Literature

Contemporary Black Canvas

Dr. Pia Deas, Professor of African American Literature, interviews Black novelists, poets, filmmakers, visual artists, and radical gardeners and farmers

Celebrating the Depth and Breadth of Black Artistic and Intellectual Thought

Episodes

EP 18 Poet and Educator J Mason, III
53:40
2017-09-21 15:41:09 UTC 53:40
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

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EP 17: Mixed Media Visual Artist Amber Robles-Gordon
58:31
2017-09-21 15:41:09 UTC 58:31
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/

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EP 16: Special Edition – BlackStar Film Festival 2017
31:23
2017-09-21 15:41:09 UTC 31:23
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.

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EP 15 Dr. Russell Rickford and We Are An African People
58:46
2017-09-21 15:41:09 UTC 58:46
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  

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EP 14 LaNeshe Miller-White and Theatre in the X
54:55
2017-09-21 15:41:09 UTC 54:55
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)

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Ep 13 Soul Fire Farm with Leah Penniman
1:03:46
2017-09-21 15:41:09 UTC 1:03:46
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

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EP 12 Scholar GerShun Avilez
1:00:54
2017-09-21 15:41:09 UTC 1:00:54
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  

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EP 11 Pediatrician & Poet Irene Mathieu
53:57
2017-09-21 15:41:09 UTC 53:57
EP 11 Pediatrician & Poet Irene Mathieu

This week on Contemporary Black Canvas we had the pleasure of interviewing physician and poet Irene Mathieu. Irene Mathieu eloquently balances her passionate interests in both the sciences and the humanities. As a child, her parents encouraged the legitimacy and even the fusion of the arts with the sciences and she has truly embodied this ideology in adulthood. Irene is a physician, poet, writer, artist, and photographer, and humanitarian. She received her M.D. from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 2015 and is currently a pediatrician in Philadelphia. She is the author of orogeny (Trembling Pillow Press, 2017) and the galaxy of origins (Dancing Girl Press, 2014). She is the recipient of the 2016 Bob Kaufman Book Prize, as well as a Fulbright scholar and a Callaloo fellow. Her books take a poetic and analytical look at human relationships with the earth and each other, privilege, racism, and love. Her love of language is evident in her interweaving of English, Spanish, and even scientific terms. She use the original word, without translation, in order to maintain the purity of the word in its original language and to prevent the loss of meaning in translation. Ever creative and consistently innovative, she is now working on a collection of poetry focused on the intersection of class and race privilege. Please support Irene Mathieu by visiting her website irene.mathieu.com, following her twitter account, gumbo_amando, or keeping up with her blog motochaskache.com!

Here’s a list of the people she mentioned in the interview:

Claudia Rankine

Arecelis Girmay

Elizabeth Alexander

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop

Yolanda Wisher

Pay it forward:

Donika Kelly’s Bestiary

Brit Bennett’s The Mothers

Safiya Sinclair

Inspired by:

Arecelis Girmay

Robert Frost

William Carlos Williams

Nawal El saadawi

Tracy K. Smith

Natasha Tretheway

Li-Young Lee

Jesmyn Ward

Audre Lorde

Junot Diaz

Edwidge Danticat

Eduardo Galeano

Resource she relies on:

People (her support system)

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EP 10 Filmmaker M. Asli Dukan
51:24
2017-09-21 15:41:09 UTC 51:24
EP 10 Filmmaker M. Asli Dukan

On this episode of Contemporary Black Canvas, we had the pleasure of  interviewing filmmaker and founder of Mizan Media Productions, M. Asli Dukan. Asli’s interest in film and speculative fiction began in childhood and has flourished into a vibrant career where she uses film to explore the possibilities of societal transformation. She has written, produced and directed several short speculative fiction films that have screened at festivals across the country including the ImageNation Film and Music Festival in New York City and the Langston Hughes African American Film Festival in Seattle. Her feature length documentary film projects include Invisible Universe, a documentary about the historical representations and participation of Black people in  the genres of speculative fiction and  Songs for Nina, a music and travel documentary following the “Daughters of Nina” orchestra on their French tour as they pay homage to the late singer/pianist, Nina Simone. Her next projects are the speculative fiction web series, Resistance, and the anthology horror film, Skin Folk, based on the book by the award winning speculative fiction writer, Nalo Hopkinson. As one of the leading voices of Black speculative fiction, Dukan tours the country  lecturing about Black Speculative Fiction history. Join us as she talks about the first speculative fiction story she wrote as a child about a fictional universe and what compelled her to start her documentary “Invisible Universe”.  To check out the trailer for her forthcoming film “Invisible Universe” visit http://invisibleuniversedoc.com and “Songs for Nina” http://songsfornina.com. To check out her other work, upcoming projects and initiatives visit maslidukan.com. If you are interested in supporting these two films in post-production, please consider donating to support the film financially by making a contribution to her through her fiscal sponsor Fractured Atlas:

https://www.fracturedatlas.org/site/fiscal/profile?id=596
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PEOPLE AND BOOKS ASLI MENTIONS:

