sure it would export to a plethora of international venues.

            My connection to the to the project is that , I was raised in the Nickerson Gardens Projects  in Watts and at  the time of Rebellion, I was an out of work,  “Boy Husband” of 18 years old, with a family. I had missed Vietnam due to a deferment, but after the Rebellion, I became a, “Soldier in the War on Poverty”,  as a program enrollee, a vocational school student, and as an employee in the target area of  Watts, for about 9 years post-rebellion to help re-build the community. In addition, I am also a Seminole Maroon Descendant,  just like Rena and I recently found out that we are related. The family of course would be thrilled to have Ms. Nyong’o connected with this project in any capacity. It is designed for her as a Star Driven Vehicle.

“Through Warm Tears of Gratitude”

Phil “Pompey Bruner” Fixico, Seminole Maroon Descendant