Digital Series Reboot Ideas Conversations

Reboot Ideas: Forgiveness

August 31, 2021

In honor of Yom Kippur, Reboot premiered the short and powerful visual poem Forgiveness with a post-film talkback between the filmmaker, poet and Blavity co-founder Aaron Samuels and Mahogany L. Browne, executive director of Just Media and Poet-in-Residence at Lincoln Center. Samuel’s Forgiveness explores the transitional spiritual space that we enter on Kol Nidre, during which we reckon with our shortcomings and enter a period of repair and reconciliation. Forgiveness interrogates the Jewish community’s collective atonement journey, grappling with the pandemic of COVID-19 and the pandemic of racism, which were intertwined and hyper-present in the years 5780 and 5781. Browne and Samuels discuss how Forgiveness challenges all communities to confront the work needed to cure the pandemic of racism, and how poetry can help to unite these communities towards justice.

Accompanying the short film, we have developed an educational toolkit to provide a framework for reflecting on the poem/film. Created by Kendell Pinkney and in partnership with Hillel International, the resource can be used by any audience. Download the toolkit here.

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Aaron Samuels

Poet and Entrepreneur

Aaron Samuels is the author of Yarmulkes & Fitted Caps, released by Write Bloody Publishing.  He is the recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem, Asylum Arts, and the Millay Colony for the Arts.  Samuels is a founding member of the Dark Noise Collective and ranked 3rd place at the Individual World Poetry Slam.  He currently lives in Los Angeles where he serves as Co-Founder of Blavity Inc. Aaron Samuels is Black and Jewish. 

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Mahogany L. Browne

​Poet. ​Writer. Curator. Organizer.

Mahogany L. Browne is the Executive Director of JustMedia, a media literacy initiative designed to support the groundwork of criminal justice leaders and community members. This position is informed by her career as a writer, organizer, & educator. Browne has received fellowships from Agnes Gund, Air Serenbe, Cave Canem, Poets House, Mellon Research & Rauschenberg. She is the author of recent works: Chlorine Sky, Woke: A Young Poets Call to Justice, Woke Baby, & Black Girl Magic. Browne is the founder of the diverse literary campaign, Woke Baby Book Fair and is excited for the release of her latest poetry collection responding to the impact of mass incarceration on women and children: I Remember Death By Its Proximity to What I Love (Haymarket Books). She is the first-ever Poet in Residence at the Lincoln Center and lives in Brooklyn, NY.