Category Archives: Black History

Final Day for Black History Month Quiz!

Today is your final chance to win a free drink and book by participating in the Second Annual Black History Month Quiz!

UPDATE:
Defending champion David Russell is staking his claim to defend his title.

Can anyone beat him?  The deadline is midnight tonight.

ORIGINAL POST:

Today is the end of Black History Month, and thus the final day to participate in the Second Annual Black History Month Quiz.

I posted the questions on February 25 and 26.

A book and a drink are on the line!

The Epic Life of Satchel Paige

Larry Tye tells the story of the colorful and ageless Satchel Paige.

Growing up in Boston during the 70s and 80s, I was a die-hard Celtics fan.

The 70s saw the Cs earn their first-two titles after the glorious and unprecedented 11 rings in 13 season known simply as the Russell era.

Toward the end of the decade, though, the team was in serious decline-a period that reached its nadir during the 77-78 and 78-79 seasons.  Under the ownership of former Kentucky Gov. John Y. Brown, the once proud franchise stumbled through two of its worst seasons and a selfish brand of basketball that for many was epitomized by Sidney Wicks and Curtis Rowe.

Tom “Satch” Sanders was the coach during part of the first of those seasons.  I did not realize, and was quite skeptical when my father told me, that the soft-spoken bespectacled man had played on half a dozen championship squads during the heyday and waning years dominated by Russell.

I also did not realize that his nickname came from a baseball player.

The Alabama-born, rubber-armed and ageless Leroy ‘Satchel’ Paige had earned his place as one of America’s sporting legend decades before my birth.

Larry Tye has written Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend, a biography of Paige that my dad and stepmother gave me and that tells the story of Paige’s fabulous life

I use the word fabulous deliberately because Paige seemed to obfuscate just about every significant detail about himself: his age; the number of teams he played for; the number of women he dated and married; and other more and less important information.

Certain stories from Paige changed from the first of his two memoirs to the second.

Tye spends a certain amount of time trying to uncover the truth in all of these accounts, and Satchel is more devoted to extolling Paige’s durability, his antics on and off the field, and the charismatic persona he cultivated.

By any standard, Paige had a remarkable career.

Whatever date one uses for his birth, there is little doubt that he joined the major leagues in his 40s, when he pitched effectively for the World Series-winning Cleveland Indians.

He also pitched three innings of scoreless ball at age 59, when he tutored then-rookie Jim “Catfish” Hunter in pitching ins and outs.

His persona was nearly as important as his pitching ability.  An inveterate prankster and storyteller who loved to be at the center of attention, whether he was pitching in Cuba, the United States, or anywhere else, Paige had a magnetic charm that few could resist.

Satchel is not just the tale of a genial sports icon, though.

Tye presents a generally admiring portrait of Paige that includes a warts and all element with his detailing the pitcher’s constant infidelity and erratic attention to other family members.

Tye argues that Paige is an unsung pioneer in the struggle for baseball’s racial integration-a feat that many know happened in modern times when Jackie Robinson broke the color line by playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.

Robinson’s selection hurt Paige deeply. 

The two men had little regard for each other: Paige thought he had been unfairly bypassed and derided Robinson’s playing abilities, while Robinson considered Paige little more than an Uncle Tom figure.

Tye maintains that Paige’s captaining black teams that barnstormed against white stars and his integrating a team in the 30s in one of the Dakotas constituted putting the key in the door that Robinson ultimately opened.

Jim Trapp, our IT head and resident expert on all things baseball, does not agree, and I must say that Tye’s argument was less than fully convincing.

Tye explains that he began the work’s germination came during his research for Rising From the Rails, his book about Pullman porters.    I enjoyed the previous work more, and found myself at times laboring to get through the Paige book. 

I did end up learning more about a unique American whose influence clearly extended beyond baseball.  Still, to paraphrase the master himself, I wouldn’t criticize you if you put this book down and didn’t look back.

Detroit’s National Profile, the Race Riots of 1943

 

These scenes of violence were common during the Detroit Race Riot of 1943.  Robert Shogan and Tom Craig's book looks at the events before and after the riot.

These scenes of violence were common during the Detroit Race Riot of 1943. Robert Shogan and Tom Craig's book looks at the events before and after the riot.

