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(l to r: Sanford Biggers, Wangechi Mutu, and Greg Tate talk visual art. Photo credit: Ed Marshall Photography NYC)
Didn’t make it to the Festival? No worries: Yes, we missed you, but all’s not lost: Check out a quick recap of the day, all in just over four minutes!
Photo credit: Ed Marshall Photography NYC
The big takeaway after Dr. Irvin gave us this parade of statistics: In many ways, the future is already here. It’s not something yet to come, but transformations that have already taken place. Check it out:
Photo credit: Ed Marshall Photography NYC
I wrote in the festival recap:
Imagine poetry that can be read top to bottom, bottom to top, in both directions across, and still make sense. That’s what Tyehimba Jess has created, all based on the Arabic ghazal form of poetry. He used the format to explore and illuminate the humanity of Bert Williams and George Walker, two of the best know vaudeville performers. It’d been explained to me what he was going to do, but nothing prepared me for his performance.
Unfortunately, part of the magic that the video doesn’t capture was that we were able to follow along because Tyehimba had the poem on the screen. So between his energetic performance and our being able to follow the cursor, we all saw the flexibility that the poem has to be performed several different ways.
You can check out the poem here: Williams-Walker Paradox7.
Onto the video:
Really pleased that we were able to bring the literary experience alive in the festival in what I think was a fresh way. And we were able to do it thanks to the participation of both ringShout and The New Black Fest. These two organizations, representing literary fiction and theater, respectively, did all of the heavy lifting. ringShout selected the authors and works to be read, while The New Black Fest tapped into their network of actors and brought some wonderful talent against these pieces and brought them to life.
On the talent side, one of the three actors we engaged for the Festival was Lynnette Freeman (above). Because of some needed schedule changes, Lynnette unexpectedly found herself in the position of closing out the Festival. She handled both the reading and the schedule plus size free online dating service change with grace, and I’m going to be forever grateful to her http://fromanativeson.com/dating-in-rio-de-janeiro-mj7/ for her flexibilty and for delivering a great reading from an equally powerhouse writer’s work. Speaking of which, you can find out more about Danzy Senna, a New York Times bestselling author, here.
Here’s Lynnette reading an excerpt from “The Land of Beulah,” which is taken from Danzy’s collection You http://wendigolake.org/qii/bp5y-live-couples-sex-cam/ Are Free (Riverhead Books, 2011):
Photo credit: Ed Marshall Photography NYC
DJ 2-Tone Jones offers a fascinating talk about all that went on during the development of Shaolin Jazz: The 37th Chamber, the remix project he produced with Gerald Watson that blends the Wu-Tang Clan’s first album with classic jazz samples.
If you haven’t heard the project, you can download it here.
In the meantime, check out this video from his session:
The Shaolin Jazz project’s latest installment is an EP that mixes the Wu with music from the late Gil Scott-Heron. Get your download on here.
Photo recovering singles credit: Ed Marshall Photography NYC
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Dr. Irvin, our opening keynote speaker, really brought it. After nearly 40 minutes of blowing our heads separating the fact and fiction of what the future will be like, this five minute clip has him summarizing things. The important takeaways here are the mindset that we’ll all need in order to thrive in a future that, in many ways, is already here.
Check it out:
My first thought: Thank you. That’s right, the first Festival of the New Black Imagination was a success, and I think the groundwork is laid for an even bigger and better event next year. But it couldn’t have happened without the support of a bunch of people. Yes, I did a lot of the heavy lifting, but you all responded overwhelmingly in the positive to the idea and the vision I laid out: Namely, creating a space that celebrates forward-looking black culture. So many co-signed this vision: A committed advisory board; a killer group of speakers and performers; the great Festival partners; the talent that helped capture the event on film and in still photographs; the event services team that handled registration (lifesavers!); the donors to the IndieGoGo campaign; and not to forget the countless others who simply showed love and encouragement.
It truly takes a village.