Invisible Universe

Speculative Fiction

Octavia Butler

Dawn (Xenogenesis Bk.1)

Andrei Tarkovsky

Ingmar Bergman

Dave Davidson

Nalo Hopkinson

Samuel R. Delany

The Jewels of Aptor

Conference at Howard University

Tananarive Due

Steven Barnes

East Coast Black Age of Comics

Utopian Fiction

The Comet by Du Bois

White Fantastic Imagination

The Octavia E. Butler Collection at The Huntington

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Conversations with Octavia Butler

Up and Coming Artists

Alex Smith

WORDS TO LIVE BY:

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind killer.   Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration.”

RESOURCES TO RELY ON :

My Computer

 

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EP 09 Tuskegee Heirs (Marcus Williams and Greg Burnham)
1:08:13
2017-09-21 15:41:09 UTC 1:08:13
EP 09 Tuskegee Heirs (Marcus Williams and Greg Burnham)

In this week’s episode, we had the pleasure of conducting an interview with Greg Burnham and Marcus Williams, creators of the newly released Tuskegee Heirs comic book series! Tuskegee Heirs focuses on five young, African American pilots following in the aviatic tradition of the World War II Tuskegee Airmen. The legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen is significant and this comic seeks to pay homage to their greatness. In this way, they are able to inspire children who are able to see main characters that look like them. Greg and Marcus have been working together for over fifteen years. They act as a dynamic and creative team-Greg is the writer and Marcus is the illustrator. For them, representation matters-and they aim to provide strong, fully developed characters enveloped within a dynamic fusion of history, science fiction, and action that takes the characters around the world as they race to defend the world.  They released the first installment of Tuskegee Heirs in December of 2016, and this is just the beginning! Tune in and immerse yourself in the wonder and folklore of the Tuskegee Heirs!
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT DEVELOPMENT THROUGH THESE VIDEOS:

WORDS TO LIVE BY:

“Practice”

“Educate Yourself”

“Be open”

“Be passionate”

“You have to know your past to know where you are going”

RESOURCES TO RELY ON: 

“Cool Images”

“Love”

“Support System”

HOW TO FIND TUSKEGEE HEIRS ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

https://www.facebook.com/tuskegeeheirs/

https://www.facebook.com/Gregburnhambooks/

http://marcusthevisual.com/

http://marcusthevisual.com/gregburnhambooks/

Email:

Tuskegeeheirs@gmail.com

ORDER BOOKS, SHIRTS, POSTERS, AND SOCKS HERE: 

Tuskegee Heirs Store

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE/HEARD? SUPPORT THEIR KICKSTARTER: 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2120208298/tuskegee-heirs

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EP 08 Poet & Scholar Evie Shockley
55:39
2017-09-21 15:41:09 UTC 55:39
EP 08 Poet & Scholar Evie Shockley

This week’s episode features a delightful and engaging interview with poet and scholar Evie Shockley. Professor Shockley grew up in Nashville Tennessee and is currently an Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University. She is the author of the poetry collections the Half-Red Sea, The New Black, and the forthcoming poetry collection Semi-Automatic. She has also penned a critical collection Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry. Evie Shockley is the recipient of the Holmes National Poetry Prize. Her work has been also been recognized through Fellowships with Cave Canem, the Millay Colony for the Arts, and the Schomburg Center for Research and Black Culture among others. Stay tuned to learn more about the South that Evie Shockley grew up in, how she had an epiphany that changed her career direction and, and the synergistic relationship between her scholarship and her poetry. To support Evie Shockley’s work, please pick up her poetry books Half-Red Sea from Carolina Wren Press at carolinawrenpress.org or The New Black from the Weslyan Poetry Series available at upne.org, and her critical work Renegade Poetics from the University of Iowa Press at uipress.uiowa.edu And, of course, pick up her new collection Semi-Automatic when it comes out this fall.