Beleaguered Detroit has been capturing a lot of attention from national magazines recently.

Sports Illustrated used  a recent Lee Jenkins cover story, “The Righteous Franchise,” to kick off a periodic series on the city.   The news division of parent company Time Inc. even purchased a house over the summer to provide a physical space for journalists to set up and do their reporting. 

Unsurprisingly, Time magazine is part of that project.  

The publication began its year long focus on the Motor City with a cover package by native Daniel Okrent with an accompanying sidebar about former NBA great and current Mayor Dave Bing and a powerful graphic that shows just how many of the city’s properties are abandoned.

Among other causes for the city’s decline, Okrent writes about the riots of 1967 that he says accelerated white flight from the city. 

I have not yet read John Hersey’s account of those tumultuous and bloody days, but look forward to doing. 

I have, however, recently read Robert Shogan and Tom Craig’s The Detroit Race Riot: A Study in Violence, a slender book that suggests that the departure of white people began decades earlier than when Okrent asserts. 

Published in 1964, the book is a bit dated-black people are referred to as “Negroes,” for example-and the authors do an effective job of establishing where the city and the nation stood when the riots occurred.  

Shogan and Craig devote some time to talking about Detroit’s comparatively robust economy during the period that earned it the name from President Franklin Roosevelt The Arsenal of Democracy, the influx of people, many of whom were black Southerners, to the city, and the more assertive posture many black people adopted toward the nation that was fighting for democracy abroad and enforcing de jure and de facto segregation at home.

From there, they move to describing the events of the riot, the main elements of which bear a disturbing similarity to many others before and since: decades of pent up frustration manifesting itself in initial racially-based skirmishes involving black and white youth; community escalation; disproportionate law enforcement being meted out on the black community; state and even federal authorities being brought in to quell the violence; the damage primarily being confined to the black community; and half-hearted measures to address the underlying causes by those in authority after the carnage had been stopped.

To their credit, Shogan and Craig probe deeper than the elected officials in identifying the various elements of discrimination perpetuated by the city’s educational leaders, real estate authorities and elected officials in creating the conditions that contributed to such an impassioned and physical response. 

Toward the end of the book they write about the restrictive covenants that real estate agents used to try to confine the surging black populations to specific neighborhoods.  The 1948 U.S. Supreme Court case of Shelley v. Kraemer made the enforcement of these covenants, if not the covenants themselves, unconstitutional.

This decision prompted much of the black movement than then triggered the white flight Okrent says began nearly 20 years later. 

Shogan and Craig end the book by talking about the activism in the black community that led to demonstration and marches, and, in 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. first uttering what two months later became his signature phrase, “I have a dream.”  

As he did at the Lincoln Memorial, King concluded his speech, “Free at last, free at last, free at last.”

Close to half a century after he uttered those words, Detroit residents may be forgiven for considering King’s dream an elusive reality.  But for those people wanting to go deeper than Time and Sports Illustrated’s take on the Motor City that is enduring enormously hard time, The Detroit Race Riot is a fine place to start.

R.I.P., John Hope Franklin

The late John Hope Franklin lived a remarkable full of accomplishment and social commitment.

The late John Hope Franklin lived a remarkable full of accomplishment and social commitment.

On Wednesday, groundbreaking historian John Hope Franklin took his last breath.

On January 15, a birthday he shared with legendary civil rights leader Martin Luther King,  Jr., he had turned 94 years old.

Franklin tells the story of his remarkable  life, albeit in a typically understated fashion, in Mirror To America: The Autobiography of John Hope Franklin.

This clearly written and insightful book starts with Franklin’s humble beginnings in an all-black community in Oklahoma, where he endured humiliating experiences because of his race.  Mirror to America continues hrough his education at Fisk University, his doctoral work at Harvard University and his long, distinguished and acclaimed career as an historian.

Mirror to America makes it clear that Franklin took seriously his role as historian and saw as part of his professional responsibility the importance of including the history of black people in America as a central, rather than peripheral part of the American story.

From Slavery to Freedom is his most well known and widely circulated book. 

First published in 1947, the work was repeatedly updated in the following six decades.  By some estimates it had sold at least three million copies.  The book helped contribute to the ultimately successful efforts of Thurgood Marshall and the rest of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund to overturn segregation through the collection of cases known as Brown v. Board of Education.

