Our Roots Run Deep
Malcolm X May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965), born Malcolm Little and later was an African-American Muslim minister and human rights activist. To his admirers he was a courageous advocate for the rights of blacks, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans; detractors accused him of preaching racism and violence. He has been called one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history.
Malcolm X was effectively orphaned early in life. His father was killed when he was six and his mother was placed in a mental hospital when he was thirteen, after which he lived in a series of foster homes. In 1946, at age 20, he went to prison for larceny and breaking and entering. While in prison, he became a member of the Nation of Islam, and after his parole in 1952, quickly rose to become one of the organization's most influential leaders.
Louis Armstrong, nicknamed Satchmo or Satch, was an American trumpeter, composer, singer and occasional actor who was one of the most influential figures in jazz. His career spanned five decades, from the 1920s to the 1960s, and different eras in jazz.
Coming to prominence in the 1920s as an "inventive" trumpet and cornet player, Armstrong was a foundational influence in jazz, shifting the focus of the music from collective improvisation to solo performance. With his instantly recognizable gravelly voice, Armstrong was also an influential singer, demonstrating great dexterity as an improviser, bending the lyrics and melody of a song for expressive purposes. He was also skilled at scat singing.
Samuel Cook, known professionally as Sam Cooke, was an American singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur. Influential as both a singer and composer, he is commonly known as the King of Soul for his distinctive vocals and importance within popular music. His pioneering contributions to soul music contributed to the rise of Aretha Franklin, Bobby Womack, Al Green, Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Billy Preston, and popularized the likes of Otis Redding and James Brown. AllMusic biographer Bruce Eder wrote that Cooke was "the inventor of soul music",and possessed "an incredible natural singing voice and a smooth, effortless delivery that has never been surpassed".
Thirteen-year-old Benjie (Larry B. Scott) lives in a historic but declining neighborhood with his mother Sweets (Cicely Tyson), his grandmother Mrs. Bell (Helen Martin), and his mother's boyfriend Butler (Paul Winfield), a maintenance worker and former musician. Benjie appears to be well adjusted, living in a decent house with a loving family, getting good grades in school, and spending time with his friends Jimmy Lee and Carwell. However, internally he struggles with the pain of being abandoned by his biological father, his mixed feelings about Sweets and Butler, and a growing awareness of racism in society. At Sweets' urging, Butler tries to forge a fatherly relationship with Benjie, who rejects his overtures.
Dizazta indeed is everywhere. He recorded the title track for John Singleton's acclaimed film "Car Jacking". He created music for such television shows as "Fear Factor", Elimidate", "It's Christopher" and more. He was signed to Chris Stokes management team with Jackie "Jackpot" Wynn as the duo Poetic Punishment until a mutual separation agreement was reached. Poetic Punishment signed with Flatbroke Records and recorded three hits for the acclaimed compilation "Return of the West" which sold over 100,000 copies. After a hasty departure by the owners of Flatbroke Records Dizazta saw that the only way to accomplish any of his goals was to establish his own label.