Opio Lumumba Sokoni
Opio Sokoni is an activist, professor and filmmaker. He is about to release a film called Street Stars that he shot mainly in Jacksonville about the importance of people who are stars on the streets working to decrease violence and tragedy on the streets. He is also the author of “Black Culture Voiced: From the First Civilizations to Hip Hop.” Opio is a Howard University law school graduate and human rights activist. He taught briefly as an adjunct professor at Portland State University and currently teaches Criminology at Jacksonville University. For five years, Opio worked as the General Manager of Portland, Oregon’s historic KBMS radio where he self-produced a politics and Hip-Hop radio show. He has also worked for the Drug Policy Alliance, Amnesty International and interned for TransAfrica Forum. Mr. Sokoni has appeared on C-SPAN and multiple times on the O'Reilly Factor as a commentator. An activist filmmaker, he has written, directed and produced five documentary films - including "Bessie Coleman Flying the Blues," a look into the life and times of the first black woman to fly an airplane. Opio has written numerous screenplays and is the author of an award-winning children’s book entitled – “I Want to Be a Lawyer When I Grow Up.” His activist manual – “Poli-Tainment” has been used by students and political figures. Mr. Sokoni also has a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice from U.N.F. with a minor in Public Administration. He has released several e-books including – “Treason, Abolition and the Long Seminole War,” and a research on race, media and policing; entitled “Controlling Blue.” He is the past president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Jacksonville, Florida. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. helped to create the SCLC in 1957 to fight for justice in the United States.
Name: Opio Lumumba Sokoni
Lives in: Jacksonville, Florida
Occupation: Director, Filmmaker, Narrator and Screenwriter
Unique traits: Artist Statement When I make films, things happen. Filmmaking has become the best method for me to express something that has to be acted upon. I’m an activist. I use filmmaking to place people into motion on an issue. I have been successful. The beginning of the process for me begins when an idea or some issue grabs me tight and I can’t stop thinking about it. But it’s in the post production where I really get to become an artist. This is when you see an idea actually becomes life right in front of your eyes. This current project gives power to those that U.S. culture shuns – our street stars.