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Contemporary Black Canvas
64 minutes | Nov 30, 2020
EP 27 Scholar Therí A. Pickens
Welcome to Contemporary Black Canvas, I am your host, Dr. Pia Deas. In today’s episode, I had the pleasure of interviewing scholar Therí Alyce Pickens about her most recent work Black Madness::Mad Blackness published by Duke University Press in 2019. Currently, Therí A. Pickens is a Full Professor of English at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. She received her undergraduate degree in Comparative Literature from Princeton University and her PhD in Comparative Literature from UCLA. Her research focuses on Arab American and African American literatures and cultures, Disability Studies, philosophy, and literary theory. In addition to her most recent work, Black Madness::Mad Blackness, she has written New Body Politics: Narrating Arab and Black Identity in the Contemporary United States. She also ushered in a new set of conversations about Blackness and Disability when she guest edited the 50th anniversary issue of African American Review in the Summer of 2017. In this episode, we will be discussing how Dr. Pickens’ work as she describes it, “ aims to architect a series of conversations that retool our theory and praxis for and about the Black mad and the mad Black.” Please join me in welcoming Therí Alyce Pickens. Twitter: Therí A. Pickens Website: tpickens.org Octavia Butler: Fledgling To find Dr. Pickens: Personal Twitter: TAPPhD Professor, English Chair, Africana (formerly African American Studies) Bates College To Find Dr. Pickens’ Work: Author, Black Madness :: Mad Blackness (Duke 2019) Editor, Arab American Aesthetics (Routledge 2018) Editor, Special Issue of African American Review on Blackness and Disability (2017). Available here. Author, New Body Politics (Routledge 2014) Authors Mentioned on Show: Tananarive Due Nalo Hopkinson Tavia Nyong’o Paule Marshall Gayl Jones Percival Everett Toni Morrison Mat Johnson The post EP 27 Scholar Therí A. Pickens appeared first on Contemporary Black Canvas.
65 minutes | Sep 22, 2019
EP 26 Poet Geffrey Davis
In today’s episode, I had the pleasure of speaking with award winning poet Geffrey Davis. Davis has authored two successful books Revising the Storm, a 2013 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize winner and most recently Night Angler , the recipient of the 2018 James Laughlin Award. Geffrey Davis is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Arkansas. His work has been widely published and he is the recipient of numerous awards and has earned fellowships at Bread Loaf, Cave Canem, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Vermont Studio Center. His work explores the depths of familial frustrations, milestones in new parenthood and the process of mending wounds from generational trauma. Join us as he shares his unique journey of finding purpose in poetry, shares advice on “hacking our inhibitions” and discusses the importance of his most recent poetry collection, Night Angler, as an “ongoing love letter to his son.” The vulnerability and honesty of his story underscores his message for listeners to “love the body that produced this work as much as you love the art itself.” To read more on Geffrey, hear selections of his poems, or see his upcoming reading schedule, please visit his website. F. Douglas Brown Icon and Begotten Cave Canem Black Poetry Retreat Jericho Brown The Tradition Tiana Clark I Can’t Talk About the Trees Without the Blood The post EP 26 Poet Geffrey Davis appeared first on Contemporary Black Canvas.
24 minutes | Mar 24, 2019
BAM EP 5 Scholars, Dancers, and Choreographers: Dr. Osumare and Dr. Dixon Gottschild
Welcome to Contemporary Black Canvas. I am your host, Dr. Pia Deas. On this episode of Contemporary Black Canvas, we are sharing an audio recording entitled “ It’s A Commitment,” an audio recording. This audio piece features esteemed dance scholars Dr. Halifu Osumare and Dr. Brenda Dixon Gottschild. This is part of a larger, artists’ interview series conceptualized and hosted by Margaret Kemp, an Associate Professor of Theatre and Dance at UC Davis, and produced by Alexander Adams. They were kind and generous enough to ask us to share this recording with Contemporary Black Canvas to include as part of our Black Arts Movement series. For links to the guests and their work, please check our show notes. Please tune in and enjoy. Scholars Margaret Kemp Halifu Osumare Brenda Dixon Gottschild Books Dancing in Blackness The Africanist Aesthetic in Global Hip Hop The Black Dancing Body Black choreographers moving: A national dialogue Everybody Creative Arts Center Black Choreography Moving Towards the 21st Century Digging; The Africanist presence in American performance, dance and other contexts The post BAM EP 5 Scholars, Dancers, and Choreographers: Dr. Osumare and Dr. Dixon Gottschild appeared first on Contemporary Black Canvas.
