Twist and Shout

Twist and Shout
Life is never straight (Joey Kulkin photo)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Trentonian TV Production Notes: Freedom Episode 15

"The Mist of Mystery" by D.L. Ennis at

TRENTON -- She wears a red Elmo T-shirt and a cool hair style that opens her face to the world. She pounds the African drums and picks the guitar and puts pen to paper to write lines such as "You've tried so hard to hide your stress from me, but I've traveled through the mist of mystery. And there I find you shivering in the cold, all I could think of is what should be told. To you, your family. To everyone around you."

Tameia Hamilton appeared on Episode 15 of Freedom to talk about being a 13-year-old who offsets the challenges of growing up where she does in Trenton by expressing herself through music, sports and words. She capped her appearance by reading "A Mother's Poem For A Mother's Dreary Days" and "Why?" In the 15 minutes leading up to those poems she talked about life. She writes poems because "it makes me happy and gives me a chance to express myself." She thanked "Mr. Thomas" for helping her strengthen her African drumming skills that "run in the family" and she threw a shout-out to Ms. Bethea, the principal at Joyce Kilmer School who called out her name one day and "made me feel like I wasn't a nobody." Where she lives is a tough place to grow up because "adults act like children instead of adults." What propels her is a "love" for her family, the "love we have for one another. We keep together." It's her family that spurs the passions of poetic words. In "Why?" she says that the person causing her pain looks at her as if she's a "piece of glass" and "sees straight through me." But, the child scolds, "Let me tell you one thing, honey. I will be seen. Not only will I be seen, but I will be HEARD."

It would be kind of cliche to say Tameia is the next Toni Morrison, who just won the Medal of Freedom, or the next Maya Angelou, who delivered a poem during the first black president's inauguration, or the next Tracy Chapman, and that's who Tameia really reminds me of with the words she writes.

No, Tameia Hamilton will be Tameia Hamilton. The basketballer will be going to a music school soon on a full scholarship. Thirteen and Elmo today, 21 and college degrees tomorrow, so much poetic ink between, she'll be HEARD as she's seen.

South Carolina-born, Brooklyn-raised Jade Perry of Jade Diva Promotions and Productions followed Trenton's 13-year-old poet and delivered her own poetic message. The wife of one of Trenton's very best men is hosting a Going Green Runway Show this Saturday at A Better Way (1040 Pennsylvania Avenue). It's an effort to teach locals how to clean the environment and recycle clothes. "Don't throw anything away," the motorcycle-riding runway-fashion diva said, "because someone else can use it."

The kind of women who love shoes are going to get a little wonky the second Jade pulls out her "Electric Thunderbolt". One of my journo friends who loves heels, after I sent her a picture, said, "I think those are even more than I can handle." I'm not sure RuPaul could handle those shiny 8-inch bolts. Must be a Sumpter-Brooklyn thing.

Dorcas Thomas was next. She was born in Seattle but moved to Willingboro as a kid, graduated Willingboro High and became a mom and got a job in corporate America. Then she was laid off during the '08 Recession. That's when she decided to pursue her passion for "hair and weaving". She went to hair school and started her vision of becoming "The Traveling Beautician" because "so many women don't like the salon experience" -- mostly because it takes up such a huge chunk of your day. So she goes to your house to do her work. Dorcas said that black women's hair is a massive obstacle for so many reasons. But she loves the challenge, and the rewards. "It's such a blessing to be able to make people feel good and conquer a lot of demons they have with their hair." She delivered a great line after telling Freedom she was an insecure child: "My name is Dorcas."

Dwight Hunter was the final guest, and the Trenton entrepreneur said a ton of wonderful things. I won't ruin it for him here. But it'll take only a few seconds for you to realize Dwight is a good man, a great father.

Here are production photos and below that the episode in full:

Tameia and Free (and Hunter Thompson)

A teen's hightops

The most bizarre photo my camera phone ever produced. (No Photoshop)

The pride of Trenton: The Shaws (Perry II, III, Jade and Zoey)

"A Mother's Poem For A Mother's Dreary Day"

Latifah Lewis: proud godmother

Jade: promoter, fashionista, diva, biker

With the accessories

Perry Shaw III should be Mayor Perry Shaw III

The Electric Thunderbolt

Recycled clothing: A dress made out of newspapers

Men and women and their shoes

Dorcas Thomas

Dwight's and Freedom's shoes

Dwight Hunter

With a serious point

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