In addition to his scholarship, Franklin broke color barriers as an adminstrator, too.   He was the first black department chair at predominantly white Brooklyn College-a fact which inspired one of his mentees, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Levering Lewis-and the first black president of the American Historical Association

He remained civically engaged until his final days, endorsing Barack Obama for President in 2008. 

Franklin received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor, in 1995.  The nation is diminished by his loss but greatly enhanced by his socially committed and committed life.

Steve Biko Writes What He Likes

Steve Biko spells out his doctrine of Black Consciousness in this collection of writings.

Steve Biko spells out his doctrine of Black Consciousness in this collection of writings.

It’s been more than 30 years since Steve Biko died at the hands of South Africa’s apartheid government, but the power of his life still resonates.

The former medical student and founder of the Black Consciousness Movement is considered by many to be a martyr of the anti-apartheid movement.  His life has been commemorated in film-in Cry Freedom Denzel Washington played a saintly and non violent Biko who was the vehicle to show the growth of  white journalist Donald Woods, played by Kevin Kline-on t-shirts and in books.

I Write What I Like is a collection of Biko’s own writings, and is, in some ways, a more effective way to understand Biko’s thinking and actions.

I Write What I Like begins in 1969, shortly after Biko became president of the South African Students’ Organization.    Writing under the pseudonym Frank Talk, Biko articulates and promotes the doctrine of black pride and black consciousness throughout the book.

One of the book’s basic premises is that black people in South Africa must shape their own political destiny.  In order to do so, they had to decolonize their minds from the negative stereotypes, images and treatment they continually endured from white people and the apartheid government and celebrate their rich and vibrant culture.

This was a radical notion, particularly when evaluated in the context of the times.

Biko’s writings and activism came at a critical point and low period of South Africa’s liberation struggle.  Prominent leaders like Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu had been imprisoned and the Soweto uprisings of 1976 had not yet occurred.   In the film Amandla: A Revolution in Four Part Harmony, the late, great Miriam Makeba appears and sings about the movement’s mournful mood during those years.

Biko pushed against that, and instead urged black South Africans to chart their own path to freedom.  Clear and incisive, the writings are particularly interesting when one considers the  the assertions from many in the United States at the same time about black being beautiful.    I Write What I Like is long on general statements and shorter on a specific plan to reach the desired goal, although a look at the clinic and creche Biko founded despite being banned can be helpful on that front.

The book ends in 1972, when Biko was banned from publishing. 

Despite this prohibition and subsequent travel ban, Biko continued to agitate for a free and democratic South Africa.  His death in police custody after a seven-day hunger strike represented a major loss for the movement, the country and humanity.    I Write What I Like helps the reader understand both the contributions he made and the magnitude of the hole caused by his death at just 30 years of age.

And the winner is …

Davud Russell tames more than animals. He won the Black History Month Quiz, too.

David Russell tames more than animals. He won the Black History Month Quiz, too.

David Russell!!!!

David took first prize in the Black History Month Quiz.

For his victory, David will get one of the following:

a. A Kombucha drink of his choice.

b. A beer of his choice.

The prize is redeemable within a year at any location in which David and I are in the same place!

Congratulations, David!   And well done to Bob Yovovich, who earned honorable mention!

Here are the answers:

