Podcast: What's Art Got to Do With IT?

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Can art help to erase racism? In this episode of BREAKING DOWN RACISM, dancer, choreographer and activist Paloma Mcgregor discusses how artists can be effective activists?

Produced/Written/Directed by: Crista Carter, Johanna Galomb and Benjamin Jackson

Host/Executive Producer/Series Creator Robin J. Hayes, PhD

Recorded at The New School in New York City

PICTURED Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, “Revelations” 2012 courtesy Alvin Ailey Theater

The Greatest

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Activists, Allies, Artists, Black Resistance Screening List, Prisoners, Scholars, Students, Teachers, Uncategorized
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                           Muhammad Ali (l.) and Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. (r.) in Louisville                                 (AP Photo via The Nation)

“Like Muhammad Ali puts it, we are all—black and brown and poor—victims of the same system of oppression.” – Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Happy Birthday Muhammad Ali! Mainstream media continues to revere him for his extraordinary achievements as an athlete and his influential oratory style (How many of us have alleged to “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”?).  However, Ali is beloved to the progressive community and the African diaspora for his candid criticism of racial discrimination and poverty as well as his refusal to be inducted in the US Army during the Vietnam War due to his religious beliefs.  Ali could have exercised his class privilege, entered the army and fought entertaining exhibition bouts without ever being in any physical danger.  Instead, he chose to take a principled stand which in the short run cost him millions of dollars and some of his peak years as a boxing champion.  In the long run, Ali’s example made him a legend.

To learn more about Muhammad Ali, see the Academy Award-winning film When we Were Kings, or read this Dave Zirin article in The Nation.

Haitian Independence Day

Posted on 1 CommentPosted in Activists, Allies, Artists, Authors, Black Resistance Reading List, Books, Scholars, Students, Teachers, Uncategorized
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To Preserve Their Freedom by African American artist Jacob Lawrence           from his series the Life of Toussaint L’Ouverture

 

January 1, 1804 the Haitian revolution succeeds. To learn more about Haitian history, Progressive Pupil suggests The Black Jacobins by C.L.R. James and The Uses of Haiti by Paul Farmer.  What are some of the biggest misconceptions we have about Haiti today?

"I Wish to Inquire for My People"

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Activists, Allies, Artists, Authors, Parents, Prisoners, Scholars, Students, Teachers, Uncategorized

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On January 1, 1863 President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation making slavery illegal in the US.  Soon afterwards, newspapers such as the Southwestern Christian Advocate in New Orleans were flooded with letters and advertisements by freedmen searching for their mothers, children, and spouses who had been sold or disappeared, or who had fled the brutality of plantation owners.  These letters reveal no one ever adjusted to slavery. And the trauma the experience caused endured long after Lincoln’s decree. How does slavery continue to impact African American families today?

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#TBT Podcast Where is the African Diaspora?

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Happy New Year!! In this episode from Season 1 of Breaking Down Racism, Sudanese rapper Oddisee, Afro-Dominican singer Fanesha Fabre, Ethiopian journalist Hanna Giorgies and others discuss the diversity of the Black community and the meaning of diaspora today.

 

Written by: Regine Nehy
Produced by: Regine Nehy and Ladin Awad
Executive Producer: Robin J. Hayes, PhD
Directed by: Tsige Tafesse and Sequana Williams
Edited by: Ladin Awad

Breaking Down Racism is brought to you by Progressive Pupil, which “makes Black studies for everybody.” The series was created by Robin J. Hayes, PhD.

Andrea Smith, Rachel Dolezal and Reading Realness

Posted on 3 CommentsPosted in #BlackLivesMatter, Activists, Allies, Artists, Black Resistance Screening List, Field Notes, Parents, Prisoners, Scholars, Students, Teachers, Uncategorized
(from l. to r.) Rachel Dolezal, Dorian Corey and Andrea Smith
(from l. to r.) Rachel Dolezal, Dorian Corey and Andrea Smith

I am, in the words of Black twitter, #ActualBlack.  I say this not to endorse “identity policing” but to point out:

  1. I have parents, grandparents and great grandparents who were forced to cope with the following forms of White supremacy (in chronological order): the TransAtlantic Slave Trade, lynching, segregation, mass incarceration, and microaggressions.
  2. My body, skin, hair, voice, accent (or lack of accent), sashay, and personal aesthetics are to some degree disturbing in all public and private institutions (except for prisons and the morgue).
  3. I did not sign up for this club, but I am proud to be a member.

In all seriousness,  I have been thinking a lot about  the question: Why has the outing of Rachel Dolezal and Andrea Smith as  White – allegedly – caused such a sensation?

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"Breaking Down Racism" Podcast Series Premieres

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http://picasion.com/

#BreakingDownRacism New from Progressive Pupil 

Progressive Pupil released all season 1 episodes of its first podcast series Breaking Down Racism on Soundcloud.  With topics ranging from “What is White Liberal Guilt?” to “Am I Black or African American?,” these upbeat podcasts provide accessible information related to everyday experiences of race.   Each episode answers a frequently asked question about race with the help of commentary from today’s grassroots activists in addition to rarely heard speeches and interviews by inspiring historical leaders.  The series is hosted by Black studies professor, human rights advocate and filmmaker Dr. Robin J. Hayes. It is brought to you by Progressive Pupil, a nonprofit that makes “Black Studies for Everybody” by creating documentary films and interactive media.

Comment below or while streaming the series on Soundcloud with your feedback and requests for future topics. Follow Breaking Down Racism for updates on Season 2. 

Season 1 Episodes

What is White Liberal Guilt?

Why do I Care About Intersectionality?

Where is the African Diaspora?

Black or African American? 

*Music of Black and Cuba (Bonus Episode)

Can a Documentary Change the World?

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Black and Cuba director Robin J. Hayes discusses “Socially Engaged Art as a Tool for Social Justice” at UnionDocs Socially Engaged Documentary Art Seminar Sunday June 21, 2015 10:30am 322 Union Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211. For filmmakers, artists and cultural producers, the seminar offers vital information about the theory and practice of documentary making with a purpose. Tell them Progressive Pupil sent you and get 20% off conference registration with promocode SEDA15. Learn more at http://www.uniondocs.org/socially-engaged-documentary-art/.  Share with a friend who wants to make films for their communities.