Progressive Pupil announces its programming line up for the 2017-2018 academic year. With the award-winning documentary Black and Cuba, prize-winning one-woman show 9 GRAMS (recently featured in The Advocate) and always thought provoking workshop Coping With Microaggressions; our programs contribute to learning at universities, nonprofits and corporations throughout the US and abroad.
See 9 GRAMS playwright Maisha Yearwood explain how to survive solitary confinement. She'll be performing her funny award-winning show at the My True Colors Festival in Brooklyn June 23-25, 2017. Happy Pride!
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.
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.
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. (more…)