  1. Who founded Black History Month? Carter G. Woodson.
  2. Who was the first African American to receive a PhD. from Harvard University? W.E.B. DuBois
  3. Name two major events in black history that occurred on August 28. 1963. March on Washington, Obama receives the Democratic nomination in 2008, and Emmett Till’s murder.
  4. Who was the first black woman to receive the Nobel Prize in literature? Toni Morrison.
  5. Who was Chicago’s first black mayor?  Whom did he defeat in the general election?  What was the voter turnout percentage in the general election? Harold Washington, Bernard Epton, 79 percent.
  6. Which recently deceased Chicago author was a member of the black and gay lesbian writer Halls of Fame? Studs Terkel
  7. How many NBA championships have the Chicago Bulls won?  Name two black players who were on all of the championship teams. 6 championships. Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.
  8. Which famous black abolitionist was born Isabella Baumfree? What is her most famous phrase? Sojourner Truth. “Ain’t I a woman?”
  9. Who was born 200 years ago yesterday?  Why is his birthday significant in terms of black history?  Abraham Lincoln. He signed the 13th Amendment.
  10. Name three black editors and publishers of The Chicago Reporter. Alden Loury, Laura Washington, Alysia Tate.
  11. Who was the first black U.S. Supreme Court Justice? What is his most famous case? How many times did he argue in front of the Supreme Court?  How many times did he win? Thurgood Marshall. Brown v. Board of Education. 32. 29.
  12. Which Chicago female poet became the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1950?  Gwendolyn Brooks.
  13. Name five African Americans who have won Academy Awards for either best actor or best actress. Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Hattie McDaniel, Lou Gossett, Jr., Sidney Poitier, Forest Whitaker and Jennifer Hudson.
  14. What is the one-drop rule and why is it significant for black people in American history? One drop of “black blood” meant that the person was considered black.  It was used as the basis for enforcing segregation’s laws.
  15. True or false: The first black people to come to America were slaves. False. They were indentured servants.
  16. Name two of the three places in the U.S. Constitution where slavery is included but not mentioned by name. Extra credit: Name all three places. 3/5ths clause. Non-importation of slaves after 1808. Fugitive Slave Clause.
  17. Which three post-Civil War Amendments all dealt with African Americans?  What did they say? Amendments 13, 14, and 15.  Amendnent 13 deal with freeing slaves.  Amendment 14 discussed equal protection under the law. Amendment 15 addressed voting rights for black men.
  18. Who was able to vote first in U.S. elections: black women or Native Americans? Black women. Native Americans did not get the right to vote in national elections until 1924.
  19. Which black female talk show host became the first black woman billionaire?  What year did that first happen? Oprah Winfrey in 2004.
  20. What was the inspiration for Jay-Z’s name?  Who is his wife?  The subway lines in Brooklyn.  Beyonce Knowles.

Final Day for Black History Month Quiz!!!

Hey, folks,

Now is the time.

Today is your final chance to participate in the Black History Month Quiz.

David Russell is still in the lead.

The winner gets a prize!

For the final time, the quiz consists of the following:

Black History Month wraps up today with a quiz and a prize.

Black History Month wraps up today with a quiz and a prize.

  1. Who founded Black History Month?
  2. Who was the first African American to receive a PhD. from Harvard University?
  3. Name two major events in black history that occurred on August 28.
  4. Who was the first black woman to receive the Nobel Prize in literature?
  5. Who was Chicago’s first black mayor?  Whom did he defeat in the general election?  What was the voter turnout percentage in the general election?
  6. Which recently deceased Chicago author was a member of the black and gay lesbian writer Halls of Fame?
  7. How many NBA championships have the Chicago Bulls won?  Name two black players who were on all of the championship teams.
  8. Which famous black abolitionist was born Isabella Baumfree? What is her most famous phrase?
  9. Who was born 200 years ago yesterday?  Why is his birthday significant in terms of black history?
  10. Name three black editors and publishers of The Chicago Reporter.
  11. Who was the first black U.S. Supreme Court Justice? What is his most famous case? How many times did he argue in front of the Supreme Court?  How many times did he win?
  12. Which Chicago female poet became the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1950? 
  13. Name five African Americans who have won Academy Awards for either best actor or best actress.
  14. What is the one-drop rule and why is it significant for black people in American history?
  15. True or false: The first black people to come to America were slaves.
  16. Name two of the three places in the U.S. Constitution where slavery is included but not mentioned by name. Extra credit: Name all three places.
  17. Which three post-Civil War Amendments all dealt with African Americans?  What did they say?
  18. Who was able to vote first in U.S. elections: black women or Native Americans?
  19. Which black female talk show host became the first black woman billionaire?  What year did that first happen?
  20. What was the inspiration for Jay-Z’s name?  Who is his wife?

Black History Month is over …

but the deadline for the quiz has not yet arrived!  You still have until Friday!

Thus far reader, friend and master teacher David Russell is leading the way, with Bob Yovovich in second place.

For those just tuning in, the quiz consists of the following:

Black History Month wraps up today with a quiz and a prize.

Black History Month wraps up today with a quiz and a prize.

