Two weeks ago I went to a pre-premiere of the movie “Detroit” the week before its NYC premiere. The showing, which took place on a Friday afternoon at 4:30, was announced in the NY Times that day hence the theater was only about half full. Just before the movie started I noticed a very tall couple sit down in the row directly across the aisle from me. I remember vaguely thinking it odd that they didn’t sit down right in front of me since this is what usually happens!
This blog however is not about the movie, I will let you decide for yourself which of the diverse critical reviews you agree with. I will tell you that I thought it was a very raw & disturbing chronicle of events masterfully told. A must see for anyone interested in a closer look at how hyperbole can escalate into a series of deadly events. Sadly we seem to have learned nothing from the past- just open today’s newspaper or turn on the TV, history is tragically repeating itself in Charlottesville VA.
But back to my “Only in NYC Story” which includes the very tall couple across the aisle from me (notice a “very tall” theme here?!). When the movie ended I was emotionally drained. I was after all born and raised in Detroit and although Aaron and I moved to Akron 4 years before the riots we keenly felt the pull of invisible threads connecting us to every reported moment of those horrifying events in August of 1967.
When the movie ended I remained seated throughout most of the credits, I needed the time to compose myself. I slowly stood up as the house lights came on and was startled by a voice next to me asking what I thought of the movie. I was so riveted to the screen I hadn’t noticed that the “very tall” man had gotten up and was standing next to me and I stumbled through some sort of answer. He then told me he was born in Detroit and had attended Mumford High School-HUH???… was he clairvoyant, was he actually my very tall 30 years younger African American alter ego or was he really who he said he was and merely trying to engage in meaningful conversation? Since we were both transplanted Detroiters I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt plus I was glad to be able to have a dialogue about the troubling movie we had both just seen. He told me he had gotten his business start at Motown records just after Berry Gordy left for L.A. OK, I was interested but still too caught up in the events I had just witnessed onscreen to start my usual 20 questions (someone once asked me if I had ever considered hosting game show!) But not to worry, this man not only seemed like a pro but he also radiated pure charisma and was determined to hear my opinions.
By the time we moved out to the lobby at least 15 minutes had passed and it was time for me to relinquish him to his very patient wife. As we said goodbye he stuck out his hand and introduced himself. I shook his hand, gave him my name and told him I was now inspired to resume my blogging career 🙂
When I got back to my apartment I did just what you would do, I googled him. Well friends let me tell you about this charmer, he was indeed born in Detroit and did indeed go to Mumford High School (where he played football and was in ROTC), and he did indeed work at Motown records among many other top recording companies. The part we never managed to discuss is that he is the founder of one of the biggest entertainment and brand marketing companies in the world. BWP Marketing’s clients, as listed on his website, include some of the biggest brands and stars in the entertainment world, including Beyonce .
I can personally attest to this man’s ability to charm the birds out of the trees but just in case you have doubts I’ve pasted the following paragraph from his bio:
“As an analytical brand builder who specializes in lifestyle and consumer brands he delves deeply into consumers’ mindsets, analyzing insights to understand the customer journey: what makes a target interested in, try, fall in love with, and then become loyal to a brand. His experience spans categories including music, tobacco, telco, spirits and other beverages, and apparel”
Like I said, Only in NYC!!!