3 airplanes, 5 taxis, 2 trains and a new President I have finally arrived in Seattle safely. What a historic week this was and so much to share that this post is not enough. I arrived in New York City at 11 pm on November 4th and just as I caught a taxi to the hotel we listened to both candidates speech on a CBS radio station. Hearing a speech rather than seeing it on TV gives it a sense of true attention especially with the skyline of Manhattan in the background. As we arrived in Times Square the atmosphere was like New Years Eve again. Crowds were cheering and dancing while cars honked their horns and huge bright TV screens showed Obama walking on the stage with his family and Joe Biden. I took photos and caught some video footage while walking around but that was not why I was in town. As an African American I must admit that this was a moment that I will never forget. I am currently working on the first full length documentary on Lead Belly and we had a scheduled interview with Mr. Harry Belafonte and the legendary Odetta the day after the election. Belafonte spoke about how Lead Belly influenced him as a singer and an actor whenever he performed around the world. As an activist he spoke about how Barack Obama’s victory was a opportunity for people to really get involved politically and “make him do the work he has promised”. In case you still wondering who Belafonte is then maybe this song would turn the light bulb on. The journey had just begun.
As we took the train to Washington DC I received phone calls from friends and family telling me to buy them copies of the newspaper since they were selling out everywhere. Well as I was walking around Penn Station I could not find a single copy of the New York Times or Washington Post then I read a Tweet from fellow MCDM students saying newspapers were alive again! The next interview was Arlo Guthrie and he was the funniest comedian I have heard to play a guitar, he spoke about his father Woody Guthrie and Lead Belly’s friendship during a time when segregation was the law. You can see some photos of the interview at Bookido Flikr.
Then I had a chance to see in real life a actual museum of the history of media and newspapers. The Newseum is truly a fascinating interactive museum that highlights the history of print media and even has a television control room for live broadcasting. There are touch screen monitors that allow you to see article and headlines from most of the worlds major events. From the Watergate scandal to 9/11 to the building of the Panama Canal you can see what was really happening during those times. Too bad I only had 30 minutes in a place that actually takes three hours to really absorb. So my recommendation is that if anyone is traveling to Washington DC they should visit the Newseum. This really put our program and classes in perspective to actually see the early funeral for print media but at the same time witness digital media being used to explain its purposes.
Here are some articles that I read while traveling: