Speaking of Brazil: "Maestrina da Favela" [trailer]

WHY?: Gotta love when things come right on time. Fresh off the news that [Brazil will host the 2016 Olympics], Falani Spivey sends over the trailer for her new film, "Maestrina da Favela"... "At the tender age of eight, Elen created a band infused with Samba, Swing, Reggae and African rhythms for the children of drug abused parents in her slum. From the former slave market town square of Pelourinho, Elen now 15 years old, has emerged from the Rocinha slum into a well respected musician and community leader for children all over Salvador. She moves beyond music and teaches children how to read and write during her spare time." Video after the break. (To top it off, check out the open letter from Bob Brown to Chicago's mayor, asking Richard M. Daley to humbly send a youth delegation to Rio, Brazil to address the violence in both cities' ghettos.)

An Open Letter to Mayor Richard M. Daley and all of the National Olympic Committees of the World: Take Hundreds, No Thousands, of Chicago Youth to Rio Immediately, in the Tradition and Spirit of the Olympic Games!

Your Excellency, Mr. Mayor:

I hope this email finds you, your family, the Chicago 2016 Committee, and the People of Chicago in the very best of Health and Revolutionary Spirits. Permit me to send this Open Email to you and to Oppressed Humanity in every corner of the World.

I believe that you know who I am, and therefore there is no need to waste time, paper or ink with introductions. I believe that you know that I did everything I could, despite my powerlessness, to defeat Chicago ’s bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games. I also believe that you know that I ask you for nothing personal as you have nothing to give me that I want or need. But deep down, in my heart and my mind, I want to believe that you are pragmatic and reasonable enough to receive this Open Email in the spirit in which it is given.

I am told that part of the Olympic tradition---the athletic tradition, is that the “loser” buys the pizza and beer, and the “winner” accepts victory graciously. I am an alumnai of Morgan Park High School in 1966, and we did not understand and were not taught this Olympic value and tradition. I respectfully request that you turn this moment, as President Obama and Oprah have said several times, into a teachable moment, a presidential moment, a mayoral moment.


You know “victory,” having lost very few votes in your political life, or the political life of your Father. I know “defeat,” having won very little in my 46-years of Movement work and study, sacrifice, suffering and struggle. Perhaps, I am not the best person to make this request, as I have nothing that I am capable of or willing to give you in return. But my humanity, my dignity, is affirmed by simply making this Open Appeal.

Please Sir,

In the spirit of Jesse Owens and Ralph Metclafe,organize a Delegation, through the 2016 Olympic Committee, of hundreds---no flood them with thousands of Chicago youth, to go to Rio immediately, to join hands and hearts with thousands, no tens of thousands of Rio youth, in the Olympic spirit, for the success of the 2016 Olympic Games, and to stop the violence for ever which plagues the ghettoes of Chicago and the favellas of Rio.

I am sure that Lula and Pele will kiss you, like you have never been kissed before. I am also sure that the youth of Chicago and Rio will remember you for eternity. Your legacy will be assured, even if not exactly as you planned. You have nothing to lose by implementing this Appeal, and everything to gain.

The greatest crime that anyone could commit is the crime of being ungrateful. I have nothing to offer you if you agree with this Appeal, except my eternal gratitude, and future disagreements, well fought, and well won!

Stay Strong!
Bob Brown