70 minutes | Mar 10, 2019
EP 25 Scholar Rashad Shabazz
Welcome to Contemporary Black Canvas where we celebrate the depth and breadth of Black artistic and intellectual traditions. In this episode, I had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Rashad Shabazz, an Associate Professor of Justice and Social Inquiry within School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University and an affiliate faculty member at the Lincoln Center of Applied Ethics. Dr. Shabazz’ research interests are in human geography, Black cultural studies, gender studies, and critical prison studies. He joined us on our show to discuss his book, Spatializing Blackness: Architectures of Confinement and Black Masculinity in Chicago. Join us and hear how Dr. Shabazz’s growing up in Chicago shaped him as a person and a scholar. Hear how Chicago police, law enforcement, and city officials responded to the influx of Blacks into Chicago during the great migration. Hear Dr. Shabazz explain, in depth, what “prisonize” is and how it shaped the Black experience in Chicago during the 20th century. Join us for a deeply moving and transformative conversation about how the structures of prisons are replicated in the everyday living spaces and living environments of Black Americans. To learn more about Dr. Shabazz and his work, please check out his book Spatializing Blackness and keep an eye out for his future work on the development of the Minneapolis Sound. Rashad Shabazz Spatializing Blackness Minneapolis Sound Native Sons Stateway Garden Robert Taylor Homes Levee Richard Wright Mumbai Abu Jamal Angela Davis Assata Shakur Govan Mbeki Ruth First Nelson Mandela The post EP 25 Scholar Rashad Shabazz appeared first on Contemporary Black Canvas.
69 minutes | Mar 3, 2019
BAMAA EP 4 Scholar & Activist Abdul Alkalimat
Welcome to Contemporary Black Canvas, I am your host, Dr. Pia Deas. In this episode, I had the pleasure of speaking with scholar and activist, Abdul Alkalimat. In our conversation today, he begins by discussing how influential his family of activists and scholars were on his early development and his lifelong commitment to the freedom struggle. Our discussion focuses how he, together with Conrad Kent Rivers and Hoyt Fuller, founded the artist’s collective, OBAC, the Organization of Black American Culture in Chicago in 1967. We discuss OBAC’s role in Black Arts Movement and in creating the Wall of Respect mural. The Wall of Respect, a mural of black leaders, changed the tone of Chicago, strengthened its Black community, and inspired a thousands of artists across the country to not only embrace the Black Arts movement but to also create cultural murals in other neighborhoods. The story of OBAC and the Wall of Respect was captured through a combination of essays, and artifacts in his book The Wall of Respect: Public Art and Black Liberation in 1960s Chicago edited by him Robin Crawford and Rebecca Zorach. Dr.Abdul Alkalimat has been and continues to be a substantial force in the black community. Currently, outside of his long career in academia, he is maintains a variety of digital archives, including one focused a collection of his work and pertinent information related to liberation movements since the 1960’s and the other is a dedication to Malcolm X. Throughout his career, Alkalimat demonstrates the importance of knowledge to freedom and survival. He urges listeners to keep generational records as they are an “important part of our DNA”. To find his work, please check out his website: www.alkimat.org. http://brothermalcolm.net Malcolm X dedication Site http://alkalimat.org Abdul Alkalimat archive http://www.nupress.northwestern.edu/content/wall-respect Wall of Respect Book https://interactive.wttw.com/dusable-to-obama/africobra Africobra Information http://www.pbs.org/black-culture/shows/list/underground-railroad/stories-freedom/henry-box-brown/ Henry Box Brown’s Bio https://interactive.wttw.com/dusable-to-obama/dawsons-black-machine William Dawson’s bio https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/encyclopedia/jackson-joseph-harrison Rev. J. H. Jackson’s bio https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2017/feb/24/jeff-donaldson-art-kravets-wehby-gallery Artist Jeff Donaldson & Africobra https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/margaret-burroughs Margaret Taylor-Burroughs’ bio The post BAMAA EP 4 Scholar & Activist Abdul Alkalimat appeared first on Contemporary Black Canvas.
