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Apollo Uptown Hall Trial By Jury: The Case of the N-Word

Sunday, February 26, 2017 at 3:00 PM

The Apollo collaborates with creator Kyle Bowser to present Apollo Uptown Hall- Trial By Jury: The Case of the N-Word, an interactive community conversation to investigate one of the most provocative, polarizing, and debated words in America.  This dramatically staged program includes a fictional case and the audience serving as a jury to decide the outcome. Special guests will join to explore the word’s historic and current day resonance.

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Trial by Jury: The Case of The N-Word (Listen to Interview with Creator, Kyle D. Bowser)

*Santa Monica, CA, September 23, 2016 – The Eli and Edythe Broad Stage in Santa Monica presents Trial by Jury: The Case of The N-Word a one-of-a-kind interactive event on October 17 at 7:30pm. Trial by Jury: The Case of The N-Word, is an original fusion of dramatized litigation, deliberation and audience participation, which explores both sides of a very polarizing topic: the use of the “N-Word.”

PBS’ Tavis Smiley said, “I firmly believe dialogue is a device that greatly increases opportunity to reach understanding, appreciation, and respect. In short, words have power. Trial by Jury: The Case of The N-Word focuses on such an issue, as it probes the multiplicity of perspectives surrounding our nation’s most provocative word. This impactful production presents opposing perspectives and a constructive forum for articulation, consideration, and rebuttal.”

In Trial by Jury: The Case of The N-Word, Tiffany Johnson, a 9-year-old girl learns the “N-Word” during a Black History Month lesson. The school’s choice to include the word in its elementary curriculum disturbs her parents, who had taken precautions to shield her from this epithet.

The parents file a lawsuit against the school, seeking damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress. They argue that their daughter was too young and too tender and that the subject matter should be left to parents to administer. In their defense, the school argues that the lesson was age appropriate, and that the academic setting is most conducive for dissecting the intricacies of racial discourse.

From its inception, The N-word has both empowered and demoralized. It has become a linguistic lightning rod, separating friend from foe and defining respective politics and ideals.

During Trial by Jury a short film depicts the trial and subsequent jury deliberation. The audience then has a chance to have a live open forum to express opinions on the issue. The program ends with an audience vote.

Trial by Jury: The Case of the N-Word has been presented to audiences across the country to evoke conversation on the complex societal issue. To learn more about the production, visit trialbyjury.tv.

Now, as ever, opinions about The N-word span a wide spectrum of perspectives, including pro, con, and those that employ the judicial analysis of free speech – it all depends on the time, place, and manner. The range of opinions and attitudes are often influenced by cultural, generational, and psychographic factors, and qualifying distinctions are frequently made on the basis of pronunciation or ethnic eligibility to even speak the word.

CLICK HERE to Listen to an interview below with Kyle Bowser, prior to the play being presented at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles.

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KCRW Radio Interview

In American language, there are few words as controversial and divisive as the “N-word.”

This word that rhymes with trigger, can indeed trigger explosive emotions.

Film and TV producer Kyle Bowser has set out to explore the issue with a powerful new production called “Trial By Jury: The Case of the N-Word”.


READ MORE & LISTEN HERE

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Kyle Bowser on KJLH’s Front Page

Given recent events, the N-word has become a central focus in the news and social media.  Executive Producer Kyle Bowser visited KJLH’s Front Page to discuss society’s use, abuse, and fascination with the most infamous word in America.

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Bunche Center Endorses The Case of the N-Word

Founded in 1969, the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA was established with the mission to develop and strengthen African American Studies through five primary organizational branches: research, academic programs, library and media center, special projects, and publications.

Dr. Darnell Hunt PhD serves as Director of the Bunche Center, where he spearheads its many programs and initiatives.  In particular, Dr. Hunt has published and promoted an annual Hollywood Diversity Report, a probing analysis of the state of cultural inclusion within the globally impactful television, film, and new media industries.  The 2015 Hollywood Diversity Report is scheduled for release on February 25th.

The Bunche Center mission is aligned with the focus and sensibility of Trial By Jury: The Case of the N-Word, a docu-reality program that places the The N-Word at the center of civil litigation, including a trial, jury deliberation, and an open forum for audience feedback.  In fact, Dr. Hunt appears in the program as an expert witness.  The first exhibition of Trial By Jury: The Case of The N-Word will be held on Friday, February 20, 2015, at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center (4718 Washington Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90016).  The program begins at 8:00pm with a reception to follow.

 

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The Washington Post Joins The Case of The N-Word

In November 2014, The Washington Post, one of the nation’s most respected daily newspapers, printed a front page article entitled, The N Word, in which reporters Krissah Thompson and Dave Sheinin employed probing analysis to crack the code on one the nation’s most controversial words.  The article tackled the subject by compiling the opinions and testimony of multiple respondents, representing a cross-section of demographics and perspectives.  The print article was augmented by a rich-media website, also dedicated to uncovering the general regard for a word that spans the sensibilities of those who see it as a racial epithet, to those who interpret it as a term of endearment (http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/national/2014/11/09/the-n-word-an-entrenched-racial-slur-now-more-prevalent-than-ever/).

The common ground shared between The Washington Post article and the premise of an upcoming production from Res Ipsa Media, inspired the esteemed news service to contribute some of its journalistic assets to the live presentation of Trial By Jury: The Case of The N-Word.  While the Washington post does not explicitly endorse the program, it found synergies between the efforts of the two media companies to uncover the truth to be compelling and worthy of support.

Trial By Jury: The Case of The N-Word literally puts the word on trial, with testimony provided by plaintiff and defendant litigants and their respective witnesses.  A spirited jury deliberation reveals both the politically correct and often covert sentiments about the word and its use in social discourse.  Before the jury proclaims its verdict, an open forum allows the audience to participate in an interactive exchange.  The first exhibition of Trial By Jury: The Case of The –N Word will be held on Friday, February 20, 2015, at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center (4718 Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90016).  The program begins at 8:00pm with a reception to follow.

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