*Released on March 10, the can’t-stop-watching documentary “A Kid From Coney Island” is in theatres throughout North America. The draw is raw, authentic emotion and insight from people who unfold the story behind the story of former NBA star, Stephon Marbury.
Marbury, known to many as Starbury, a name given to him by former NBA star Kevin Garnett, is the feature of the documentary. Marbury’s story is told mostly by the people closest to him, his mother, Mabel Marbury, three of his siblings, along with several former NBA stars including Ray Allen, Chauncey Billups, God Shammgod, as well as rappers, Fat Joe and Cam’Ron. They tell Marbury’s story with a depth and clarity that sheds light on the story behind his story.
Marbury’s story has to be told because two things become clear through the documentary: Marbury has a legacy of talent and promise, but he endured pressures and misunderstandings that could have destroyed him.
The documentary shows mounting criticism about his level of commitment, capability, and competence. Part of the questions about his mental stability may have stemmed from a series of live broadcasts that Marbury was making. Following a series of Marbury’s broadcasts, that seem strange at best and erratic at worst, one reporter asked if Marbury was “high or crazy.”
Out of context, Marbury’s actions created many assumptions; but, in a recent conversation with Stephon about his upcoming film release, he shared with me that I am one of the first to get this from him.
“So, I was doing live broadcasts, 10-11 years ago. When I was doing this, a lot of people wasn’t doing what they doing right now on IG…Nobody was doing it actually. I mean, you see celebrities now doing it. I laugh ‘cause them are the same people that were laughing at me for doing what it was that I was doing, but I was telling them like you going to be doing this too soon. You just don’t know you going to be doing it. And, I was doing it so much, and I had did like a 24-hour live broadcast straight and then…I had kept doing it over and over so I had lost my voice from talking so much. When I say lost it meaning like I was literally on my way to go to the hospital to get it checked, and…I was drinking tea, drinking tea trying to get it to recover back, and I really thought that I was like not going to be able to speak and talk…”
The Vaseline was a suggestion from his cousin’s 96-year-old grandmother who told him what to do with it, and when worked for him, he shared that as part of his broadcast.
In context, it is clear: Stephon was neither high nor crazy. He was mischaracterized and judged which came to be a constant problem because literally and metaphorically, people were not hearing his voice.
Unmistakably New York, for anyone who has experienced a real-life day in New York: the edge and grittiness are voiced throughout the documentary. But, the love, warmth and laughter are there in moments expected and unexpected, keeping it a story that anyone from any place can identify with.
For the great majority of the documentary, everyone else speaks about Stephon. Interestingly, he doesn’t speak directly until near the very end of the film. He appears in a few scenes and he expressed to me that one of those scenes was “the pivot point and the rise” and he humbly talked more with me about a scene from the film:
“At that moment is when I realized…what I have done in playing basketball and going all over the world and meeting so many different people, that was all full circle for me to be able to tell him that because obviously no one ever, ever told him that…being able to be able to share that with him: I thought that that was you know, a really monumental moment in the film.”
The scene involved Stephon talking with a young boy who has a lot of similarities with him. Stephon imparts some guidance to the youngster who afterward sits silently for quite some time before finally saying “No one ever told me that.” Stephon is then seen wiping away tears. It is clear he sees himself in the youngster. But, more importantly, Stephon sees himself and his story in all the young people who are growing up with similar adversities to his.
He shared with me:
“The documentary[‘s] name is “A Kid in Coney Island; it’s not Stephon Marbury in Coney Island. And, a kid in Coney Island, yeah it’s Coney Island. That’s us. Those are for all of the kids from Coney Island but, it’s for all of the kids all over the world that live the way how I grew up…not just kids that look like me.”
Currently, Stephon is doing what he dreamed of and he’s using his voice to inspire people. His deep faith and his commitment be conscious, aware, and present help him to guide everyone he encounters so that they take the information that he can share with them and they can “put it together, add it to what they’re doing and make different decisions based upon them going in the right direction.”
He further wants to help others “tap into their inner self to know…that they have a higher connection and a higher purpose for their lives so that they will never feel like they’re alone.”