67 minutes | Feb 24, 2019
EP 24 Curator Meg Onli
Welcome to Contemporary Black Canvas. I am your host, Dr. Pia Deas. This week we had the pleasure of speaking with Meg Onli, the current Assistant Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia. Please join us for this two-part series. In this episode, we speak to Meg Onli about her life and work as a curator. In part two, we speak to Meg Onli and a guest artist about Onli’s latest exhibition, Colored People Time, an exhibit in three chapters that opens in February 2019 and closes in December of this year. Please see our shownotes for the link to this exhibition. In this episode, I talk to Meg Onli about her move to Chicago in 2005 to pursue graduate school and a career as a conceptual artist and how she realized that she was better suited to be a curator. Before she joined the ICA as an Assistant Curator, Onli was the Program Coordinator at the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. She was also the recipient of the Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant and the creator of the website The Black Visual Archive. Meg Onli’s first exhibition Speech/Acts at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia (2017) focused on Black poetry in order to explore how the social constructs of language have shaped the black American experience. To find out more about the current exhibit please visit www.icaphila.org. For more information & exhibition dates and times visit Institute of Contemporary Art For more on Meg Onli’s new exhibit (February 2019) visit : Colored People Time: Mundane Futures Artists Meg Onli mentioned on this episode: Carolyn Lazard Aria Dean Matthew Angelo Harrison Otobongnkanga Claudia Rankine Dr. Kellie Jones Harryette MullenM Tony Lewis Brooke O’Hara Sharon Hayes Julia Bloch Simone White Up and coming artists: Carolyn Lazard, Cameron Rollin, Aria Dean Matthew Angelo Harrison Resource she relies on: Other artists Words you live by: To find happiness in my own labor Where can we find your work: Institute of Contemporary Art The post EP 24 Curator Meg Onli appeared first on Contemporary Black Canvas.
47 minutes | Jan 26, 2018
EP 23 Visual Artist, Architectural Designer, and Poet Komi Olaf
On this episode, I am joined by CBC’s research assistant, Jasmine Newton. In this episode, we interviewed architectural designer, poet, and visual artist, Komi Olaf. His visual art has been inspired by asking the question, “What does African heritage look like with technology?” He thus, imagines a world where colonization does not exist and instead a world in which hybridity and a mixture of culture and identities have emerged and flourished. Not only has his visual art explored Afrofuturist concepts but his spoken word poetry and architectural design has also utilized this technological lens at the intersections of race, culture, and identity. Bringing art and technology at the forefront, his work challenges social and cultural norms by imagining and reimagining worlds beyond perceived confinements. He is also apart of MadeMill, a collective of professional developers whose mission is to “ make product creation and social innovation accessible, affordable, in order to connect the services and resources necessary to move an idea into reality.” Olaf was recently apart of a group exhibition entitled, AfrOURban. This collective’s objective is “to document and express the many characters of the metropole on the [African] continent and how these inform culture or are informed by it. Tune into this week’s episode to hear more about his migration from Nigeria to Canada and how he uses art as a means to navigate through these two identities and the challenges he has faced as an artist. You can find Komi Olaf’s work at his website komiolaf.com where you can purchase his works, commission for art work and watch his spoken word poetry. References Mentioned On the Support: Kaduna Caravaggio Johannes Vermeer Salvador Dali Shane Koyczan Jalel ad-Din Muhammad Rumi Khwaja Shams-ud-Din Muhammad Hafez-e Shirazi Zaha Hadid Ben Enwonwu Frank Gehry “Roots:The Saga of an American Family” by Alex Haley Leonardo Davinci British Colonization of Canada “Sankofa Eagle Clan” “Cairo” “Space Party” “Barbershop Blues” Autobiography of Malcolm X Chikis “Silent Night” What is Black Art? Sara Golish Future Histories Ottawa Canadian Festival of Spoken Word Mademill by Prototype D “Afro mobile” Red River Rebellion Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene Freedom: The Courage to Be Yourself by Osho Imagine by Jonah Lehrer Up and Coming Artist You Recommend: Allan Andre Resources You Rely On: Books Words You Live By: “Be Your Future Self” How Can Our Listeners Find and Support Your Work: Komiolaf.com Twitter Instagram The post EP 23 Visual Artist, Architectural Designer, and Poet Komi Olaf appeared first on Contemporary Black Canvas.
