9 GRAMS at National Black Theatre Festival

The legendary National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina welcomes 9 GRAMS to its Readers Series. Award-Winning playwright Maisha Yearwood will read her work about a Hollywood screenwriter who endures solitary confinement in a Turkish prison after being racially profiled as a drug trafficker. Based on a true story.

#TBT Podcast: Why do I Care About Intersectionality?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Activists, Allies, Breaking Down Racism, Students

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In this episode of Breaking Down Racism, model/TV presenter Michelle De Swarte discusses intersectionality and the importance of embracing all our identities.

Written by: Melissa Bautista, Bryan Counts and Ebony Wiggins.
Executive Producer: Robin J. Hayes, PhD
Produced by: Bryan Counts and Pascal Rosenast.
Directed by: Pascal Rosenast.
Narrated by: Bryan Counts.
Co-narration by: Mesha Byrd, Ebony Wiggins, Melissa Bautista, and Pascal Rosenast.
Production Help by: Kristal Lindo

It's Gonna Be Alright Palante Siempre Palante

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This time of year I tend to congratulate myself about what I have managed to accomplish during the summer and soothe myself with gelato about the things on my to-do list that will have to be pushed back into Fall.  All of us who are doing important work – either as educators, artists, activists, students or volunteers – have more passion than money — more good ideas than time to execute them.  What’s the best way to surrender to this reality dishonoring our spirit?

At the Progressive Pupil office this summer, we’ve been listening to Kendrick Lamar’s ‘It’s Gonna Be Alright” on repeat.  This song, which has become the unofficial theme of #BlacklLivesMatter, is an affirmation that has long been passed down from grandmother to grandchild in African American communities.  In spite of all the challenges we who believe in freedom face, and the dark truths that must be confronted in doing this work with integrity, it’s gonna be alright.


African LGBT Activists & Allies

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Activists, Allies, Artists, Uncategorized
Image Courtesy of Institute for Security Studies.
Image Courtesy of Institute for Security Studies.

I recently listened to an interview about Eliot Elisofon’s exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art. Elisofon was a photojournalist for LIFE Magazine and major influence on America’s view of life in Africa. Contrary to much of the reporting on Africa, during his time, Elisofon chose to photograph a more positive reality. He again came to mind when I was considering how discouraging it can be to discover that many internet searches for activists for LGBT rights in Africa result in biographies about fearless leaders whose lives have ended in brutal murder, such as Ugandan activist and teacher, David Kato Kisule. As did Elisofon with his photography, I am hoping to highlight a few activists who, despite the risk of being ostracized, attacked and jailed, continue to be vocal in the fight for LGBT rights in Africa.