Marbury’s documentary allows others to speak about him. It highlights some of his unparalleled skills in basketball. It shares his dad’s thoughts about dreams and shows Stephon living them out in many ways. Marbury’s triumphs and tragedies fill the minutes from start to finish.
After hearing about him from other people, and after speaking with him, Stephon’s documentary is what he says it is, a story about “all of us.” He sees basketball as his “gateway” to reach out to all people so that he can share what his experience has taught them, help them to make good decisions, and live like water, a concept of his “idol” Bruce Lee which he refers to during his documentary.
Stephon’s concluding comment in our conversation was his own understanding of the concept:
“Water is so powerful. It could, it could crash or it can flow, right. So for me, I like to use it in the way that it flows ‘cause if you look at water when it’s choppy and it’s crazy, right. But, when you look at it when it’s calm, when it’s cool … it, it looks pretty; it feels pretty. It can literally change your emotional mood as a human. And, for me, I like to try to be as smooth and as cool as I can along the lines of knowing that it’s going to be choppy, and it’s going to be…it’s gonna crash; it’s gonna be all of the different things so to just flow and move with the rhythm of the movement of what’s happening.”
Everyone can benefit from that ideal and from seeing Marbury’s triumph after things did crash for him, but are now flowing smoothly.
J. Jermayne (@JJermayne57) is the author of 6 published books, 3 are sports themed. Jermayne freelance writes and travels to cover sports and entertainment events.
The Virtual United Negro College Fund Tour Heads to NY, DC & NJ on Fri & Sat-Nov. 20 & 21 (EUR EXCLUSIVE!)
*African American students interested in going to college can attend the United Negro College Fund’s (UNCF) Fall 2020 virtual Empower Me Tour. Set for this Friday and Saturday (November 20 & 21, 2020), New York, District of Columbia, and New Jersey will be repped. (This year’s tour kicked off earlier this month in Wisconsin and Illinois). To register, go here.
The Empower Me Tour is an extension of the goals of the UNCF. Founded in 1944, the UNCF, a non-profit, has raised more than $5 billion and helped more than 500,000 students attend 37 private historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
The EUR caught up with Stacey Lee, the tour’s director for four years, who discussed the importance of the event.
“The UNCF is the nation’s largest provider of education support to minority students,” said Lee. “The Empowerment Tour has been executed for the past 12 years and last year along we offered over $12 million dollars in scholarships.”
Lee continued, “I think the great thing is that during these times, even with COVID-19, is that a number of corporations (Wells Fargo/P&/FedEx/Disney/Goldman Sachs) and donors have really been providing opportunity and financial access to our schools and students.”
The tour is packed with information and resources so that students and parents have the right tools to make informed decisions.
“It’s a free event that provides educational support, scholarships, interviews with colleges, empowerment, and information on how to get to and through college. We also provide this information for parents as well. We have a parent section that focuses on financial aid and the things you need to get your students to college.”
Lee continued, “Sometimes we have students that don’t realize that they can attend college. They can receive scholarships. Some of them don’t even know what an HBCU is. So, it’s inspirational for me to see these students receive this information and the excitement that’s around this tour.”
In addition to college information, panel sessions on issues affecting the community will also take place. Legendary rapper Bun B will be part of a special My Black Is Beautiful panel. The panel will have discussions with girls and boys and the MC will lead the male portion.
“It’s about empowerment,” Bun B told the EUR. “It’s vital for us to lift each other up and amplify each other’s voices. We just talk about now what that role is in this COVID world. And with everything that we are seeing with young Black men on television, we want to keep them motivated and centered. We want to make sure that they are not discouraged in this moment.”
Ever since Kamala Harris threw her hat into the presidential race and elected vice president of the United States, a spotlight has shined on the fact that she’s an HBCU grad (Howard University) and member of the African American sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha. These facts are not lost on the UNCF.
“Kamala has really boosted people’s awareness about HBCUs and (African American sororities) and the type of people that come out of HBCUs. HBCUS have also provided so many people from science, mathematics, and engineering programs (STEM).”
Bun B added, “We have more than enough examples to show you how beneficial an education from an HBCU can be. So, there is no reason to not be a part of an HBCU because the world is just as available to you as it is for anyone else attending any other type of university.”