  1. Who founded Black History Month?
  2. Who was the first African American to receive a PhD. from Harvard University?
  3. Name two major events in black history that occurred on August 28.
  4. Who was the first black woman to receive the Nobel Prize in literature?
  5. Who was Chicago’s first black mayor?  Whom did he defeat in the general election?  What was the voter turnout percentage in the general election?
  6. Which recently deceased Chicago author was a member of the black and gay lesbian writer Halls of Fame?
  7. How many NBA championships have the Chicago Bulls won?  Name two black players who were on all of the championship teams.
  8. Which famous black abolitionist was born Isabella Baumfree? What is her most famous phrase?
  9. Who was born 200 years ago yesterday?  Why is his birthday significant in terms of black history?
  10. Name three black editors and publishers of The Chicago Reporter.
  11. Who was the first black U.S. Supreme Court Justice? What is his most famous case? How many times did he argue in front of the Supreme Court?  How many times did he win?
  12. Which Chicago female poet became the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1950? 
  13. Name five African Americans who have won Academy Awards for either best actor or best actress.
  14. What is the one-drop rule and why is it significant for black people in American history?
  15. True or false: The first black people to come to America were slaves.
  16. Name two of the three places in the U.S. Constitution where slavery is included but not mentioned by name. Extra credit: Name all three places.
  17. Which three post-Civil War Amendments all dealt with African Americans?  What did they say?
  18. Who was able to vote first in U.S. elections: black women or Native Americans?
  19. Which black female talk show host became the first black woman billionaire?  What year did that first happen?
  20. What was the inspiration for Jay-Z’s name?  Who is his wife?

Black History Month Quiz

Black History Month wraps up today with a quiz and a prize.

Black History Month wraps up today with a quiz and a prize.

Black History Month ends today, and, in honor of the month’s conclusions and the spirit of greater knowledge, I am making today’s post a quiz.

A prize is available to the reader who gets the most correct answers!

Feel free to submit the answers as comments.

Good luck, and thanks for a fantastic month! 

  1. Who founded Black History Month?
  2. Who was the first African American to receive a PhD. from Harvard University?
  3. Name two major events in black history that occurred on August 28.
  4. Who was the first black woman to receive the Nobel Prize in literature?
  5. Who was Chicago’s first black mayor?  Whom did he defeat in the general election?  What was the voter turnout percentage in the general election?
  6. Which recently deceased Chicago author was a member of the black and gay lesbian writer Halls of Fame?
  7. How many NBA championships have the Chicago Bulls won?  Name two black players who were on all of the championship teams.
  8. Which famous black abolitionist was born Isabella Baumfree? What is her most famous phrase?
  9. Who was born 200 years ago yesterday?  Why is his birthday significant in terms of black history?
  10. Name three black editors and publishers of The Chicago Reporter.
  11. Who was the first black U.S. Supreme Court Justice? What is his most famous case? How many times did he argue in front of the Supreme Court?  How many times did he win?
  12. Which Chicago female poet became the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1950? 
  13. Name five African Americans who have won Academy Awards for either best actor or best actress.
  14. What is the one-drop rule and why is it significant for black people in American history?
  15. True or false: The first black people to come to America were slaves.
  16. Name two of the three places in the U.S. Constitution where slavery is included but not mentioned by name. Extra credit: Name all three places.
  17. Which three post-Civil War Amendments all dealt with African Americans?  What did they say?
  18. Who was able to vote first in U.S. elections: black women or Native Americans?
  19. Which black female talk show host became the first black woman billionaire?  What year did that first happen?
  20. What was the inspiration for Jay-Z’s name?  Who is his wife?

Black History Month: Flavian Prince Tries to Interrupt The Pipeline.

The late Beauty Turner figures prominently in a powerful new documentary.

The late Beauty Turner figures prominently in a powerful new documentary.

I wrote yesterday about Jonathan Kozol’s Savage Inequalities.

Today, I am posting about a film that also deals with education: Interrupt The Pipeline.

The film’s genesis occurred a couple of years ago, when Flavian Prince was working as an administrator at an alternative school in Champaign, Illinois.

Within a short period of time, he made four important and related realizations:

a. He was receiving many students from jail, including youth as young as 12 years old.

b. The vast majority of those students were black.

c. Many of them were former public housing residents who had relocated with their families from Chicago in search of a better life after their homes had been demolished as part of the Chicago Housing Authority’s Plan For Transformation.

d.Part of the pattern was driven by a strong mismatch between the inner-city students and their interactions with their new teachers and administrators, who were woefully unprepared to teach them.

