Myles Dement ’23 Brings Spoken Word to the Screen for Juneteenth

Watch “You Do Not Know Me: A Spoken Word Film” on Vimeo starting June 19

As the university closes tomorrow in recognition of Juneteenth, we invite you to watch the upcoming spoken word film, “You Do Not Know Me” from Myles Dement ’23 Film and Television Production.

YDNKM Promo 5 18 213 - Myles Dement '23 Brings Spoken Word to the Screen for Juneteenth“This piece expands on themes of Black Liberation, Woman’s Independence, and police state violence within the frame of Tulsa’s history, as well as the history of the overall nation,” said Dement. “In 2020, after witnessing George Floyd’s valuable life violently taken at the hands of Minneapolis police, I felt catalyzed to transform all of my caustic emotions into what now, I must humbly state, has transformed into an audiovisual masterpiece.”

Shot in Oklahoma, and based on the spoken word poem “You Do Not Know Me” written in 2018 by Tulsa spoken word artists Amri’ Littlejohn and Kelanni Edwards, the piece features two significant locations connected to the state’s history: the Historic Buford Colony Church of God in Christ, a historically Black church in Sand Springs, where many of Greenwood’s survivors resettled (then called Buford Colony), and the intersection of Lewis Ave and 36th Street North, where Terence Crutcher was shot by police in 2016. The officer involved was acquitted of all charges. Coincidentally, this intersection is only miles away from the Greenwood District (aka Black Wall Street), the site of the Tulsa Race Massacre.

For Dement, the choice of location was precise and intentional. “Using spoken word and this historical background as a tool, my production team and I creatively illustrated these important themes, among several others. And as we shot this piece, the ground beneath us bore the stories, the lives, and the innocent blood of beautiful Black souls taken from us by state-sanctioned violence.”

You can catch “You Do Not Know Me: A Spoken Word Film” on Dement’s Vimeo page starting June 19, 2021.

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Images by Rachel Ray and Olivia Blackmon