Black to the UK

Awrite! Black and Cuba has been selected to be part of the Africa in Motion Film Festival in Glasgow, Scotland. It’s the largest film festival about the African diaspora in the United Kingdom. This is the award-winning documentary’s second public screening in the UK, the first being near Electric Avenue in London’s diverse Brixton neighborhood at the Ritzy Cinema.

 

See the film November 1st, 2017 7:30pm at The Rum Shack in South Glasgow. The film goes great with Cuba Libres and Mojitos!

Photo above courtesy of Getty Images.  A member of Cartha’s Queen Park Rugby team during an exhibition match in Havana, Cuba.

Black and Cuba at Caribbean Philosophical Association

Director Dr. Robin J. Hayes will answer questions about the film’s portrayal of Caribbean intellectuals including Frantz Fanon and C.L.R. James following the screening. Room N-453. Free and open to the public.

From Havana to Baltimore

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The Black and Cuba roadshow continues Sunday June 4, 2017 in Baltimore at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum 2pm 803 Pratt Street. Join this caring and vibrant community for what’s sure to be a lively dialogue after the film. If you can’t make it Sunday, Black and Cuba is also available on DVD and on demand at iTunes, Amazon and Google Play.

Recognize

Posted on 8 CommentsPosted in #BlackLivesMatter, Activists, Allies, Artists, Field Notes, Parents, Prisoners, Scholars, Students, Teachers

Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 4.53.55 PM

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Between screening Black and Cuba and working on my new multi-platform project 9 GRAMS, I’ve spent some time this summer thinking about the Black woman’s image.  Of course in one way or another I’ve been thinking about it my entire life by looking in the mirror and beholding the relentless glamour of my mother and grandmother while I was growing up. In creating films that center Black women’s perspectives and – frankly- a lifetime of struggling to valorize my own, I’ve come to realize the most empowering and aesthetically beautiful representations of Black women are the ones we create ourselves.

Our People, No Labels

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u people
Photo courtesy of the U People Facebook Page

U People, released in 2009, is a documentary directed by Olive Demetrius and Hanifah Walidah. This riveting film features the testimony of everyday people expressing their unfiltered feelings about what it means to be Gay, straight or an ally within the African American community. These discussions were filmed unexpectedly on the set of Hanifah Walidah’s Make a Move music video. Shot in a Brooklyn brownstone over two days, the documentary involves over thirty people from all walks of life, including many members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community. U People was well-received in the community and has been featured several times on MTV’s Logo channel. In 2010, it was nominated for the Outstanding Documentary media award at the 21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York City.

The film is described as a “LGBT Rockumentary” and begins with a disclaimer: “When you view this film do not make assumptions about anyone’s sexuality.” This reflects the film’s mission to promote and encourage the development of a space for empowered self-identification. U People is a one-of-kind display of magical individuality and everyday uniqueness. The “U People” experience is about self-expression and sexuality on one’s own terms; social norms and conventions are abandoned in favor of self-love and personal conviction.

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What Do You Think?

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Girl reading comic book in newsstand, c. 1940–1945. Photograph by Charles “Teenie” Harris courtesy of Eyes on Pittsburgh and the Carnegie Museum of Art
Girl reading comic book in newsstand, c. 1940–1945. Photograph by Charles “Teenie” Harris courtesy of Eyes on Pittsburgh and the Carnegie Museum of Art.

This blog along with Progressive Pupil’s social media, internship program and the documentary Black and Cuba are all how we fulfill our goal to make Black studies for everybody and encourage participation in grassroots organizations. We want to help you be informed, empowered and supported.

Your input is essential to our success. Any Black studies questions you’d like us to answer? Any issues or organizations you want to see more of? Want us to spread the word about your great nonprofit or activist collective? Would you like to share your art, poetry or upcoming film? Get in touch with us so we can share what you need. You can reach us in the comments section of this post or by emailing us at vedan.a@progressivepupil.org. You can also let us know what you think on Facebook or Twitter. We’re already excited to hear from you!

