NOMMO Productions, documentaries based on the Black experience.

All films are available for purchase.

The August Wilson Center
Building on a Legacy

This video documents the development of the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, which opened in downtown Pittsburgh in September 2009.

The half hour digital video traces important elements of the Center from concept to completion. The centerpiece is time-lapse footage of the Center’s construction from the ground up, culminating with the ascent of the ship’s prow–an architectural design element symbolizing pride and forward motion.

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Interwoven with this footage are interviews with the organizers who helped to create the Center and with family, friends and contemporaries who knew August Wilson and deeply understand the essence of his plays and his significance in Pittsburgh and the world. Also showcased are performances and exhibits that have been mounted in an ongoing effort to develop a presence and patronage for the Center. These represent many of the art forms, and both local and national talent, included in the Center’s programming. More than just the story of one Center, Building On A Legacy offers an example that emphasizes the importance of all such institutions to local and national culture and the uncertainties they face. The interviews and events are supported by music and archival film and Teenie Harris photographs from more than six decades in Pittsburgh history, August’s personal and professional story, and the Center’s development. Original music and narration by Charles “Rock” Dutton weave together this seamless presentation.

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The August Wilson Center
Building on a Legacy

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Wendell G. Freeland
A Quiet Soldier

Tuskegee Airman.  Civil Rights attorney.  Powerful advocate for the poor and disenfranchised.  Wendell Freeland devoted seventy years to fighting injustice wherever he found it, from the age of Jim Crow to that of Barack Obama.  He blazed a trail for racial equality by working largely behind the scenes in America’s courtrooms, boardrooms, and political backrooms.

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The half hour documentary “Wendell Freeland: A Quiet Soldier” tells the story of a complex and courageous man, whose long career helped shape an era of historic change.

Purchase your DVD today of Wendell G. Freeland A Quiet Soldier for $19.99
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We Are Universal

is a documentary film that recounts the influence of the “Black Is Beautiful” movement on the art of Black people. Scenes of arts organizations, performances, and lifestyles in four of the major urban areas for art in the country – Boston, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles – are interwoven with opinions of Black art from artists who were themselves major influences on the art then in the 1970’s, and who now have a place in Black history.

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Visual segues of two young boys as they explore their 
hometown from downtown to “uptown” combined with a musical score, written by Carl Atkins and featuring the performances of Gary Bartz and James Ntume, provide visual metaphors and thematic cues for the discussions of how Black culture has evolved. The conclusion of the film offers a projection of Black art 
that, as the years have passed since it was produced, remains undeniably accurate…
 That We Are Universal was produced in the 60’s, when ideologies of Black people had a major influence 
on all art forms, and that it is now a document, will have increasing importance in the years to come. Artists who appear in the film include Quincy Jones, Freddie Hubbard, Charles White, Nikki Giovanni, 
Don Lee, Hugh Masekela, Betty Carter, Lee Morgan and many others.

Purchase your DVD today of We Are Universal for $19.99 plus shipping.

Didn’t We Ramble On?
The culmination of ten years research by Dr. Carl Atkins, Didn’t We Ramble On traces the evolution of the Black marching band from 14th Century West African processions to present-day bands. The music, the pageantry, and the many uses of current marching bands have been irrefutably traced to centuries-old Yoruba processions by Dr. Atkins and confirmed by noted ethnomusicologists Dr. Eileen Southern and Dr. John Szwed. 

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Narrated by Dizzy Gillespie, this visually and aurally exciting film features performances of a West African procession, New Orleans jazz funeral procession and the Florida A&M University Marching Band. Archival photographs, depictions and music from Africa, Europe and the United States are used to underscore similarities in the evolution of this ancient art form. Didn’t We Ramble On won the “Best Film” Award in the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame and National 
Black Programming Consortium competitions in 1991. It also won, among other awards, a CINE Golden Eagle, a Blue Ribbon at the American Film & Video Festival, and a Director’s Choice in the Atlanta Image and the Black Maria Film Competition.

Purchase your DVD today of Didn’t We Ramble On? for $19.99 plus shipping.

Enough is Enough

On October 12, 1995 Jonny Gammage, a 31-year-old African-American businessman, churchgoer and volunteer, was pulled over by five white police officers while driving a Jaguar owned by his cousin, Pittsburgh Steeler Ray Seals. During the ensuing struggle Gammage was asphyxiated. There was shock and revulsion in the community, and thousands, both black and white, took to the streets to protest.

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Enough is ENOUGH! examines the criminal justice system and the procedural relationships among the 
law enforcement officers, the Coroner’s office, the District Attorneys, and the courts. Interwoven with the story line are interviews with prominent lawyers, politicians and activists such as Prof. Charles Ogletree 
of Harvard, Louis Farrakhan, Johnnie Cochran, Al Sharpton and many others. Enough. . . examines Jonny Gammage, the person, and the icon that is inextricably linked with the 
struggle to end police misconduct. It looks at the criminal justice system, and the focuses on how the community mobilized for change. Archival footage, newspaper clippings, animation, and narration tell the story of Jonny’s death and add 
the egregious police killing of Jerry Jackson in the same year. Police in that case also were found not 
guilty. In 2005, police were judged innocent by reason of “poor training” in yet another case of positional asphyxia. The lessons still have not been learned.

Purchase your DVD today of Enough is Enough for $19.99 plus shipping.

Roger Humphries 
Pass it On

Roger Humphries:  “Pass it On” is a half-hour documentary on this legendary jazz drummer and music educator.  Pass it On showcases Roger’s formidable talents as a musician and musical group leader, his skills as a teacher, and his inspirational dedication to his family, students, colleagues, and community.

Roger is known and respected among jazz fans and musicians worldwide.  “Discovered” by other musicians in the family when he was only three years old, at four Rodger was sitting in with the Tab Smith Big Band, where his Uncle Frank Humphries played. 

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At 14 he was playing professionally, and at 16 led his own group at Carnegie Music Hall. He has played, toured, and recorded for more than 50 years with such jazz greats as Ray Charles and Horace Silver and his own RH Factor quartet and Roger Humphries Big Band. Equally important, and less known than his discography of more than 20 albums, is Roger’s personal legacy. His talent has taken him around the world, but he has always maintained his connections to family and Pittsburgh, finding his deepest satisfaction in the successes of his students. His story is told in the words of those former students as well as interviews with family, friends, and other professional musicians, artfully interwoven with music footage both new and old, and Roger’s own communication in concert and classroom.

Purchase your DVD today of Pass it On for $19.99 plus shipping.