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‘Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee’ to appear on Centric in honor of MLK Day

Muta’Ali, you narrated and appeared in the film, was that difficult?

It was very difficult because I was doing it while knowing her mortality. To include a conversation between a grandchild and a grandson was a love story. To have had another person do it, the intimacy would have been lost.

Muta’Ali, did you ask Gram Ruby all that you should have?

I did get to ask her all that I needed to ask in 2014. When we were doing the audio mix to premiere at ABFF, Gram Ruby passed away. When I look at the old footage I feel a sense of calm. That heartaching regret is nowhere to be found. It was one of the best journeys I’ve gone on.

Jevon “NJ” Frank, what challenges did you face during the production of the film?

Most of the film was produced by myself and Muta’Ali, because of the lack of funds in the beginning of filming. It took a little over three years to complete, which was frustrating, but looking back on it, it was completed at the right time.

The film will also be available on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play Feb. 1 in time for Black History Month. For more information, visit

–lisa durden
“I’m a pop culture commentator and content creator who is child-free ’cause I wanna be!”
(Facebook, Twitter, IG, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, Flickr: @Lisardurden)

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