64 minutes | Jan 13, 2018
EP 22 Educator Khalilah Brann
Welcome to Contemporary Black Canvas, where we celebrate the depth and breadth of the Black artistic and intellectual traditions. I am your host, Dr. Pia Deas. Before we begin, I want to encourage all of our listeners to check out our new and beautifully re-designed website. Our website now gives a much better a more comprehensive understanding of all of Contemporary Black Canvas’ projects. Be sure to check us out! Let us know you’re listening! Underneath our “About” tab, click on “Contact Us” to sign up for our newsletter, send us feedback, or recommend an artist. You can find us at www.contemporaryblackcanvas.com In this episode, I interviewed Khalilah Brann, an educator, and education activist, writer, institution builder, and publisher. Her career as an educator has fueled her passions for teaching and decolonizing the minds of underrepresented and misrepresented communities across the country. She is the founder of CREAD, Culturally Responsive Educators of the African Diaspora, whose mission is to “ to support teachers, educators and community members in ensuring the positive racial identity development through education of young people of the African Diaspora.” Most recently, she has also co-founded and launched her publishing company, DeColonizing Education. Their first book, co-written by Khalilah Brann and Chemay Morales-James, the ABC’s of the Black Panther Party, was published in December 2017 and is now available. Their book includes extension activities and learning guides for educators and parents. The book is skillfully designed to appeal to ages 7-12. Tune into this week’s episode to hear more about her transformative junior year of highschool, her successful and humbling moments in the classroom, and the individuals who shaped and nurtured her teaching passions. You can find Khalilah Brann’s work at her CREAD website at creadnyc.com and you can purchase a copy of the ABC’s of the Black Panther Party at decolonizinged.com. For Colored Girls Autobiography of Malcolm X Push Tira Randall CREAD ABCs of the Black Panther Party Decolonizing Education Publishing Company Paulo Freire Michelle Alexander Interviews Angela Davis Assata: An Autobiography Thinker, Educators, Liberators You Recommend: Teach Freedom by Charles M. Payne and Carol Sills Strickland Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome by Dr. Joy Degruy Dr. Geneva Gay Pedro Noguera Gloria Ladson- Billings Resources You Rely On: Humans Youtube and Google Words You Live By: Assatta Shakur’s Chant: “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.” [therefore I must execute and revise] Where can our listeners find and support your work? creadnyc.com The post EP 22 Educator Khalilah Brann appeared first on Contemporary Black Canvas.
66 minutes | Jan 1, 2018
BAM Ep 2: Jae and Wadsworth Jarrell
Welcome to Contemporary Black Canvas, where we celebrate the depth and breadth of the Black artistic and intellectual traditions. I am your host, Dr. Pia Deas, in this episode, we interviewed painter, sculptor, and printmaker Wadsworth Jarrell and fashion designer Jae Jarrell. Their works, contributions and founding of the AFRICOBRA Movement has been inspired by the need to continuously uplift and empower their communities with art that is colorful, joyful, and strong. The Jarrells along with other founding members, Jeff Donaldson, Barbara Jones-Hogu, and Gerald Williams formed the collective in 1968 in Chicago. They believed that their skills could be better put to use by creating art rather than protesting and thus made revolutionary art that instilled pride and possessed a heavy political aesthetic. Jae Jarrells fashion designs which were inspired by the Black Arts Movement and the individuals who would adorn these pieces as they fought for liberation and equality. Likewise, Wadsworth Jarrell’s visual art was inspired by Black leading figures, Black life in Chicago, and jazz. Their artistry taps into their philosophies and principles of creating art that reflected the “electricity of the atmosphere” during the revolutionary movement. From Jae’s early exposure to the arts and design to Wadsworth’s experience in the military, tune into this week’s episode as they take us back in time to 1968 and the start of it all: A moment where political and social issues needed to be addressed through art and the burgeoning of the creation of a new African American school of thought and artistic language to meet the needs of the times. Art Institute of Chicago Jeff Donaldson Barbara Jones- Hogu Kevin Cole Gerald Williams AfriCobra Principles The Revolutionary Suit Revolutionary (Angela Davis) Black Prince The post BAM Ep 2: Jae and Wadsworth Jarrell appeared first on Contemporary Black Canvas.