For those of you who weren’t able to make it, by all accounts it was a fantastic day. It was Smart Black People Central! And it was all kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds: Folks from a variety of backgrounds and all of them covering a range of activities and interests. We squeezed a total of 14 sessions into a single day! It was ambitious, to say the least. Can’t wait to share the video with you guys. While all of the sessions were strong, I want to highlight a few that were really impactful:
The Futurist: Dr. Nat Irvin II
What’s life going to be like in 30 years? Like very little we can imagine now. In fact, the seeds of that future have already been planted. The best thing you can do to get ready for it? According to Dr. Irvin: “Go deep in at least two areas. That 10,000 hours Malcolm Gladwell talked about? You need to do it twice.” Also, the future’s going to be about having great ideas, so he left us with this provocative thought: “Have sex with a lot of other people. . .their ideas, that is.”
A key piece of writing by Dr. Irvin, The Hidden World of Thrivals, can be read here.
The Poet: Tyehimba Jess
I was blown away after this session. Imagine poetry that can be read top to bottom, bottom to top, in both directions across, and still make sense. That’s what Tyehimba Jess has created, all based on the Arabic ghazal form of poetry. He used the format to explore and illuminate the humanity of Bert Williams and George Walker, two of the best know vaudeville performers. It’d been explained to me what he was going to do, but nothing prepared me for his performance. Can’t wait until you see the video on this one!
The Visual Artists: Sanford Biggers and Wangechi Mutu in conversation with Greg Tate
It was a real honor to host visual artists of Sanford and Wangechi’s caliber at the Festival. Their conversation was a revealing look at process and how they’re navigating the art world. And I can only tip my hat (again!) to Festival advisor Greg Tate who is a master of lobbing questions that, on their surface, seem simple and straightforward, but provoke unexpected and multilayered responses.
By the way, if you haven’t seen it, I suggest you run–don’t walk–to the Brooklyn Museum to check out Sanford’s current show, Sweet Funk–An Introspective, which runs til January 8.
Art & Technology Panel: Kenyatta Cheese, Crystal Z. Campbell, Wayne Sutton, Sian Morson
What I’m so grateful for is that Sian Morson stepped up and put a fantastic session together. I knew about multimedia artist Crystal Campbell and I also knew that she was waiting on a confirm from internet guru Kenyatta Cheese, who only returned from China the day before the Festival. But when she tells me she’s got Wayne Sutton, I’m thinking GTFOH! Wayne is social media and tech royalty, a real rock star. But so quiet and unassuming.
You can check him out on November 13 when the CNN series Black In America 4 takes a look at how he and Angela Benton of Black Web 2.0 are working with a group of tech startups to ensure that they get a foothold in Silicon Valley.
The Entrepreneur: Ali Muhammad
If any three words come out of the Festival, they’ll probably be “See. Do. Be.” With these words and an amazing ability to tell a story sans any visuals, Ali Muhammad shared a philosophy that has enabled him to thrive as an entrepreneur. This is another session worth seeing once the video is available.
The Explainers or How To Be Black: Toure, Amanda Seales, Baratunde Thurston
If you’re going to have a session called “How To Be Black,” it’d better deliver. And these three did so in spades (pun intended!) Seriously, this panel was what we hoped it would be: A smart and funny look at how notions of race are (or are not) evolving in the 21st century. Both Toure and Baratunde were great. But it was Amanda who took on the role of agent provocateur and refused to let either of the panelists get away with easy, pat answers that really sent this session into the stratosphere.
Again, a big shout out to everyone who was involved with the Festival, no matter how small a role you had. It will grow and evolve over time but, as that Sade song goes, it’s “never as good as the first time.” Thank you.
For more photos, all courtesy of Ed Marshall Photography NYC–including shots of the performances by Saidah Baba Talibah, Dope Sagittarius, No Surrender, Tamar-kali and DJ Reborn–check out of the Festival Facebook page.
It’s all coming together. We’ll be unveiling the Festival agenda shortly, i.e., what our speakers hairy pussies in sex free sites are going to discuss. But in the meantime, check out the speakers themselves. I mean, between the futurist, the visual artists, the music icons, the architect, the filmmaker, the entrepreneurs and poet, http://librecordpool.com/yh/t6j-millinocket-maine-web-cam cultural critics and writers, it’s gonna be a packed http://www.voiceboxtalent.com/k0r-sex-site-snatcher-v4 day! http://eopticinc.com/boston-dating-site-aqv2/