Iowa Summer Writer’s Workshop

Alice Notley

Lyn Hejinian

Cave Canem

Duriel E. Harris

Dawn Lundy Martin

GE Patterson

John Keene

Harryette Mullen

Giovanni Singleton

Squaw Valley Community Writers

Brenda Hillman

Emerging Artists To Support:

Play Dead Francine J. Harris

There Are Things More Beautiful Than Beyonce by Morgan Parker

Field Studies Samiya Bashir

Telepathologies Cortney Charleston

Words I Live By:

I come to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

Resources I Rely On:

The work of others: Drum Voices by Eugene Redmond, The Muse Is Music: Jazz Poetry from the Harlem Renaissance to Spoken Word, and Black Chant: Languages of African American Postmodernism by Aldon Nielsen.

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EP 07 Poet and Novelist John Keene
1:00:51
2017-09-21 15:41:09 UTC 1:00:51
EP 07 Poet and Novelist John Keene

In this week’s episode,  I am delighted to bring you my lively and engaging interview with the poet and novelist, John Keene. In this wide-ranging conversation we discuss his early artistic pursuits, encouraged by his parents, towards drawing, visual art, and writing, the writers who mentored him, and his long-standing fascination with African diasporic history. Moreover, he gives us a particularly in-depth look into his inspirations, experiences, and craftsmanship as a novelist and poet who is engaged with experimental forms. John earned his B.A. at Harvard University and an MFA from New York University. As a long-time member the Dark Room Writers Collective, he cherishes the “electric atmosphere” and the connections made with the individuals of this group to this day. John Keene’s work includes his poetry book Seismosis, with drawings by Christopher Stackhouse,  and his experimental novels Annotations and Counternarratives. John Keene, a professor at Rutgers University in Newark, NJ, and has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the New York Times Foundation, Yaddo, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. You can find is work through major booksellers and you can find him blogging on-line: at http://jstheater.blogspot.com/.

 

Noteworthy Poets and Authors from the Past and Present

Ishmael Reed

Allen Ginsberg

Terry McMillan

Alice Walker

Clarence Major

Samuel R. Delaney

Delores Kendrick

Elizabeth Alexander

Martin Espada

Derek Walcott

John Edgar Wideman

Kevin Powell

Marilyn Hacker

Mae Henderson

Kenzaburo Oe

Yasunari Kawabata

Paule Marshall

Richard Bruce Nugent

Langston Hughes

 

Inspired by

Lucy Terry Prince

Phillis Wheatley

Paule Marshall

Ishmael Reed

Kamau Brathwaite

Michael S. Harper

Rita Dove

Jay Wright

Theodore Wilson Harris

Amiri Baraka

Sonia Sanchez

Russell Atkins

Norman Pritchard

Gwendolyn Brooks

Wole Soyinka

 

Pay It Forward

Kerry James Marshall: Mastery

 

Resource you rely on

New York Public Library

 

Here at CBC, we love to support our featured artists. Support John Keene by ordering his books online or in-person at your local bookstore. As for social media, you can support him by following his blog.

 

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EP 6 Dishes of the Diaspora with Pascale Boucicaut and Adachi Pimentel
1:02:54
2017-09-21 15:41:09 UTC 1:02:54
EP 6 Dishes of the Diaspora with Pascale Boucicaut and Adachi Pimentel

In this episode, I interviewed Pascale Boucicaut, a culinary artist, and Adachi Pimentel a photographer, who together form the artistic team behind Dishes of the Diaspora.  Dishes of the Diaspora, a project that was funded by the  Leeway Foundation, documents ten cooks in of African descent in Philadelphia. For this project, Pascale and Adachi join the cooks in their home kitchens, witness the dishes being made, and have wide-ranging conversations with their hosts about the significance and meaning behind diasporic dishes. These cooking sessions are documented by Pascale and Adachi both through photos and through the stories the cooks tell. This project explores and illuminates the narrative behind key staples in African Diasporic cooking such as coconut milk, rice, and bananas. Through a look at cooking practices, ingredients, and tools utilized in each dish, Pascale and Adachi explore how food history is central to appreciating and understanding African diasporic identity and ancestry. Tune into this week’s episode to hear about Pascale’s beginnings in the kitchen with her father, Adachi’s passion for documentary photography, the importance of African connectivity, and how they decided to embark on this ancestral journey together. To see their work on display now through April 2017, visit their exhibition at the Philadelphia Folklore Project. To view select photos of their exhibition or to follow their upcoming exhibition schedule, please visit their website at http://www.dishesofthediaspora.com. To contact them, please send an email to diasporadishes@gmail.com

Interested in the projects and dishes Pascale and Adachi mention in this week’s episode? Click on the links below:

Yemanja  

Paloma

Mariam- Fufu

Iris – Arepas de Maiz

Zita- Hudut

Evelyne- Pen patat  

Soulfire

Rice Growing/ Production

Upcoming Artist To Check Out:

