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Kind of Blue

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Gender: Female
Hometown: California
Member since: Fri Aug 29, 2008, 10:47 AM
Number of posts: 8,675

Journal Archives

The Legacy of Morehouse College

"I am proud to be a Morehouse Man Class of 98. Morehouse has over a century of tradition and legacy. Each new class stands on the shoulders of Giants. This year is the largest Freshman Class in history with 750. Here is a sneak peak at how we are 'Inducted' into Morehouse College ~ Brandon Ivey

The Forgotten Story of Orson Welles' All-Black 'Macbeth'

Okay, last one and I'll stop bombarding the forum!

"What if I told you that, as a part of a federal stimulus package, the federal government once wrote a 20-year-old director a check to stage Macbeth to fight Jim Crow? Don’t worry — it gets weirder. This young director set his version of the Shakespeare masterpiece in Haiti, and based it loosely on the life of a former slave-turned-revolutionary-turned-king named Henry Christophe, and cast only black performers. The year was 1936, the director was Orson Welles, and the New Deal was fly as hell, y’all.

Even before its debut, the play faced rebuke. New Deal opponents had already declared that the Federal Theater Project was a waste of tax dollars, yet another in the long line of Roosevelt’s excessing spending programs. Seeing federal money going to produce such “radical” works, Percy Hammond of the Herald Tribune called the Negro Theater an “exhibition of deluxe boondoggling.” FTP productions like Welles’ Macbeth were so controversial, in fact, that Hallie Flanagan was eventually called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee, accused of using the Federal Theater Project as a front to spread communist and socialist propaganda.

Many African-Americans were upset that Welles, a white director, was chosen to lead an otherwise all-Black production. The play coincided with the height of the Harlem Renaissance: writers, poets, and playwrights like Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Jean Toomer, and Claude McKay were producing some of their best work (Hughes’ The Mulatto had just opened in Harlem to rave reviews). Most of the building blocks for the Negro Theater Unit were already in place due to McClendon founding The Negro People’s Theater a year earlier. There was already a wealth of experience and talent in the African-American community, especially in Harlem, but a significant lack of funding and opportunity. Why hand the reins of such a well-funded, potentially ground-breaking project to a white guy from the Midwest?

An integrated crowd of more than 10,000 people gathered to attend the opening at Harlem’s historic Lafayette Theater. When the play ended, it was reported that there was a 15-minute standing ovation. This is important, because at that time, even in northern cities like New York, most venues were still heavily segregated. Even George Gershwin’s legendary production of Porgy and Bess, which debuted a year earlier, was performed in front of all-white audiences. After the 10-week run at the Lafayette, and another shorter run in Manhattan, the troupe toured to cities like Seattle, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, and Boston, performing Macbeth to sold-out, integrated crowds across the country."

The article mentions that the Federal Theater Project launched Welle's career.

Welle's interview and clip of the production, as well as some great photos here https://www.inverse.com/article/7139-the-forgotten-story-of-orson-welles-all-black-macbeth-production

An African Spiritual Art Form Caught In Time-Lapse, MoCADA, Brooklyn

"On September 12th, the Ori Inu team held a party at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) in Brooklyn to celebrate the release of the film’s stunning first trailer. Not surprisingly, the night served as a platform for creatives in the diaspora to showcase their ideas on spirituality. That evening, Nigerian visual artist and musician Laolu Senbanjo performed Yoruba Ritual Body Art as a spiritual ceremony on rising Ghanaian musician Azizaa. The entire piece was filmed by Mariona Lloreta, who turned the performance into a time-lapse that we’re excited to premiere here today.

Laolu performs Ritual Yoruba Body Art on Azizaa at MoCADA in Brooklyn on September 12, 2015.
Music by Laolu Senbanjo and the Afromysterics.
Azizaa has got to be one of the freshest and unapologetic singers I've heard in a while. Her video, Black Magic Woman, I won't post here for concern of offending anyone in this group, but you can find interview/video here http://www.thefader.com/2015/09/02/azizaa-wanlov-interview "How Ghanaian Artist Azizaa Is Challenging Christianity's Grip On Ghana"
Posted by Kind of Blue | Fri Nov 6, 2015, 02:32 PM (0 replies)

Hilarious, "White People Whitesplain Whitesplaining"

Sympathy is for white people...

Sympathy is for white people: The “60 Minutes” segment that highlights America’s startling double standard on addiction

"60 Minutes” segment “Heroin in the Heartland.” was an exposé on the human cost of drug use, the families destroyed and the lives lost. It was also an example of how, in the War on Drugs, black and brown people receive hefty prison sentences, while white people are shown, above all else, sympathy. Lady Justice is not blind.

Host Bill Whitaker began the segment as follows:

“You might think of heroin as primarily an inner-city problem. But dealers, connected to Mexican drug cartels, are making huge profits by expanding to new, lucrative markets: suburbs all across the country. It’s basic economics. The dealers are going where the money is and they’re cultivating a new set of consumers: high school students, college athletes, teachers and professionals.

“Heroin is showing up everywhere — in places like Columbus, Ohio . The area has long been viewed as so typically Middle American that, for years, many companies have gone there to test new products. We went to the Columbus suburbs to see how heroin is taking hold in the heartland.”


In 60 seconds James Baldwin breaks race and racism ALL THE WAY DOWN


In 60 seconds James Baldwin breaks race and racism ALL THE WAY DOWN.

Sorry, y'all. I'll stop posting today after this one.

"We must be humble about what we have become."

"I am a fierce, forever feminist. But I still have sexism and misogyny running through my veins. It takes a lifetime to clear these out. You can be one thing and your subconscious can be another thing.

How many images of black bodies being thrown to the ground have I ingested? How many news reports have I inhaled passively – how many images of jails filled with black bodies? How many casually racist jokes have I swallowed? Over the decades and centuries and days, we’ve breathed in countless images meant to convince us that black men are dangerous and that black women are dispensable and that all black bodies are worth less than white bodies. We have just been breathing.

Listen. We can be good, kind, justice loving, anti-racist people in our hearts and minds – but if we’re living here – we’re still canaries raised in a racist mine. We can be good, justice-loving people-but if we’re living here-we’re still canaries in a racist mine We’ve still been breathing the air- and we’ve been conditioned. So our knee jerk reaction to a black man approaching us might be fear. Our subconscious might kick in before our mind and heart can catch up. And we might pull that trigger faster than we would if the body approaching us was white. And that black girl not responding to our request to stand up – well we might take her down faster than we’d ever take down a white body. Because our subconscious has been trained to believe she’s belligerent, disrespectful, dangerous and dispensable.

We must be humble about what we have become."

"Why I’m Prejudiced & So Are You" http://momastery.com/blog/2015/10/28/why-prejudiced/

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