On Monday Sept. 13th at around 2pm the building that houses the afro-punk offices was set on fire. Apparently, the first floor failing clothing store owner, in an act of desperation, set a phone book on fire and took a little walk. Meanwhile Afro-Punk's director James Spooner was two flights up discussing his upcoming panel on music as a tool for black liberation with a colleague. "We heard the bell ringing and a lot of screaming and yelling" says James. The guilty store owner, alerted James and his friend of the blaze below. Thinking quickly James ran back into the office unplugged his Mac tower, which houses the documentary and hobbled down the stairs through the smoke and flames . "Man, maybe it was stupid, but this film has effected too many people for it to all end here, let the rest burn, I had to save it!"Link to the Afro-Punk website, link to paypal donation site, and e-mail the group for a list of non-cash donations they're seeking -- including office space, office supplies, and electronic equipment (VCRs, monitors, CD-Rs, DVD-Rs, and the like). (via pho list and Bob Davis of Soul Patrol)
Luckily fire fighters acted quickly on the scene and were able to stabilize the fire. Flames never reached our office but the NYFD destroyed the place trying to make sure the fire wasn't in the walls or ceiling.
After the smoke literally cleared they were allowed back up to access the damage. All in all it could have been worse. The Afro-Punk computers and camera are still working, the 200 hours of footage afro-punk was cut from seems to be okay and the work for our next film is safe. We did lose some furniture, a monitor and some vcrs from our dubbing station, but most tragic, we lost our donated office space.
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: firstname.lastname@example.org.