Wayne Lawrence

Resource to Rely On:

Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston: A Life In Letters

Zora Neale Hurston Folklore Collection at the American Folklife Center

Zora Neale Hurston’s Field Recordings

How To Find and Support Their Work:

www.dishesofthediaspora.com

diasporadishes@gmail.com

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EP 5 Filmmaker, Curator, Festival Organizer Maori Karmael Holmes
1:02:01
2017-09-21 15:41:09 UTC 1:02:01
EP 5 Filmmaker, Curator, Festival Organizer Maori Karmael Holmes

In this week’s episode, I caught up with filmmaker, festival organizer, and curator Maori Holmes. Most recently, she is the founder of the Blackstar Film Festival in Philadelphia. Prior to Black Star, she was worked with the Jazzyfatnastees to put on the Black Lily Film and Music Festival in 2007 and 2008. She has directed and produced her feature documentary, Scene Not Heard: Women in Philadelphia Hip Hop, which chronicles the untold story and role that women played in the development of hip hop within Philadelphia. Within the interview, Maori describes her life story as it pertains to how she got to where she is today. One of the best takeaways from this interview is Maori’s continued strive to accomplish her goals-definitely an inspiration for all.

Maori Holmes received her BA in History from American University and her MFA in Film & Media Arts from Temple University. She is a recipient of the Leeway Foundation, as well as a Fellow of the 60th Flaherty Film Seminar. She has received awards from many organizations in the arts, including the Knight Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and VisitPhiladelphia, to name a few. Previously, she has worked at other locations in Philadelphia, including Temple University and the Netter Center at University of Pennsylvania. She is currently the director of public engagement at the Institute of Contemporary Art. These professional roles have inspired her to find a way to infuse curation with the Black Star Film Festival.cd As for the future, Maori gives us a small glance into what she’s got planned. She discussed returning to working on her craft of film directing, possibly pursuing a new screenplay or her own television show. Make sure to follow all her new endeavours.

The Blackstar Film Festival is present and active on all the major social media accounts. Click the following in order to be directed to its instagram, facebook, or twitter accounts.

You can also check out d the Blackstar Film Festival website by clicking here.

Interested in any of the artists or festivals mentioned in the show? Check out these links!

Collaborations:

Richard Nichols

The Roots

Mercedes Martinez

Michele Byrd McPhee

Sara Zia Ebrahimi

Tariq ‘Black Thought’ Trotter

Ursula Rucker

Julie Taymore

Ava Duvernay

Haile Gerima

International House

Leeway Foundation

National Black Arts Festival

International African Arts Festival

Odunde

Malcolm X Festival

Scribe Video Center

LA Rebellion

Sweet Honey in the Rock

Artists She Recommends:

Terence Nance

Roni Nicole Henderson

Amy Sherald

Shawn Peters

Ja’Tovia Gary

Resource She Relies On:

A few close-knit friendships

Words that you Live By/Song that is the Soundtrack of your life

Never Stop-The Brand New Heavies

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EP 4 VISUAL ARTIST AKILI RON ANDERSON
46:25
2017-09-21 15:41:09 UTC 46:25
EP 4 VISUAL ARTIST AKILI RON ANDERSON

In this episode, I had the honor of  interviewing Washington-D.C. based visual artist Akili Ron Anderson. Akili Ron Anderson is a stunningly versatile visual artist. His work includes breathtaking stained glass, sculpture, painting, drawing, printmaking, set design, and photography. His art celebrates African people and culture and emphasizes the importance of maintaining cultural and ancestral practices. His work pays tribute to the African and Black experiences by incorporating many African symbols, patterns, and culturally specific references. In his over 50 years a visual artist, he has carried out a mission to make sure that all members of the community have access to art by designing art for many cultural, religious, and public institutions. He is a faculty member in the Department of Art at Howard University and he is the co- founder of the NationHouse Organization. His works have been exhibited at Duke University and Hampton University. Anderson has been a member of the Nation-African Liberation Arts Ensemble and he  is currently a member of the “AfriCobra” artists’ collective. In this episode, tune in to hear the stories of his moment of “awakening,” how his seemingly mischievous acts as a child (re-appropriating coat hangers) blossomed into extraordinary works of art, his fascination with the African face, and his thoughts on collectivity. To follow Ron Akili Anderson’s work, or his upcoming special events and projects visit his website at www.akilironanderson.com.

 

Interested in the artists and exhibitions Akili Ron Anderson mentions on the show? Click these links!