74 minutes | Jan 1, 2018
BAMAA Ep 1: Poet and Press Founder Naomi Long Madgett
I am delighted to welcome you to a new series within the larger Contemporary Black Canvas series. This month in honor of Black history month we are premiering the first two episodes of our new, on-going series, the Black Arts Movement Audio Archive. The Black Arts Movement Audio Archive is the first audio archive of its kind preserves the voices of artists important to the Black Arts Movement and scholars whose emerging work in the field provide us with a deeper understanding of the Black Arts and Black Power Movement. You can find this new series on our website by clicking on the left header “podcast” and then selecting Black Arts Movement Audio Archive. This is an ongoing and developing series and episodes will be released periodically through the next year and beyond. This week we had the benefit of speaking with Dr. Naomi Long Madgett, esteemed and award-winning Poet, Educator, and senior Editor of the Lotus Press. Dr. Madgett’s career and press coincided with the Black Arts Movement and while her aesthetics do not place her directly within BAM, she is still an important poetic voice whose work defies easy literary periodization. Born in 1923 she has been blessed to see the genesis of many great eras and wars that influenced her early years & recollections of life. After attending the first high school for African Americans west of the Mississippi, Sumner High School, Dr. Madgett then returned to her home state to complete her college education at Virginia State University. Join us in discussion of her family history, living through world wars, traversing prejudice, and how an intimate relationship with her father strongly shaped her convictions and deep admiration of lan guage and literature. Learn about the foundations of Dr. Madgett’s affinity for poetry and her steady ascension to prominence in community with fellow poets, writers, and great figures of the African American intellect. Additionally, join us to hear about her friendship with Langston Hughes and the day she met Countee Cullen at his home. Enjoy a dialogue rich in our history and sprinkled with excerpts from Dr. Madgett’s autobiography, Pilgrim Journey. Click here for more information & to purchase Dr. Madgett’s publications: https://www.naomilongmadgett.com/publications-available For more information visit: https://www.naomilongmadgett.com/ Paul Laurence Dunbar Herbert Woodward Martin Rosewood Massacre The Simple Stories by Langston Hughes My Lives & How I Lost Them by Christopher Cat in collaboration with Countee Cullen The post BAMAA Ep 1: Poet and Press Founder Naomi Long Madgett appeared first on Contemporary Black Canvas.
83 minutes | Dec 31, 2017
EP 21: Tommy Joshua, Founder of North Philadelphia Peace Park
In this episode we had the pleasure of speaking with Tommy “Junebug” Joshua, the founder & visionary behind the North Philadelphia Peace Project. Joshua is a Philadelphia native with deep roots in the rural Greensboro, NC. Strong family ties led to deeply vested communal bonds during his adolescence & well into adulthood that heavily influenced the mission of his work. Explore the history of his family, the Doggetts, the impact of industrialism on Philadelphia, & learn how both his city experience and his country roots translated into his early activism. Joshua’s recognition of the necessity of having a safe space, his fervent desire to address the socio-economic issues that plague many Black communities, and his realization that a vegetable garden and school would provide an essential nourishing space in his home community, inspired him to create the North Philadelphia Peace Park. The North Philadelphia Peace Park is a community garden with plans for a school. The North Philadelphia Peace Park generates individual and communal agency by promoting the value in returning to our roots, living off the land, and providing food in a food apartheid system. The North Philadelphia Peace Parks seeks to stress community by utilizing the motto: “what you can contribute please do; what you need please take.” For more information about the North Philadelphia Peace Park, please check out their Facebook page. Join us & tune in. For more information, please visit: http://phlassembled.net/m/sovereignty/index/north_philly_peace_park/ Interested in getting involved, donating, or researching some of the programs mentioned? Click these links! University of Pennsylvania Diverse Design Program https://www.design.upenn.edu/diverse-design Occupy Philadelphia http://occupyphilly.org/ Tommy Joshua’s Hip-Hop Influences: Ice Cube: Death Certificate https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-QWNMi4yJao KRS-One: You Must Learn http://youtu.be/RDd7UbJmdmw Public Enemy: Rebel Without a Pause http://youtu.be/q0b0jIaCEHU To volunteer: Work Party every Sunday at 2216 W. Jefferson in North Philadelphia To donate/contact: North Philadelphia Peace Park of CultureTrust Greater Philadelphia 1315 Walnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19107 The post EP 21: Tommy Joshua, Founder of North Philadelphia Peace Park appeared first on Contemporary Black Canvas.
45 minutes | Dec 31, 2017
EP:20 Supreme Dow
This week on Contemporary Black Canvas we are pleased to present our first co-hosted interview. On this episode, I, Dr. Pia Deas, am joined by our CBC Research Assistant Madison Washington. Stay tuned to hear our engaging and inspiring interview with Supreme Dow, founder and executive director of the Black Writers’ Museum, located at Vernon House in Vernon Park, a large community park in Philadelphia’s historic Germantown neighborhood. The Black Writers Museum is a cultural archive featuring a vast collection of Black literature. Since its opening in 2010, the museum has been an intergenerational inspiration to the Germantown neighborhood and beyond, providing exhibits, tours of their collection, book signings by renowned authors, and the annual People’s Poetry and Jazz Festival. Dow was born and raised in Germantown. Germantown served as a focal point for activism during the 1960s and 1970s. His parents were committed to education and activism and they were instrumental in nurturing his lifelong appreciation for Black literature. Dow’s favorite Black writers include: Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Amiri Baraka. Dow was inspired to establish the Black Writers Museum – the only of its kind- because he believes the museum, through its exhibits and programming, fosters critical dialogue about Black literature and culture. The museum is housed in the historic Vernon House in Vernon Park at 5800 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA. To support the museum, visit them at http://blackwritersmuseum.com/ or call (267) 297-3078 to schedule a visit. The post EP:20 Supreme Dow appeared first on Contemporary Black Canvas.
