Righteous Jones series, entitled “Running Out of Time (R.O.OT.)”, created by conceptual artist, DJ, and music supervisor Run P., is a collage of voices and visuals that shed light on our closing window of opportunity to come to terms with societal shortcomings concerning climate justice as well as its link to the plight of Black and Indigenous Americans.
“Dutchman”, also known as “Dutchman & The Slave”, is a one-act dramatic play written by poet, writer, educator, political activist and playwright Amiri Baraka, then known as LeRoi Jones. “Dutchman” was first presented at the Cherry Lane Theatre in Greenwich Village, New York City, in March 1964. The play, which won an Obie Award, was made into a film in 1967, starring Shirley Knight and Al Freeman Jr. Dutchman was the last play produced by Baraka under his birth name, LeRoi Jones.
A classic retelling of the “Orpheus and Eurydice” legend enacted by black performers, “Orfeu Negro” follows young lovers Orfeu (Breno Mello) and Eurydice (Marpessa Dawn) run through the favelas of Rio during Carnaval. On the lam from a hitman dressed like Death (Ademar Da Silva) and Orfeu’s vengeful fiancée Mira (Lourdes de Oliveira), the film passes between moments of fantasy and stark reality. Directed by Marcel Camus. Released in 1959.
The oldest known surviving film made by an African-American director, “Within Our Gates” is a 1920 American silent film by the director, writer and producer Oscar Micheaux, which portrays white supremacy as a conduit to racial violence in the United States during the early twentieth century, the years of Jim Crow, the revival of the Ku Klux Klan, the Great Migration of Blacks to cities of the North and Midwest, and the emergence of the “New Negro”.
Artist Carrie Mae Weems discusses the impetus for her work “The Kitchen Table Series” (1990), a photographic investigation of a single domestic space in which the artist staged scenes of “the battle around the family” between women and men, friends and lovers, parents and children. Carrie Mae Weems’ vibrant explorations of photography, video, and verse breathe new life into traditional narrative forms—social documentary, tableaux, self-portrait, and oral history.
A 15-minute silent film made by Jules V. D. Bucher, “A Study of Negro Artists” was created on four reels in the 1930s to highlight the development of African-American fine arts. Explore the artistic achievements of the African American artists featured including Georgette Seabrook, Aaron Douglas, Richmond Barthé, and James Allen. Also spotlighted is an early exhibition of African American art at the Whitney Museum of American Art.