Last year, Prince moved to Chicago and started teaching at John Harvard Elementary School in the city’s Englewood neighborhood, where, again, his students were almost all black.

Harvard was a turnaround school.  This means that, while the students stayed the same, an almost entirely new crew of teachers and administrators were hired to help boost the students’ previously poor performance.

But Prince quickly understood that his students at Harvard were experiencing the same confluence of race, poverty, and physical and psychological dislocation through the city’s housing policies.

He also saw quickly that many of his students were headed to the same destination as the youth in Champaign.

Pushed and motivated by his students and their fates, Prince decided to do something about it.

Interrupt The Pipeline, a film that was a collaboration between Prince and his students, is the result.

Full disclosure: I worked with Prince on the film and The Chicago Reporter, the publication where I work, undergirds an accompanying chapter guide. I am also a board member of the mentoring program he has created.

Interrupt the Pipeline starts in Chicago and ends in Champaign, but Prince and his students show indelibly how the two are linked.   

Prince’s students drive much of the action-they did a lot of the filming, appear throughout the film, and did all of the music-but a wide array of adults, including parents, business owners, community activists like the late Beauty Turner, and teachers also appear in the film. 

The film has many poignant moments that illustrate the students’ innocence and youthful vitality being strained and shaken by the confluence of factors with which they must contend.

One particularly painful story involves Daniel, whose mother has moved him, despite her instincts, from school to school out of fear for his safety.  This included sending him to her former elementary school-a move she had hoped never to make.

In one scene, filmed in a car, Daniel recounts to Prince a litany of violence and death he has witnessed during the past five years .

Daniel calls his father to see if he has the forms Daniel needs to register for high school. 

“Hello, HELLO?” he yells repeatedly into the phone, trying in vain to make himself heard.

Telling his father that he is right outside the house does not elicit an invitation. 

The father does not have the forms. 

And Daniel says afterward that he is giving up hope. 

In another scene, Corey, who wants to be a massage therapist, stands in darkness outside the door to his home after having told about being shot at the week before.  A siren blares in the background.   Anxiety grows as the shot, which is taken from the ground and shows the boy at the top of a flight of stars, head slightly bowed, stays on the screen for 10, then 15 seconds. 

Corey’s admission into his house is just a temporary relief, though, as the viewer knows he must return to the same dangerous streets the next day.

In a different way, the Champaign section of the film illustrates the utter mismatch between students’ background and needs and what the system is providing. Student after student from Prince’s former alternative school tell heart-rending tales of violence they experienced by adults at school and of being arrested for jaywalking-he shows many students at the nearby University of Illinois campus crossing the street with impunity.

The result: the students are placed on an academic track that heads to prison, rather than to graduation, let alone a college education.  One of the film’s most jaw-dropping interviews comes with the man who provides the single hour of academic instruction per week for suspended students.

Interrupt the Pipeline is far more than a collection of individual stories designed to elicit pity from the viewer toward the helpless victims. 

Far from it.

Beyond the agency the students demonstrate in making the film, in interrogating a first-year teacher at Robeson High School about what it has to offer them, the film includes healthy doses of analysis, some of which is provided by Chicago Reporter Editor and Publisher Alden Loury and former colleague Fernando Diaz.  The fiery Turner is her inimitable and inspiring self-her embrace and encouragement of Sharonda, one of Prince’s students, toward the end of the film is profoundly moving. 

And Prince himself plans to make the film part of a larger effort to engage and empower youth.  He has created Project MAROONS, a mentoring program that will combine mentorship, internships and a curriculum in which The Chicago Reporter may appear prominently.  Part of Prince’s vision is to have the students eventually become mentors themselves for younger children. 

A first effort by Prince and his friend and fellow filmmaker Daniel Rudin, Interrupt The Pipeline has some rough patches with sound and transitions between scenes.  The film’s focus takes a while to emerge, crystallizing in the Champaign section.  Still, these minor challenges, which respectively illustrate Interrupt The Pipeline’s grassroots foundation and reflect a storytelling approach, in no meaningful way detract from the film’s power, moral outrage and call to action.