55 minutes | Dec 31, 2017
Ep:19 Jeri Lynne Johnson
On this episode of Contemporary Black Canvas, I had the pleasure of speaking to Jeri Lynne Johnson, a conductor and the founder of Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra. Jeri Lynne Johnson is deeply committed to building the diversity of the contemporary orchestra and its audience. On this episode, we learn about her love for classical music and how attending her first symphony when she was seven years old, shaped her decision to become a conductor. Ms. Johnson was so passionate about conducting that earlier on in her career, she conducted for free in order to gain experience and master her craft. As she grew more as a conductor, she was faced with discrimination in the workforce. In response to her own experience, she created the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra in Philadelphia with the goal of having the orchestra and the orchestra audience reflect the diversity of the city it is in. Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra in Philadelphia serves as a model for the contemporary twenty-first century orchestra. Once word got out in Philadelphia that there was a Black conductor and a diverse orchestra, Ms. Johnson has had the support of the local black and latinx communities and quickly gained national recognition for her work. Check Out: –Marin Alsop –Paul Freeman –Jason Ikeem Rodgers Quick Fire Round: An upcoming artist that we should be excited about: Ifetayo Ali Words that you live by: Tell everybody that you love them while you can. Favorite resource: My favorite resource is sunlight. I love the sun. I would sit in a sunny patch all day long like a cat. I always want to meet outside because the weather is so beautiful. Where can we find and support your work? You can always support us online. We just updated our website and you can stream and listen to us online as well. Our upcoming programs are listed on our website: https://www.blackpearlco.org/ The post Ep:19 Jeri Lynne Johnson appeared first on Contemporary Black Canvas.
54 minutes | Sep 20, 2017
EP 18 Poet and Educator J Mason, III
On this episode of Contemporary Black Canvas, I had the pleasure of speaking to J Mase, the III, a Black/trans/queer poet and educator. He is also the founder of AwQuard the first ever trans and queer people of color specific talent agency. He is author of “If I Should Die Under the Knife, Tell My Kidney I was the Fiercest Poet Around” as well as “And Then I Got Fired: One Transqueer’s Reflections on Grief, Unemployment and Inappropriate Jokes About Death.” As an educator, J Mase has worked with thousands of community members in the US, the UK and Canada on the needs of LGBTQIA youth and adults in spaces such as k-12 schools, universities, faith communities and restricted care facilities among others. On this episode, we talk about he came to realize that poetry was his ministry, the development of his voice as a poet, and how he came to speak truth to power in white progressive spaces. Check him out on Facebook, twitter and of course Awqward Talent Agency. Check Out His Work: JMase Performs J Mase Website Facebook Huffington Post Articles Ambiguous Power Guy Check Out Work He Recommends: Trans Sistas of Color Project Trans Justice Funding Project Reggie Cabico Vita E Lamont Dixon Saul Williams Yellow Rage Dane Figuero Edidi Proudly African and Transgender QuickFire Round Resource You Rely On: Noor, a Queer Muslim Group Words You Live By: God Is Still Speaking How Can We Find and Support Your Work: Awqward Talent Agency JMase Performs J Mase Website Facebook The post EP 18 Poet and Educator J Mason, III appeared first on Contemporary Black Canvas.
59 minutes | Aug 7, 2017
EP 17: Mixed Media Visual Artist Amber Robles-Gordon
On this episode of Contemporary Black Canvas, we had the pleasure of interviewing the mixed media visual artist, Amber Robles-Gordon. She primarily works and is known for her use of found objects and textile to create assemblages, large-scale sculptures and installations. Her work is representational of her experiences and the paradoxes within the female experience. Robles-Gordon has over fifteen years of exhibiting, art education, and exhibition coordinating experience. She completed her Masters of Fine Arts from Howard University in November 2011, where she has received annual awards and accolades for her artwork. She has exhibited nationally and in Germany, Italy, Malaysia, London, and Spain. Throughout her career, she serves as an advocate for the Washington, DC area arts community. As of November 2004 through July 2012, Robles-Gordon has been an active member of the Black Artists DC, (BADC) serving as exhibitions coordinator, Vice President and President. Robles-Gordon is also the Co-Founder of Delusions of Grandeur Artist Collective. Tune in to this episode to learn the important female influences on Amber’s life, her artistic practices, and the power of visual journaling as a source of healing and transformation. To find out more about her work, visit her website at amberroblesgordon.com. Mentioned on the Show: Black Artists of DC Resource I rely on: Sunlight Favorite Quote: Stay on the path – you will have no choice Where to Find Amber Robles-Gordon: https://www.amberroblesgordon.com/ The post EP 17: Mixed Media Visual Artist Amber Robles-Gordon appeared first on Contemporary Black Canvas.
