Sarah Schulman, Lupe Fiasco and Paying for Church

Author, activist Sarah Schulman, co-founder of the Act-Up Oral History Project, is out with a new novel, The Cosmopolitans, in which a group of mid-century East Villagers pull together to survive gentrification and modern life.

Meanwhile, musician Lupe Fiasco is starting a tech entrepreneur program in one of New York City’s poorest neighborhoods - we have an exclusive report.

And with so much to spend public money on, asks Flanders in her weekly commentary, why are taxpayers subsidizing church?


Laura Flanders: Sarah Schulman is a distinguished professor of the humanities at the City University of New York College of Staten Island. She's co-founder of the ACT UP Oral History Project and MIX the New York Queer Experimental Film Festival. Among her books that have become modern classics are the novels Rat Bohemia and People In Trouble and non-fiction Israel/Palestine and the Queer International, The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination, and My American History: Lesbian and Gay Life During the Reagan/Bush Years. Her 17th book, The Cosmopolitans, has just been released. She just starred in a film, Jason and Shirley. She's also my very long time friend. Sarah welcome to the program, welcome back, I should say.  

Sarah Schulman: Thank you.

Alexis Pauline Gumbs: So, Jason and Shirley. Who's Shirley?

Sarah Schulman: Well, in 1966 a very innovative, experimental filmmaker named Shirley Clarke, who lived in the Chelsea Hotel, interviewed a black gay man named Jason Holiday for 12 hours and edited it down to 90 minutes and this was the film Portrait Of Jason which is the very first record, on film, of a black gay man, in cinema. It's a very complicated film, it has some interesting things. It has some very exploitative things. Some of it is very distressing but for 50 years it's been this key film in the canon. And then a black, gay director Steven Winter decided to make a film speaking back finally to Portrait Of Jason. He cast me to play Shirley Clarke, he cast my beloved friend of 30 years Jack Waters to play Jason Holiday. We built a set that looked like the interior of the Chelsea Hotel in 1966 because of course the real Chelsea's been gentrified. We did a 12-hour improv in which we recreated the original 12-hour shoot, we shot everything and then he edited down to 74 minutes and that's our film, Jason and Shirley


Laura Flanders: Sharktank in Brownsville. Not so long ago, Laura Flanders Show producer Jordan Flaherty caught up with musician Lupe Fiasco. He's starting a new life as an entrepreneurial investor.

Lupe Fiasco: 

Excerpt from "Words I Never Said"

I've been in the music business for 15 years, so I've experienced a lot of companies advising, helping specifically from the music world and then that kind of leads into other businesses in other kinds of capacities. 

Excerpt from "The Show Goes On"

We're fellows at the Aspen Institute, a program called the Henry Crown Fellowship. Aspen Institute is a policy think tank / world-conquering institute of leadership and great minds and enlightened thinking and social activity, but more so from a business standpoint, so it's what can business do to affect and build a good society.

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