A Healthy Chicago, Peace by Peace

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Activists, Allies, Black Resistance Screening List, Parents, Students, Teachers
Cook County Hospital house staff officers on strike in 1975. Photo courtesy of the Chicago Tribune.
Cook County Hospital house staff officers on strike in 1975. Photo courtesy of the Chicago Tribune.

Jack Pizzy is a British filmmaker who began his career as a television anchor and reporter. His documentary I Call It Murder was first aired on the BBC television program Man Alive in 1979. The film depicts Cook County Hospital in Chicago before it closed in 1975 due to a lack of funding. Because the hospital was public, many of Chicago’s poor communities relied on its services. The documentary focuses on violence as being a major problem in Cook County; most of the patients suffered from severe gun and knife wounds. Pizzy even remarks of Cook County saying,

The most common fatal complication of pregnancy is gunshot wounds.

The documentary also shows that many of the fatally injured patients at Cook County Hospital were initially turned away by other hospitals because of poverty and racism — since many of the patients lacked medical insurance and were Black or Latino. Perhaps more depressing is that nearly forty years later, the interplay of poverty, racism, violence and access to healthcare still exists.

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How to Survive a Plague

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How to Survive a Plague Poster

The compelling documentary How to Survive a Plague, directed by David France, explores how activism helped alter public opinion and empower people diagnosed with HIV during the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States. Using archival footage of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP ) and the Treatment Action Group (TAG), David France excellently captures the stirring losses, achievements and solemn victories of the movement while reflecting on a journey in which too many lives were lost to the disease. The film is a testament to the power of people organizing and emphasizes that organizing – coupled with knowledge – has the ability to create meaningful change. How to Survive a Plague is an inspiring and important film as it gives ordinary people who have an interest in a cause but fearful or uninformed the courage to organize. Successful organizing doesn’t necessarily require an extensive knowledge base but rather change is determined by people with a passion for revolution.

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What do You Think?

Posted on 1 CommentPosted in Activists, Allies, Artists, Parents, Prisoners, Scholars, Students, Teachers
Two young women eating caramel apples, c. 1940–1945. Photograph by Charles “Teenie” Harris courtesy of Eyes on Pittsburgh and the Carnegie Museum of Art.
Two young women eating caramel apples, c. 1940–1945. Photograph by Charles “Teenie” Harris courtesy of Eyes on Pittsburgh and the Carnegie Museum of Art.

This blog along with Progressive Pupil’s social media, internship program and the documentary Black and Cuba are all how we fulfill our goal to make Black studies for everybody and encourage participation in grassroots organizations. We want to help you be informed, empowered and supported.

Your input is essential to our success. Any Black studies questions you’d like us to answer? Any issues or organizations you want to see more of? Want us to spread the word about your great nonprofit or activist collective? Would you like to share your art, poetry or upcoming film? Get in touch with us so we can share what you need. You can reach us in the comments section of this post or by emailing us at progressivepupil@beautifulmes.com. You can also let us know what you think on Facebook or Twitter. We’re already excited to hear from you!

How can I see “Black and Cuba?”

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Activists, Allies, Artists, Parents, Prisoners, Scholars, Students

Black and Cuba QuotesThank you for all of your encouragement and enthusiasm about Black and Cuba. At work-in-progress screenings in San Juan, East Harlem and Greenwich Village, for audiences from all walks of life, we’ve heard tremendous support for the project and a strong desire to learn more about the AfroCuban experience and how we can overcome racism and class.

We are hard at work incorporating your input into our next draft of the film so that Black and Cuba can be a long-lasting tool for educators, students, activists and allies working to address the consequences of racial and economic injustice. In addition to conducting research and editing, we are raising money for the project so we can provide you with a film that is beautiful, inspiring and informative.

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