31 minutes | Jul 20, 2017
EP 16: Special Edition – BlackStar Film Festival 2017
On this 1/2 hour special edition of Contemporary Black Canvas, we are highlighting the sixth annual BlackStar Film Festival 2017. For this episode, we were delighted to welcome back festival founder Maori Holmes (Episode 5) and independent filmmaker M. Asli Dukan (Episode 10) to talk about this year’s festival. The sixth annual BlackStar Film Festival, held in Philadelphia August 3rd to 6th 2017, showcases black filmmaking from around the world with more than 60 works screened. The theme of this year’s Festival is resistance, and BlackStar will be honoring Ava DuVernay at its annual Awards Ceremony, headlined by Pharoahe Monch at World Cafe Life on August 5th at 7:30 pm. You can find out more information about the parties, exhibits, films, the shorts program, the youth program, and roundtables and purchase tickets or register for the free events at blackstarfest.org. To donate to support the tremendous work of this and future festivals, please go to blackstarfest.org/donate. To find out more about M. Asli Dukan’s work, including the short she is premiering at BlackStar, Resistance: The Battle of Philadelphia, please visit her website. The post EP 16: Special Edition – BlackStar Film Festival 2017 appeared first on Contemporary Black Canvas.
59 minutes | Jul 7, 2017
EP 15 Dr. Russell Rickford and We Are An African People
On this episode of Contemporary Black Canvas, I had the pleasure of interviewing historian Russell Rickford about his most recent book, We Are An African People: Independent Education, Black Power, and The Radical Imagination. Dr. Rickford is an Associate Professor of history at Cornell University. In we are an African People, he traces the development of Black Nationalist schools across the country in the 1960s and 1970s. He contextualizes this movement within a larger history of the period and within the impulse towards Black Nationalist thought in the African American tradition. More specifically, he discusses how these schools, despite their differing political ideologies, shared a commitment to cultivating Black awareness, reviving Pan-Africanism, and thinking about political and cultural connections across the diaspora and with Africa. He discusses the political evolution of these schools. Join us to hear Dr. Rickford discuss his early days as a cub reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, his work with the late Dr. Manning Marable’s Malcolm X project, and how his interest in Black Nationalism led to two of his books, a biography Betty Shabazz, Betty Shabazz: A Life Before and After Malcolm X and more recently his scholarly work We Are An African People published by Oxford University Press this past spring. He is also the co-author, with his father, Dr. John Russell Rickford, of Spoken Soul: The Story of Black English, and the winner of an American Book Award. You can find Dr. Russell Rickford’s books at your local independent bookstore. You can find Dr. Rickford blogging on the African American Intellectual History Society at AAIHS.org. And, before we get to the interview, for our listeners in the Philadelphia area and beyond, we want to encourage all of our listeners to attend BlackStar Film Festival this August. The sixth annual BlackStar Film Festival, held in Philadelphia August 3rd to 6th, 2017 showcases black filmmaking from around the world with more than 60 works screened. The theme of this year’s Festival is “resistance,” and BlackStar will be honoring Ava DuVernay at its annual Awards Ceremony, headlined by Pharoahe Monch at World Cafe Live on August 5th at 7:30 pm. For more information, and to purchase tickets, visit blackstarfest.org. For Your Easy Reference: We Are An African People How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America Manning Marable The Malcolm X Project The Martin Luther King Papers Project Betty Shabbazz by Russell Rickford The Philadelphia Inquirer Black Power Stokely Carmichael Frantz Fanon Freedom Library Day School Spoken Soul: The Story of Black English The post EP 15 Dr. Russell Rickford and We Are An African People appeared first on Contemporary Black Canvas.