Paying It Forward

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EP 18 Poet and Educator J Mason, III
53:40
2017-10-09 07:21:19 UTC 53:40
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

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EP 17: Mixed Media Visual Artist Amber Robles-Gordon
58:31
2017-10-09 07:21:19 UTC 58:31
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/

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EP 16: Special Edition – BlackStar Film Festival 2017
31:23
2017-10-09 07:21:19 UTC 31:23
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.

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EP 15 Dr. Russell Rickford and We Are An African People
58:46
2017-10-09 07:21:19 UTC 58:46
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  

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EP 14 LaNeshe Miller-White and Theatre in the X
54:55
2017-10-09 07:21:19 UTC 54:55
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)

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Ep 13 Soul Fire Farm with Leah Penniman
1:03:46
2017-10-09 07:21:19 UTC 1:03:46
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

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EP 12 Scholar GerShun Avilez
1:00:54
2017-10-09 07:21:19 UTC 1:00:54
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  

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EP 11 Pediatrician & Poet Irene Mathieu
53:57
2017-10-09 07:21:20 UTC 53:57
EP 11 Pediatrician & Poet Irene Mathieu

This week on Contemporary Black Canvas we had the pleasure of interviewing physician and poet Irene Mathieu. Irene Mathieu eloquently balances her passionate interests in both the sciences and the humanities. As a child, her parents encouraged the legitimacy and even the fusion of the arts with the sciences and she has truly embodied this ideology in adulthood. Irene is a physician, poet, writer, artist, and photographer, and humanitarian. She received her M.D. from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 2015 and is currently a pediatrician in Philadelphia. She is the author of orogeny (Trembling Pillow Press, 2017) and the galaxy of origins (Dancing Girl Press, 2014). She is the recipient of the 2016 Bob Kaufman Book Prize, as well as a Fulbright scholar and a Callaloo fellow. Her books take a poetic and analytical look at human relationships with the earth and each other, privilege, racism, and love. Her love of language is evident in her interweaving of English, Spanish, and even scientific terms. She use the original word, without translation, in order to maintain the purity of the word in its original language and to prevent the loss of meaning in translation. Ever creative and consistently innovative, she is now working on a collection of poetry focused on the intersection of class and race privilege. Please support Irene Mathieu by visiting her website irene.mathieu.com, following her twitter account, gumbo_amando, or keeping up with her blog motochaskache.com!

Here’s a list of the people she mentioned in the interview:

Claudia Rankine

Arecelis Girmay

Elizabeth Alexander

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop

Yolanda Wisher

Pay it forward:

Donika Kelly’s Bestiary

Brit Bennett’s The Mothers

Safiya Sinclair

Inspired by:

Arecelis Girmay

Robert Frost

William Carlos Williams

Nawal El saadawi

Tracy K. Smith

Natasha Tretheway

Li-Young Lee

Jesmyn Ward

Audre Lorde

Junot Diaz

Edwidge Danticat

Eduardo Galeano

Resource she relies on:

People (her support system)

The post EP 11 Pediatrician & Poet Irene Mathieu appeared first on Contemporary Black Canvas.

EP 10 Filmmaker M. Asli Dukan
51:24
2017-10-09 07:21:20 UTC 51:24
EP 10 Filmmaker M. Asli Dukan

On this episode of Contemporary Black Canvas, we had the pleasure of  interviewing filmmaker and founder of Mizan Media Productions, M. Asli Dukan. Asli’s interest in film and speculative fiction began in childhood and has flourished into a vibrant career where she uses film to explore the possibilities of societal transformation. She has written, produced and directed several short speculative fiction films that have screened at festivals across the country including the ImageNation Film and Music Festival in New York City and the Langston Hughes African American Film Festival in Seattle. Her feature length documentary film projects include Invisible Universe, a documentary about the historical representations and participation of Black people in  the genres of speculative fiction and  Songs for Nina, a music and travel documentary following the “Daughters of Nina” orchestra on their French tour as they pay homage to the late singer/pianist, Nina Simone. Her next projects are the speculative fiction web series, Resistance, and the anthology horror film, Skin Folk, based on the book by the award winning speculative fiction writer, Nalo Hopkinson. As one of the leading voices of Black speculative fiction, Dukan tours the country  lecturing about Black Speculative Fiction history. Join us as she talks about the first speculative fiction story she wrote as a child about a fictional universe and what compelled her to start her documentary “Invisible Universe”.  To check out the trailer for her forthcoming film “Invisible Universe” visit http://invisibleuniversedoc.com and “Songs for Nina” http://songsfornina.com. To check out her other work, upcoming projects and initiatives visit maslidukan.com. If you are interested in supporting these two films in post-production, please consider donating to support the film financially by making a contribution to her through her fiscal sponsor Fractured Atlas:

https://www.fracturedatlas.org/site/fiscal/profile?id=596
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PEOPLE AND BOOKS ASLI MENTIONS:

