LEVAR BURTON OF “ROOTS”, STEVIE WONDER’S “FRONTPAGE”,SURINAME MAROONS AND FIXICO
Hooray and Hallelujah !
It’s Tuesday, June 28th, 2016 in hot and sunny California. This morning on Mr. Stevie Wonder’s Southern California Radio 102.3 FM KJLH “Frontpage” Talk Show, the able and dynamic host is Mr. Avi Bernard. Ms Dominic DiPrima is traveling back home from an incredible African excursion ,with “Frontpage” family members to the fabled country of Ghana. Below is a transcript of my call-into the show:
“Good Morning, Brother Avi, “Frontpage” and Mr. Stevie Wonder. As usual, I always introduce myself as a Seminole Maroon Descendant who has been documented by the Smithsonian Institution, my African Ancestors were forced to become Africa-Americans and today some of us live in the White House.
I have something in common with Mr. Levar Burton the producer of “Roots”. In 2011 he was brought to Suriname, South America, the home of 120,000 Maroons, many of them are Descendants of the Akan Kromanti of Ghana, where Dominic DiPrima just visited. They won their Rain Forest home from European colonizers by war and treaty 255 years ago.
In 2015 the Maroon Women of the Caribbean (MWCoC), brought me there also, as the “NORTH AMERICAN MAROON REPRESENTATIVE” to Suriname’s National Maroon day Celebration. Mr. Burton knows who the Maroons of the America’s are. They were (like the Maroons of Suriname)the “Freedom Fighters of: Fort Mose, Fort Negro, the Seminole Maroons, John Horse and the Mascogos. Do we have to wait another 2 generations before Hollywood mentions their names” (call ends).
Concerning “Roots” the mini-series remake, my college professors at UCLA (extension school)taught us that the highest level of Artistic Achievement is Innovation, not a new and improved remake. A remake should be judged by a higher standard because it is using a “formula”. I would have preferred to have seen a “Beyond Roots” version that brought in other historical battles where formerly enslaved combatants fought under the banner of “GIVE ME LIBERTY” or “GIVE ME DEATH”. The precedents are there. The Maroons of Fort Negro should have been considered. Fort Pillow was important but it has the ring of “playing safe” by the Producers, since Black combatants are reported to have begged white soldiers for their lives and the high level after-action opinion by Confederate Generals was that it proved that Black soldiers were not equal to White soldiers.
As a member of the Alumni of Inner City Cultural Center, I shouldn’t break ranks with greats like Mr. Levar Burton,Mr. Laurence Fishburne and Mr. Forest Whitaker, while I did study at ICCC long enough to be considered an Alumnus, I’m not an Actor…I’m an ACTIVIST and I must as Frederick Douglas said …AGITATE.
On another note, I personally feel that we should work to identify African-American Descendants in the Diaspora by looking deeper into African embarkation and New World debarkation locations.
Phil “Pompey Bruner” Fixico, Seminole Maroon Descendant, Private-Sector-Partner of the National Underground Railroad/Network to Freedom 1998 Act, President of the Semiroon Historical Society and 2015 North American Maroon Representative to Suriname’s National Maroon Day Celebration.