55 minutes | Jun 23, 2017
EP 14 LaNeshe Miller-White and Theatre in the X
On this episode of Contemporary Black Canvas, I spoke to LaNeshe Miller-White who, together with Carlo Campbell and Walter Deshields, founded Theatre in the X in 2013. Theatre in the X is an outdoor performance collective that produces and performs several plays in Malcolm X Park in Philadelphia each August. Join us on this episode to learn how LaNeshe Miller-White first realized that she loved acting, how Theatre in the X found inspiration from Amiri Baraka’s Black Arts Repertory Theatre, and why it’s important to Theatre in the X to ensure accessible, free Theatre to communities within Philadelphia. Check It Out Theatre in the X LaNeshe Miller-White Carlo Campbell Walter Deshields Black Arts Repertory Theatre Amiri Baraka A Black Mass No Child Proscenium Dutchman The Slave First World Theatre Company Community Education Center Philadelphia Public Space Grant The Sisters Are Alright Up and Coming Artist To Support James Ijames Words to Live By “Be the light” Where to Find Their Work Theatre in the X (Facebook) Theatre in the X (Website and Mailing List) The post EP 14 LaNeshe Miller-White and Theatre in the X appeared first on Contemporary Black Canvas.
64 minutes | Jun 8, 2017
Ep 13 Soul Fire Farm with Leah Penniman
This week at Contemporary Black Canvas, we are excited to introduce you to Leah Penniman, co-founder with her husband Jonah Penniman, of Soul Fire Farms, their revolutionary, family-owned farm located in upstate New York. Soul Fire Farms is committed to ending racism and injustice in the food system. They actively fights institutional racism and food apartheid within communities by giving easy access to healthy food and offering hands-on learning opportunities throughout the year. Their programs include the Food Sovereignty Program, the Black and Latinx Farm Immersion Program, the Uprooting Racism Immersion, youth programs, and activists retreats. Join us on this episode as Leah talks about her early connection to the forest and how at age sixteen, she began working with The Food Project in Boston. Leah shares how in 2006 she and her husband purchased land in Petersburg, New York. Over a number years, they built Soul Fire into a full farm operation which officially opened in 2011. Soul Fire Farms is definitely a pioneer and we are excited to hear about the life and work of the farm. You can find their program applications on their website at www.soulfirefarm.org. To learn more about how to financially support their work through in-kind donations or financial contributions, please go to: http://www.soulfirefarm.org/support/ UPCOMING ARTISTS YOU’RE EXCITED ABOUT? Naima Penniman and Alixa Garcia, co-creators of Climbing Poetree in their upcoming album “Intrinsic”. Check out Intrinsic and all of their projects here. RESOURCE YOU RELY ON? My farming mentors at Many Hands Organic Farm WORDS YOU LIVE BY? “Truth, Breath, Patience” The post Ep 13 Soul Fire Farm with Leah Penniman appeared first on Contemporary Black Canvas.
61 minutes | May 26, 2017
EP 12 Scholar GerShun Avilez
In this week’s episode of Contemporary Black Canvas, we had the pleasure of interviewing scholar GerShun Avilez about his most recent book, Radical Aesthetics and Modern Black Nationalism. In Radical Aesthetics and Modern Black Nationalism, Dr. Avilez challenges the belief that the Black Arts Movement was a “dead end” and instead asks “What if it wasn’t”? On his search to find the continuities between the central questions and themes explored by the artists of the Black Arts Movement and the work of artists from subsequent artistic eras, Dr. Avilez offers surprising and meaningful connections between artists who we would not ordinarily pair together. This work offers offers a deeply nuanced and highly engaging analysis of Black art in the 1960s and beyond. Dr. Avilez is a cultural studies scholar who specializes in contemporary African American literature and visual culture as well as American literature. Currently, he is an Associate Professor of English at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Tune into this week’s episode as we learn how he spent his school lunch periods, the profound impact reading The Color Purple had on his life, the lessons he learned from his first ‘C’ grade in college, and how his undergraduate mentor played a vital role in his decision to become a professor. Be sure to pick up a copy of his work Radical Aesthetics and Modern Black Nationalism at your local independent bookstore or through the University of Illinois Press. FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE REFERENCES MADE IN THE SHOW: Alice Hines Alice Walker Black Arts Movement Joyce Joyce Radical Aesthetics and Modern Black Nationalism Gloria Naylor Ed Bullins (JoAnne) Adrian Piper Faith Ringgold Toni Morrison Spike Lee John A. Williams Marlon Riggs Larry Neal Cornelius Eady Susan Smith UPCOMING ARTISTS YOU’RE EXCITED ABOUT? Glenn Wygone Paul Beatty Octavia Butler Ghana Must Go RESOURCE YOU RELY ON? Friendship WORDS YOU LIVE BY? Love Yourself Laughter WHERE CAN OUR LISTENERS FIND AND SUPPORT YOUR WORK? http://www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/66mhh5by9780252040122.html https://www.academia.edu/ http://englishcomplit.unc.edu/people/gershun-avilez The post EP 12 Scholar GerShun Avilez appeared first on Contemporary Black Canvas.
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