Film Discussion: River City Drum Beat

THU, AUG 6, 2020

Meet film director Marlon Johnson in discussion with Ed White, founder of River City Drum Corps, as well as Albert Shumake, the drum corps’ Director. The three discuss Johnson’s documentary about the drum corps established with Zambia Nkrumah in Louisville, Kentucky three decades ago.

“River City Drumbeat”​ is a documentary film produced by Owsley Brown​is a multigenerational story of music, love, and legacies set in the American South. Edward “Nardie” White devoted his life to leading the African-American drum corps he co-founded with Zambia Nkrumah in Louisville, Kentucky three decades ago. Together they inspired youth from their West Louisville neighborhood to thrive by connecting them with the art and cultural traditions of their African ancestors. Now Albert Shumake, whose destiny was shaped by the drumline, must take up the mantle for the next generation.

+ BIO: Ed White

Ed “Nardie” White, Founder and Executive Director of Louisville’s River City Drum Corps, is a pillar in the city of Louisville, KY, especially as it pertains to educating our youth and participating in community activism. In 1991, he and his wife, the late Zambia Nkrumah, started the River City Drum Corps, a west Louisville nonprofit arts and education based program for at risk youth and families.

+ BIO: Michon Boston

Michon Boston is founder and principal of Michon Boston Group Ltd., providing consulting and strategic planning to media makers and organizations on impact campaigns to reach and inspire their target audiences. Her client projects include the documentaries “River City Drumbeat,” “Hillbilly,” “Raising Bertie,” and media campaigns launched by ITVS, Firelight Media, Smithsonian Institution, AFI DOCS, and engagement events for films featured on PBS and HBO.

Boston has worked in television programming for PBS and was director of programs for DC Humanities, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. She is also a journalist and playwright. Her articles are published in The New York Times, Washington City Paper, The Washington Post magazine, Oberlin Alumni magazine, and The Root. Her play “Iola’s Letter: The Memphis Crusade of Ida B. Wells,” about the anti-lynching activist, suffragist, and journalist, is published in Strange Fruit: Plays on Lynching by American Women.

Boston is also a recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities grant for her research project, “A History of Black Women at Oberlin College,” which is now part of the collections of the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

+ BIO: Albert Shumake

Albert Shumake is the executive director and alum of the River City Drum Corp Cultural Arts Institute. As the newly appointed executive director Albert is devoted to using music and arts education to transform behavior, scholastic achievement, leadership, cultural awareness of its young participants.

+ BIO: Marlon Johnson

Marlon Johnson is a nine-time Emmy award-winning producer and director. He has worked on award-winning documentary films exploring music and cultural issues like Symphony in D (2017); Emmy- winning Sunday’s Best (2010) and Coconut Grove: A Sense of Place (2005). The Ford Foundation commissioned Marlon to direct the documentary Breaking the Silence (2006) which chronicled the rise of HIV infection in the Black-American South. Marlon served as Head of Production and Senior Producer/Editor for Plum TV and helped create TeleAmerica Broadcasting Network. His documentary Deep City: Birth of the Miami Sound (SXSW 2014) aired nation-wide on PBS. He has a B.S. in Communications from University of Miami.

Museum of African American History