Shorts Program: Lonnie Holley, Kojo and He Who Dances on Wood

About This Episode

Presenting an AfroPoP shorts program...

Lonnie Holley: The Truth of the Dirt
An intimate portrait of a self-taught African-American visual artist and musical performer from Birmingham, Alabama. After a childhood beating by schoolmasters left him immobilized, Lonnie began creating when his mother gave him “art materials” to keep him busy. Influenced by his grandfather who created things out of found objects, Lonnie saw that he could use any type of material as a source for making beauty in a cruel world. An observed portrait, complimented by an intimate interview with the artist, Lonnie Holley documents a man who sees beauty in what others step on, step over, and leave behind.

The incredible story of Kojo Odu Roney, a twelve-year-old drumming prodigy. In the short documentary, Kojo speaks candidly on his talent, his tireless work ethic, the current state of jazz music, learning from his father and mentor, jazz saxophonist Antoine Roney, and much more.

He Who Dances on Wood
Every day Fred Nelson carries a weathered board into Prospect Park. He places it on the ground in a tunnel beneath a pedestrian bridge, laces up his tap shoes and begins to dance. The rhythm of his steps reverberates across the curved walls of the tunnel and radiates out into the world. This is Fred’s daily prayer. We come to see that Fred dances to forge a divine connection with the natural world, to absorb the rhythm in all things and to have “a conversation with God.” And in watching him dance, we join him on his daily journey to find the secret joy and beauty of life in an old piece of wood.