Black Arts & Black Publics

I created an online platform called Black Arts and Black Publics: A Digital Arts Project. I am developing an analogue component in the form of a monograph that is based on the digital arts repository.  The repository, monograph, and practice of BABP is concerned with rehearsing Jurgen Habermas’s notion of the “public sphere” alongside and into a Black public sphere that “is a transnational space whose violent birth and diasporic conditions of life provide a counternarrative to the exclusionary national narratives of Europe, the United States, the Caribbean, and Africa.” [1] Through research, pedagogy, creative practice, and community engagement, BABP is a platform dedicated to exploring, organizing, sustaining, and disseminating information around Black artistic, cultural, and political practice. BABP organizes and connects students, faculty, and community members at the University of California with individuals and institutions such as theaters, museums, non-profit community arts organizations, public-civic government entities, as well as tech and entertainment entities.

[1] See page 7 in The Black Public Sphere: A Public Culture Book. 1996. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

Black Terror Film Preview and Panel

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Hammer Museum Film Screening I Am Not Your Negro. Moderated post-screening discussion with director Raoul Peck and Dr. Zachary Price. [ Watch here ]

I Am Not Your Negro DISCUSSION

Working from James Baldwin’s unfinished final novel, I Am Not Your Negro delves into the complex legacies of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. Framing the work as a radical narration about race in America, director Raoul Peck matches Baldwin’s lyrical rhetoric with footage of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements, revealing connections between past and present injustices. (2016, dir. Raoul Peck, 95 min.)

A special staged reading of Phillip Kan Gotanda’s Yohen
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A special staged reading of Phillip Kan Gotanda’s Yohen, directed by Robey Theatre’s co-founder and managing artistic director, Ben Guillory. Set in 1986 Los Angeles the two character full-length one-act play focuses on the uncertain relationship between Sumi Washington (Karen Lew) and James Washington (Danny Glover). Yohen is one of a number of collaborations between UCLA and Robey Theatre Company.

The Intersection: Woke Black Folk, a one-woman performance by playwright, actress, activist and professor Funmilola Fagbamila
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A one-woman performance by playwright, Funmilola Fagbamila on the complexities of Black political identity and a story about how humans navigate difference.

Black and Black Publics: Robey Theatre, UCLA and the Community

The 1619 Project and the Matter of Black lives

The 1619 Project, published by the New York Times, retells the history of the U.S. by foregrounding the arrival 401 years ago of enslaved Africans to Virginia. What is the power of The 1619 Project to reframe our understanding of U.S. history and our contemporary society? How might we go beyond The 1619 Project to develop an even fuller understanding of the centrality of slavery and race in the U.S. and in the broader Atlantic world? Join us for a month-plus exploration of The 1619 Project, which culminates in the visit of Nikole Hannah-Jones, the Pulitzer Prize winning creator and lead writer of the project.