Invisible Universe

Speculative Fiction

Octavia Butler

Dawn (Xenogenesis Bk.1)

Andrei Tarkovsky

Ingmar Bergman

Dave Davidson

Nalo Hopkinson

Samuel R. Delany

The Jewels of Aptor

Conference at Howard University

Tananarive Due

Steven Barnes

East Coast Black Age of Comics

Utopian Fiction

The Comet by Du Bois

White Fantastic Imagination

The Octavia E. Butler Collection at The Huntington

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Conversations with Octavia Butler

Up and Coming Artists

Alex Smith

WORDS TO LIVE BY:

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind killer.   Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration.”

RESOURCES TO RELY ON :

My Computer

 

The post EP 10 Filmmaker M. Asli Dukan appeared first on Contemporary Black Canvas.

EP 09 Tuskegee Heirs (Marcus Williams and Greg Burnham)
1:08:13
2017-10-09 07:21:20 UTC 1:08:13
EP 09 Tuskegee Heirs (Marcus Williams and Greg Burnham)

In this week’s episode, we had the pleasure of conducting an interview with Greg Burnham and Marcus Williams, creators of the newly released Tuskegee Heirs comic book series! Tuskegee Heirs focuses on five young, African American pilots following in the aviatic tradition of the World War II Tuskegee Airmen. The legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen is significant and this comic seeks to pay homage to their greatness. In this way, they are able to inspire children who are able to see main characters that look like them. Greg and Marcus have been working together for over fifteen years. They act as a dynamic and creative team-Greg is the writer and Marcus is the illustrator. For them, representation matters-and they aim to provide strong, fully developed characters enveloped within a dynamic fusion of history, science fiction, and action that takes the characters around the world as they race to defend the world.  They released the first installment of Tuskegee Heirs in December of 2016, and this is just the beginning! Tune in and immerse yourself in the wonder and folklore of the Tuskegee Heirs!
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT DEVELOPMENT THROUGH THESE VIDEOS:

WORDS TO LIVE BY:

“Practice”

“Educate Yourself”

“Be open”

“Be passionate”

“You have to know your past to know where you are going”

RESOURCES TO RELY ON: 

“Cool Images”

“Love”

“Support System”

HOW TO FIND TUSKEGEE HEIRS ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

https://www.facebook.com/tuskegeeheirs/

https://www.facebook.com/Gregburnhambooks/

http://marcusthevisual.com/

http://marcusthevisual.com/gregburnhambooks/

Email:

Tuskegeeheirs@gmail.com

ORDER BOOKS, SHIRTS, POSTERS, AND SOCKS HERE: 

Tuskegee Heirs Store

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE/HEARD? SUPPORT THEIR KICKSTARTER: 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2120208298/tuskegee-heirs

The post EP 09 Tuskegee Heirs (Marcus Williams and Greg Burnham) appeared first on Contemporary Black Canvas.

EP 08 Poet & Scholar Evie Shockley
55:39
2017-10-09 07:21:20 UTC 55:39
EP 08 Poet & Scholar Evie Shockley

This week’s episode features a delightful and engaging interview with poet and scholar Evie Shockley. Professor Shockley grew up in Nashville Tennessee and is currently an Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University. She is the author of the poetry collections the Half-Red Sea, The New Black, and the forthcoming poetry collection Semi-Automatic. She has also penned a critical collection Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry. Evie Shockley is the recipient of the Holmes National Poetry Prize. Her work has been also been recognized through Fellowships with Cave Canem, the Millay Colony for the Arts, and the Schomburg Center for Research and Black Culture among others. Stay tuned to learn more about the South that Evie Shockley grew up in, how she had an epiphany that changed her career direction and, and the synergistic relationship between her scholarship and her poetry. To support Evie Shockley’s work, please pick up her poetry books Half-Red Sea from Carolina Wren Press at carolinawrenpress.org or The New Black from the Weslyan Poetry Series available at upne.org, and her critical work Renegade Poetics from the University of Iowa Press at uipress.uiowa.edu And, of course, pick up her new collection Semi-Automatic when it comes out this fall.

Iowa Summer Writer’s Workshop

Alice Notley

Lyn Hejinian

Cave Canem

Duriel E. Harris

Dawn Lundy Martin

GE Patterson

John Keene

Harryette Mullen

Giovanni Singleton

Squaw Valley Community Writers

Brenda Hillman

Emerging Artists To Support:

Play Dead Francine J. Harris

There Are Things More Beautiful Than Beyonce by Morgan Parker

Field Studies Samiya Bashir

Telepathologies Cortney Charleston

Words I Live By:

I come to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

Resources I Rely On:

The work of others: Drum Voices by Eugene Redmond, The Muse Is Music: Jazz Poetry from the Harlem Renaissance to Spoken Word, and Black Chant: Languages of African American Postmodernism by Aldon Nielsen.

