A year ago today, 295 backers made the DIE JIM CROW EP come to fruition through a 118% funded Kickstarter campaign. By raising our full amount and beyond, dr. Israel [co-producer] and I [Fury Young, producer] were able to finish the DIE JIM CROW EP, release the DIE JIM CROW EP BOOK, and provide our generous backers with their rewards.
Now, a year later, we have launched the DIE JIM CROW LP Southern Trip 2017 crowdfunding page — check it out here. The Generosity page provides an itinerary for the trip, a budget, videos with Fury Young and dr. Israel, and more cool rewards for donors. Please spend ten minutes out of your busy day to check it out thoroughly — and spread the word, donate, help the cause. Below you’ll find the campaign video.
On this one-year anniversary, we’d like to take a moment to list all of the progress which the Die Jim Crow project has made in the past 12 months.
- May 1st, 2016: The DIE JIM CROW EP is released, a six-song album recorded with incarcerated musicians at Warren Correctional Institution (Lebanon, OH), and formerly incarcerated musicians in Brooklyn NY and Philadelphia PA. You can listen here.
- June 2016: Release of DIE JIM CROW EP BOOK in hardcover and paperback through 2Leaf Press. A full-color, 182-page, 8 x 8 book edited by DJC producer Fury Young and illustrated by Mark B. Springer and other prison artists.
- July 2016: Fury Young travels to Lancaster, CA, to meet DJC writer and famous poet Spoon Jackson. Young also records with students from POPS The Club in Venice, CA. Post-trip, Diejimcrow.com launches Blog section. See BLOG I.
- Summer 2016: Fury Young sends out all Kickstarter rewards, including the DIE JIM CROW EP special Vinyl edition. Coming soon to merch section of this site. If interested in copy, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- September 1st, 2016: dr. Israel and Fury Young pick up Norman Whiteside from Southeastern Correctional Institution, after 32 years in prison. We spend the following day recording music with Norm for the DIE JIM CROW LP.
- Fall 2016: Fury Young continues as a guest teaching artist at Achievement First Brownsville Middle School, where the 8th grade art class had studied the DJC project. dr. Israel comes in as recording engineer for second round of classes, and we record the students’ spoken word pieces, raps, and instrumentals inspired by DJC (some of which may end up on the LP!).
- October 2016: Begin shooting the “Headed to the Streets” video in Philadelphia, PA. The production is temporarily on hiatus due to budgetary limitations, but will continue production in coming months.
- December 14, 2016: Fury Young attends Tameca Cole’s parole hearing in Montgomery, AL, and she makes parole after 11 years in prison. Young also travels to New Orleans to scout formerly incarcerated musicians, and visits DJC lyricist Milishia Gosha at Lee Arrendale State Prison, GA. For more on trip, see BLOG VI.
- December 30, 2017: DJC lyricist Valerie Seeley is granted clemency by NY Governor Andrew Cuomo after serving 17 years of a 19-to-life sentence for 2nd degree murder. Seeley was in an abusive relationship and took the life of her partner in self defense.
- February 11, 2017: Fury Young interviews Maxwell Melvins. Melvins started the early 90s Grammy-nominated hip hop ensemble Lifers Group, while serving a life sentence at Rahway State Prison. Interview to be posted in coming months.
- February 2017: Author of “The New Jim Crow”, Michelle Alexander, submits endorsement for DJC: “The beauty of Die Jim Crow is that people behind bars are making music to educate and liberate. I’m thrilled that my work has helped to inspire this effort. This may be the first anti-prison album recorded behind bars, but I pray it’s not the last.”
- March 12, 2017: Valerie Seeley, now a free woman, reads her stories for “Three stories by Valerie Seeley,” a short film shot and edited by Fury Young.
- April 1, 2017: Launch of DIE JIM CROW LP Southern Trip 2017.
- April 6, 2017: One-year anniversary of DIE JIM CROW EP Kickstarter.
Much progress has been made in the past year, and there is a lot more to come. Die Jim Crow is still at the grassroots stage and we need your support. As the producer of the project, I know that grant funding is what we need, and I am setting my sights on foundations to apply for. I currently work full time, and grant-applying is something I have not had ample time for. The few I have applied for I’ve been denied from. That said, I will be transitioning to working part-time after I return from the DJC LP Southern Trip, and I look forward to applying to foundation funding en masse, so DJC can get the financial support that it needs.
Stuff to look forward to (just a few things…): an updated diejimcrow.com (this website is in need of some tune-ups and updates); more events and music performances (fall/winter 2017-18); third party distribution of EP (summer/fall 2017), remixes from Bill Laswell, Dub Gabriel, and dr. Israel; and, of course, the full length DIE JIM CROW LP.
Thank you everyone for your continued support of the project.