Richmond Artist With Talent has announced their current film project: “Romeo is Bleeding”, a documentary about young artists inspiring change in an impoverished city. The students of Richmond California’s creative writing group, RAW Talent (Richmond Artists With Talent), are no strangers to trauma as their city is small but the homicide rate is abnormally high, with teens killing each other over turf divisions between North and Central Richmond. Yet the students at RAW Talent have found their voices through spoken word poetry and are determined to change their city with their art.

While speaking with Donte Clark, the assistant director at RAW Talent, he informed me that the documentary is the introduction to their stage play: “Te’s Harmony” , a spoken word theatre piece written and performed by Richmond Youth and directed by Rooben Morgan. Youth members will present their modern-day rendition of Romeo and Juliet for the stage, creating an allegory for coming of age in Richmond. It is the classic tale of star-crossed lovers when Te from North Richmond falls for Harmony from Central and the two must fight for love in the midst of a turf war that has devastated their community for too long.

Donte Clark, artistically known as DonBlak, is a key contributor to this project. A 22 year old male from Richmond, Ca, who is an up and coming writer, performer and activist got his start as a participant in non profit organization, Making Waves Education After School Program. While attending this college prep program, he helped develop and build the creative arts program, RAW  Talent in fall of 2008. Donte turned his life around after being introduced to poetry, transforming from a troubled student into a community leader and role model.  Donte has devoted his life to creating a peaceful Richmond, because he has experienced first hand how violence and trauma can derail young lives. Along with the rest of the RAW Talent staff, Donte works every day to change the inner-city perspective of masculinity and end the cycle of violence in Richmond.

To make this vision come to life, the students have created a account to help raise funds for this production. So far the RAW Talent team has raised $21k from their goal of $25k. This number will allow payment for cinematographers, producers and equipment that will capture this story in the scope intended. This money will go towards travel and lodging, as well as miscellaneous costs of production.  It will also help to pay for the establishment of post-production, as we put together a longer piece for continued investment from other sources.

THE Hub had  the opportunity to interview Donte and here are a few quotes from our conversation:

THE HUB: What is your favorite documentary
Donte: Any 2pac documentaries are my favorite! When he speaks it gives such inspiration to me.
THE HUB: What high school did you attend/graduate?
Donte: I attended Vista Independent Studies, since I had trouble at school. I didnt go to college, it wasn’t for me.
THE HUB: Three words that best describe you
Donte: Passionate, goofy and misunderstood. I’m passionate when I do everything, I like to be funny and at times people don’t understand my vision or my perspectives”.
Who are your mentors? “There’s too many to name because I consider everyone who has encouraged me as a mentor. The top three I’ll name are from the Making Waves Program-Molly Raynor, Patricia Smith and Amanda Fuller.”
THE HUB: What do you want the people to know about “Romeo is Bleeding” and why?
Donte: We want to raise awareness about the outstanding violence in our community. I didn’t have any mentors growing up until I attended the Making Waves program, so to give back is what I will do everyday. We want to provide a safe place for young people to talk about their lives and showcase their talent.”
THE HUB: How do you feel about the funds you already raised?
Donte: It feels good to know people are supporting us-the project is coming to life! I wanted to do a documentary two years ago and I’m thankful people are seeing our hard work.
For more info about RAW Talent and to make a contribution go to
Submitted by Contributing Writer, Mioshi Jackson


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