Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wanda's Picks Radio Show, July 30, 2014

We open with an interview with author, Doris I. Mangrum, whose A Soiled Identity: From Triumph to Tragedy and Back Again, tells the story of Darnell Cookson, former Marine and former felon as he rejoins society. However, this is not a typical rehabilitation story. Told in the protagonist's voice as if we were seated in his home one evening getting to know one another, we meet Darnell just as he arrives home from prison to new wife, new child and many relationships he has to restore, like that between he and his two older daughters by a prior marriage, and his kid brother who is making a bit too much money fast. Darnell tries to hold his head up when applications are rejected and interviews have no follow-up calls, but it is hard. Darnell's reentry is a community venture; each chapter ends with what Mangrum calls, "Choice Moments" where her audience gets to imagine a "what if?" In "Live Your Life," the reader is invited to learn from Darnell's experiences while we also gear up to participate in an "Idea Infusion," which per chapter is a way to make the returning veteran or prisoner feel welcome and supported, whether that is throwing a "just because" party for children whose parents aren't home (349) or developing a visitation and writing program for veterans in a VA hospital (171).

Doris I. Mangrum
is a nationally recognized motivational speaker, separation and reunification author, award-winning filmmaker, editorial columnist, family advocate, and television talk show host and producer. She is an authority on matters concerning the pangs of long separation and the reunification process. Her career spans over three decades with twenty-five of those years dedicated to families affected by incarceration, deployment, study abroad or any reason causing prolonged periods apart from loved ones.

Her radio and television broadcasting career includes:
2008 – 2009 – Pivotal Parenting Point with Doris Mangrum – KDYA Gospel 1190 AM – host and producer

2009 – 2013 - Let’s Saidiana – KDYA Gospel 1190 AM – host and producer

2013- present – Stop the Madness: Practical Ways to Influence the Incarceration Crisis – Berkeley Education Television – Comcast Channel 28 airing Wed., Aug. 6, 1 p.m. (PST)

Musicians Damu Sudii Alii (piano) and Paul Tillman Smith (drumset) join us to talk about the music, of course, but also a wonderful music series in two Oakland restaurants. The jam sessions are free and open to professional musicians to sit in on and play. See

The Village of Peace
(SFJFF 2014) tells the story of the Hebrew Israelites, African Americans who moved from America to establish a home in Israel. Directors and producers join us this morning to close the show: Ben Schuder, Director/Producer and his brother Sam Schuder, Producer.
Ben Schuder, Director/Producer – Born in Oakland, CA. Attended a high school program that inspired a passion for filmmaking. During the summer of 2005, Ben participated in a documentary workshop in Morelia, Mexico, where he helped teach students the art of documentary filmmaking. The experience motivated him to enroll in a film school in Los Angeles, where he graduated with honors. Since graduating, Ben has been working in the industry and gaining valuable experience while deepening his portfolio. In 2013, Ben co-edited the feature-length narrative film LICKS (2013), which premiered at SXSW Film Festival and won Best Picture at Chelsea Film Festival. The Village of Peace is Ben’s directorial debut.

Sam Schuder, Producer – A proud Oakland native, Sam grew up with a passion to create. In his teenage years, he made numerous short films, mostly improv comedies. In 2007, driven by his love for film, he moved to Los Angeles to develop his skills within the industry. He got a job in television production and gained valuable work experience. Sam's vision is to create content that inspires, empowers, and promotes positive social change. When he visited The Village of Peace for the first time, he realized that implementing his work experience to share the powerful story of the African-Hebrew Israelites would be a natural marriage.

Music this show: Ben Vereen: "Defying Gravity;" "With a Song in My Heart"

This weekend there are multiple events honoring the legacy if Mary Yuri Kochiyama who made her transition in May 2014. There will be teach-ins August 1-3, 2014.  We were going to play an interview with directors of a marvelous film about Yuri and Angela Davis, When Mountains Take Wing (first aired June 2010:    The film:


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