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EP 07 Poet and Novelist John Keene
1:00:51
2017-10-09 07:21:20 UTC 1:00:51
EP 07 Poet and Novelist John Keene

In this week’s episode,  I am delighted to bring you my lively and engaging interview with the poet and novelist, John Keene. In this wide-ranging conversation we discuss his early artistic pursuits, encouraged by his parents, towards drawing, visual art, and writing, the writers who mentored him, and his long-standing fascination with African diasporic history. Moreover, he gives us a particularly in-depth look into his inspirations, experiences, and craftsmanship as a novelist and poet who is engaged with experimental forms. John earned his B.A. at Harvard University and an MFA from New York University. As a long-time member the Dark Room Writers Collective, he cherishes the “electric atmosphere” and the connections made with the individuals of this group to this day. John Keene’s work includes his poetry book Seismosis, with drawings by Christopher Stackhouse,  and his experimental novels Annotations and Counternarratives. John Keene, a professor at Rutgers University in Newark, NJ, and has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the New York Times Foundation, Yaddo, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. You can find is work through major booksellers and you can find him blogging on-line: at http://jstheater.blogspot.com/.

 

Noteworthy Poets and Authors from the Past and Present

Ishmael Reed

Allen Ginsberg

Terry McMillan

Alice Walker

Clarence Major

Samuel R. Delaney

Delores Kendrick

Elizabeth Alexander

Martin Espada

Derek Walcott

John Edgar Wideman

Kevin Powell

Marilyn Hacker

Mae Henderson

Kenzaburo Oe

Yasunari Kawabata

Paule Marshall

Richard Bruce Nugent

Langston Hughes

 

Inspired by

Lucy Terry Prince

Phillis Wheatley

Paule Marshall

Ishmael Reed

Kamau Brathwaite

Michael S. Harper

Rita Dove

Jay Wright

Theodore Wilson Harris

Amiri Baraka

Sonia Sanchez

Russell Atkins

Norman Pritchard

Gwendolyn Brooks

Wole Soyinka

 

Pay It Forward

Kerry James Marshall: Mastery

 

Resource you rely on

New York Public Library

 

Here at CBC, we love to support our featured artists. Support John Keene by ordering his books online or in-person at your local bookstore. As for social media, you can support him by following his blog.

 

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EP 6 Dishes of the Diaspora with Pascale Boucicaut and Adachi Pimentel
1:02:54
2017-10-09 07:21:20 UTC 1:02:54
EP 6 Dishes of the Diaspora with Pascale Boucicaut and Adachi Pimentel

In this episode, I interviewed Pascale Boucicaut, a culinary artist, and Adachi Pimentel a photographer, who together form the artistic team behind Dishes of the Diaspora.  Dishes of the Diaspora, a project that was funded by the  Leeway Foundation, documents ten cooks in of African descent in Philadelphia. For this project, Pascale and Adachi join the cooks in their home kitchens, witness the dishes being made, and have wide-ranging conversations with their hosts about the significance and meaning behind diasporic dishes. These cooking sessions are documented by Pascale and Adachi both through photos and through the stories the cooks tell. This project explores and illuminates the narrative behind key staples in African Diasporic cooking such as coconut milk, rice, and bananas. Through a look at cooking practices, ingredients, and tools utilized in each dish, Pascale and Adachi explore how food history is central to appreciating and understanding African diasporic identity and ancestry. Tune into this week’s episode to hear about Pascale’s beginnings in the kitchen with her father, Adachi’s passion for documentary photography, the importance of African connectivity, and how they decided to embark on this ancestral journey together. To see their work on display now through April 2017, visit their exhibition at the Philadelphia Folklore Project. To view select photos of their exhibition or to follow their upcoming exhibition schedule, please visit their website at http://www.dishesofthediaspora.com. To contact them, please send an email to diasporadishes@gmail.com

Interested in the projects and dishes Pascale and Adachi mention in this week’s episode? Click on the links below:

Yemanja  

Paloma

Mariam- Fufu

Iris – Arepas de Maiz

Zita- Hudut

Evelyne- Pen patat  

Soulfire

Rice Growing/ Production

Upcoming Artist To Check Out:

Wayne Lawrence

Resource to Rely On:

Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston: A Life In Letters

Zora Neale Hurston Folklore Collection at the American Folklife Center

Zora Neale Hurston’s Field Recordings

How To Find and Support Their Work:

www.dishesofthediaspora.com

diasporadishes@gmail.com

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EP 5 Filmmaker, Curator, Festival Organizer Maori Karmael Holmes
1:02:01
2017-10-09 07:21:20 UTC 1:02:01
EP 5 Filmmaker, Curator, Festival Organizer Maori Karmael Holmes

In this week’s episode, I caught up with filmmaker, festival organizer, and curator Maori Holmes. Most recently, she is the founder of the Blackstar Film Festival in Philadelphia. Prior to Black Star, she was worked with the Jazzyfatnastees to put on the Black Lily Film and Music Festival in 2007 and 2008. She has directed and produced her feature documentary, Scene Not Heard: Women in Philadelphia Hip Hop, which chronicles the untold story and role that women played in the development of hip hop within Philadelphia. Within the interview, Maori describes her life story as it pertains to how she got to where she is today. One of the best takeaways from this interview is Maori’s continued strive to accomplish her goals-definitely an inspiration for all.

Maori Holmes received her BA in History from American University and her MFA in Film & Media Arts from Temple University. She is a recipient of the Leeway Foundation, as well as a Fellow of the 60th Flaherty Film Seminar. She has received awards from many organizations in the arts, including the Knight Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and VisitPhiladelphia, to name a few. Previously, she has worked at other locations in Philadelphia, including Temple University and the Netter Center at University of Pennsylvania. She is currently the director of public engagement at the Institute of Contemporary Art. These professional roles have inspired her to find a way to infuse curation with the Black Star Film Festival.cd As for the future, Maori gives us a small glance into what she’s got planned. She discussed returning to working on her craft of film directing, possibly pursuing a new screenplay or her own television show. Make sure to follow all her new endeavours.

The Blackstar Film Festival is present and active on all the major social media accounts. Click the following in order to be directed to its instagram, facebook, or twitter accounts.

You can also check out d the Blackstar Film Festival website by clicking here.

Interested in any of the artists or festivals mentioned in the show? Check out these links!

Collaborations:

Richard Nichols

The Roots

Mercedes Martinez

Michele Byrd McPhee

Sara Zia Ebrahimi

Tariq ‘Black Thought’ Trotter

Ursula Rucker

Julie Taymore

Ava Duvernay

Haile Gerima

International House

Leeway Foundation

National Black Arts Festival

International African Arts Festival

Odunde

Malcolm X Festival

Scribe Video Center

LA Rebellion

Sweet Honey in the Rock

Artists She Recommends:

Terence Nance

Roni Nicole Henderson

Amy Sherald

Shawn Peters

Ja’Tovia Gary

Resource She Relies On:

A few close-knit friendships

Words that you Live By/Song that is the Soundtrack of your life

Never Stop-The Brand New Heavies

The post EP 5 Filmmaker, Curator, Festival Organizer Maori Karmael Holmes appeared first on Contemporary Black Canvas.

EP 4 VISUAL ARTIST AKILI RON ANDERSON
46:25
2017-10-09 07:21:20 UTC 46:25
EP 4 VISUAL ARTIST AKILI RON ANDERSON

In this episode, I had the honor of  interviewing Washington-D.C. based visual artist Akili Ron Anderson. Akili Ron Anderson is a stunningly versatile visual artist. His work includes breathtaking stained glass, sculpture, painting, drawing, printmaking, set design, and photography. His art celebrates African people and culture and emphasizes the importance of maintaining cultural and ancestral practices. His work pays tribute to the African and Black experiences by incorporating many African symbols, patterns, and culturally specific references. In his over 50 years a visual artist, he has carried out a mission to make sure that all members of the community have access to art by designing art for many cultural, religious, and public institutions. He is a faculty member in the Department of Art at Howard University and he is the co- founder of the NationHouse Organization. His works have been exhibited at Duke University and Hampton University. Anderson has been a member of the Nation-African Liberation Arts Ensemble and he  is currently a member of the “AfriCobra” artists’ collective. In this episode, tune in to hear the stories of his moment of “awakening,” how his seemingly mischievous acts as a child (re-appropriating coat hangers) blossomed into extraordinary works of art, his fascination with the African face, and his thoughts on collectivity. To follow Ron Akili Anderson’s work, or his upcoming special events and projects visit his website at www.akilironanderson.com.

 

Interested in the artists and exhibitions Akili Ron Anderson mentions on the show? Click these links!

Paying It Forward

The post EP 4 VISUAL ARTIST AKILI RON ANDERSON appeared first on Contemporary Black Canvas.