New Music Buzz: Jazzy Rita Shelby’s ‘Goodbye 2020’
*SB Music presents “Goodbye 2020” a new single for the times we are in.
“Goodbye 2020” is performed by Jazzy Rita Shelby and written by Miss Shelby (ASCAP) and Eddie Lawrence Miller (BMI).
It’s the perfect anthem to end a year that has impacted the globe.
EURweb’s Jazzy Rita is also a prolific lyricist who has teamed up with Eddie Miller for “Goodbye 2020” because it was timely and convenient for the birth of a song such as this.
Eddie Miller is a coveted keyboardist & vocalist who performs regularly with Brian Culbertson and he’s the Rhodes Festival musical director. Jazzy Rita rose to notoriety as host & performer at The Starlight Jazz Serenade, an annual benefit concert in North Hollywood with an A list of stars. As a teen Miss Shelby was inspired to write songs by the legendary David Porter.
This year has been a year like no other. “Goodbye 2020” is an ode to the world for the year that we have seen and the hope that lies ahead. Radio Programmers click here for adds.
“Goodbye 2020” is released on the SB Music label and was recorded at Wishing Wells Studio in Canoga Park, CA. Willie Daniels and Mildred Black perform background vocals along with Jazzy Rita. The video is produced & directed by Jazzy Rita (LaRita Shelby), filmed & edited by Reggie Simon of Simon Vision Media, with wardrobe styling by Jazzy Rita and Poet Roni Girl’s Army Couture. “Goodbye 2020” is available on most digital platforms. Click here to listen on Spotify.
Celebrate Halloween with ‘Spell’ Starring Omari Hardwick, Loretta Devine and John Beasley / WATCH
*Today/TONIGHT is Halloween and what could be a more perfect way to celebrate than with the release of SPELL? Enjoy the clips below to get you in the spooky spirit!
Omari Hardwick (“Power,” Sorry to Bother You), Loretta Devine (“Black-ish,” Crash) and John Beasley (The Sum of All Fears, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks) star in the terrifying thriller SPELL, coming to Premium Video-On-Demand and Digital today October 30 from Paramount Home Entertainment.
While flying to his father’s funeral in rural Appalachia, an intense storm causes Marquis (Omari Hardwick) to lose control of the plane carrying him and his family. He awakens wounded, alone and trapped in Ms. Eloise’s (Loretta Devine) attic, who claims she can nurse him back to health with the Boogity, a Hoodoo figure she has made from his blood and skin. Unable to call for help, Marquis desperately tries to outwit and break free from her dark magic and save his family from a sinister ritual before the rise of the blood moon.
DIRECTED BY | Mark Tonderai
SCREENPLAY BY | Kurt Wimmer
STARRING | Omari Hardwick, Loretta Devine, John Beasley
AVAILABLE ON DIGITAL PLATFORMS | Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, DirecTV, VUDU, Xfinity, FandangoNOW and more.
Rating | R – violence, disturbing/bloody images, and language
Black Celebrity Gossip - Gossip6 months ago
Vanessa Bryant: Pro Athletes Sliding in DMs of Kobe Bryant’s Widow
Slider7 months ago
Clutch My Peaches!: Cynthia Bailey Reportedly Out and Offered Reduced #RHOA Role to Make Room for Phaedra Parks
Black Celebrity Gossip - Gossip6 months ago
Mike Pence Invites Candace Owens to White House for Talks on Race Relations
Black Celebrity Gossip - Gossip7 months ago
Trapped in the Closet? Fans Suspect Diddy’s New Girlfriend is Transgender [VIDEO]
George Floyd6 months ago
Jacob Pederson: St. Paul Police Officer Accused of Starting #GeorgeFloyd Riot [WATCH]
#BlackLivesMatter6 months ago
B(l)ack Stabbing Candace Owens Raising Funds for Cop who Killed Rayshard Brooks – Wants ATL Mayor Fired
News5 months ago
Ms. Robbie of ‘Welcome to Sweetie Pies’ Claims Son’s Ex Won’t Allow Her to See Grandson [VIDEO]
Apple News1 year ago
Inside Trump Winery Wedding of Candace Owens and Rich Brit George Farmer