Martin Matthews in "The Hub"
Musician and studio artist Lawrence Matthews has always had a multimedia practice. He got interested in film creating music video albums
for his Don Lifted musical persona. Now, he has translated that video prowess into documentary film.
"The Hub" was directed by Matthews, who filmed and edited over the course of more than a year. It follows three young Black men, Martin Matthews, Najee Strickland, and Joncarlo Whitmore, as they try to navigate the minefield that is low-wage hourly work. Matthews highlights all the barriers which make making an honest living in Memphis so hard. Minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, and that makes building up any kind of emergency fund next to impossible. One unexpected expense and "the peanuts I'm saving are gone."
Just getting around in Memphis is trouble, thanks to the sorry shape of public transportation. "The bus is super-trash," says Strickland. "It's intentional that the bus is that way."
"The Hub" is a sobering, serious documentary which puts human faces on problems of poverty and oppression that are most often talked about only in abstract terms. Beginning today, Matthews is releasing it for free on Vimeo. You can watch it here: