June tadoo list


Railbird Pre-Party: Charley Crockett. June 2. “The Man from Waco” gets the party started in advance of that weekend’s sold-out Railbird Music Festival, with an intimate show at The Burl’s outdoor stage, showcasing his masterful mix of country, soul, blues, folk and Western swing. 8 p.m. The Burl, 375 Thompson Road. www.theburlky.com

Boz Scaggs. June 5. An early bandmate of Steve Miller, William Royce Scaggs, better known as Boz Scaggs, is a Grammy-winning, multi-genre artist who has been making rock ’n’ roll, R&B, jazz and pop music, along with his signature style of ballads, for over 50 years. 8 p.m. Lexington Opera House, 401 W. Short St. www.lexington-operahouse.com

Joslyn & the Sweet Compression. June 9. Lexington-based powerhouse vocalist Joslyn Hampton and her band, The Sweet Compression, deliver a compelling and hook-filled mix of funk and R&B-flavored pop. 8 p.m. The Burl, 375 Thompson Road. www.theburlky.com

Candlebox: The Long Goodbye Tour. June 11. Seattle’s Candlebox emerged just as the early ’90s grunge scene was winding down. The band’s take on the genre diluted the punk and indie elements inherent in its original form and was more rooted in the bluesy, classic-style hard rock that grunge had ostensibly replaced. 8 p.m. Manchester Music Hall, 899 Manchester St. www.manchestermusichall.com

Shamarr Allen. June 14. With influences in jazz, hip-hop, rock, funk rhythms, blues and country, New Orleanian vocalist and trumpeter Shamarr Allen transcends musical boundaries. 8 p.m. The Burl, 375 Thompson Road. www.theburlky.com

Dawn Landes. June 22. Folk/Americana singer-songwriter Dawn Landes has toured with a diverse range of artists including Sufjan Stevens, Nick Lowe, Suzanne Vega and Steve Earle. In 2020 she released “ROW,” a collection of songs from her musical based on the true story of rower Tori Murden McClure, featuring Kentucky artists Will Oldham, Ben Sollee and more. 8 p.m. The Burl, 375 Thompson Road. www.theburlky.com

The Motet. June 29. Since 1998, The Motet has inspired fans with their unique style of jammy dance music. Over the course of nine full-length albums, they’ve jammed through the lines between funk, soul, jazz, and rock and built a devoted audience in the process. 8 p.m. The Burl, 375 Thompson Road. www.theburlky.com


Kevin Nance: Dreamscapes. On display through June 16. In Dreamscapes, Kevin Nance explores the spaces between reality and dreams. Using long exposures, reflections, and various forms of distortion (caused by movement, weather and other phenomena) these photographs conjure alternate dimensions that exist just outside our normal ways of seeing. These are the worlds we glimpse in peripheral vision, at the far edges of consciousness, and on the way in and out of sleep. Gallery hours: Noon-5 p.m. Wed.-Sat. Lexington Art League’s Loudoun House Gallery, 209 Castlewood Drive www.lexingtonartleague.org

Through the Multiverse: A Retrospective of the Artwork of Kenn Minter. On display through June 28. In the colorful world of art, Kenn Minter has worn many hats. Initiating his career as a daily comic strip creator for the Kentucky Kernel newspaper, he soon became a graphic designer, dabbled as a mural painter, magazine illustrator, and art teacher, and served as an art director for the University of Kentucky. Using knowledge culled from the world of print and publishing, Minter began creating comic books and graphic novels under the imprint Near Mint Press. This family-friendly exhibit will feature a “cartoon docent” who will travel along with viewers and provide information about each section. Gallery hours: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; 10 a.m.-2 p.m. fourth Sat. of the month. (Other weekend and evening hours available; call for more information.) Living Arts & Science Center, 362 N. Martin Luther King Blvd. www.lasclex.org

Sinners and Saints. On display through July 8. Oscar Wilde said, “Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future,” acknowledging we are all works in progress, and most of us struggle with both good and at least somewhat malicious impulses over the course of our lives. This exhibit, which draws from the museum’s permanent collection, examines both the labels and the blurred lines, as artists present mixed messages in their approach to these twinned themes. Utilizing traditional Christian imagery as well as depictions of fallen men and women, the art ranges from the 16th to 20th centuries and includes an exquisite Guido Reni drawing of the Madonna and Child, along with William Hogarth’s depictions of riotous behavior on Gin Lane and Beer Street. Gallery hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues.-Fri.; 12-5 p.m. Sat. University of Kentucky Art Museum at the Singletary Center, 405 Rose St. finearts.uky.edu/art-museum

David Onri Anderson: Rapture. On display through July 9. Made over the past six months, this collection of recent paintings by David Onri Anderson marks a creative departure from the artist’s established style. Known for his meticulously planned psychedelic abstractions and still lifes, Anderson employs the landscape here in an intuition-led mapping of the unconscious. The paintings in this collection further respond to a disappearing natural world. Simple geometries transform into a place for reflection, an ambient realm humming with ancient life. Anderson describes the process of making as a kind of prayer, an invitation to relinquish control and move with the land. Gallery hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Wed.-Sat., and by appointment. Institute 193, 215 N. Limestone www.institute193.org


Carnegie Center’s Books-in-Progress Conference. June 1-3. Aspiring or established writers can grow their craft in sessions and panels led by top authors, editors and writing professionals. Topics include fiction, nonfiction, YA, publishing, revision and more. Conference add-ons include one-on-one pitch meetings with literary agents, first page critiques, a pre-conference writing retreat with Jacinda Townsend, and a post-conference writing retreat with Ashley Blooms. This year’s keynote speaker is Angela Jackson-Brown, an award-winning writer, poet and playwright who “Drinking From a Bitter Cup,” “House Repairs,” “When Stars Rain Down” and “The Light Always Breaks.” Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning 251 W. Second St. www.carnegiecenterlex.org

Swingin’ on Main. June 3. This annual event offers the opportunity to jump, jive and wail with swing dancers of all skill levels. Arthur Murray and the Hepcats Swing Dance Club will be providing free dance lessons, and experienced dancers can test their skills at the dance contest held during intermission. Live music will be provided by Big Time Operator, a world-class band playing American classics and other big band and swing hits. 7-11 p.m. Triangle Park, 400 W. Main St. www.lexingtonky.gov/events

Lexington Lions Club Bluegrass Fair. Presented by the Lexington Lions Club, The Bluegrass Fair has been an annual family tradition for more than 60 years, with carnival-style rides, games and attractions provided by Kissell Entertainment, and a variety of agricultural events as well. Visit the event’s website as it nears for additional information and tickets. Bluegrass Fairgrounds at Masterson Station Park, 3051 Leestown Road. www.thebluegrassfair.com

Southland Street Fair. June 10. This outdoor event features food, entertainment, local vendors and more. Musical performers include Chico Rose, Big Sugg and the Jazz Funkers and more. The full lineup, food vendors and other details will be announced as the event nears. 3-8 p.m. Southland Drive, near the corner of Rosemont Garden. www.southlandassociation.com/southland-street-fair

KET Summer Celebration. June 10. The 35th annual Summer Celebration fundraising event for Kentucky Educational Television invites attendees to bust out their school spirit and celebrate the state’s “biggest classroom.” University of Kentucky president and first lady, Eli and Mary Lynne Capilouto, Ph.D., will serve as honorary chairs and “homecoming king and queen” for the event, which includes dancing and live music by The Jimmy Church Band and a mobile auction. Attire is summer festive or school spirit costume couture: super fan, varsity jacket, cheer or band uniform, cap and gown, etc. 7 p.m. Donamire Farm, 4151 Old Frankfort Pike. KET.org/SummerCelebration

​​Lexington Boutique Week. June 12-17. Lexington Boutique Week gives shoppers a chance to upgrade their wardrobes while supporting the city’s fabulous local retail businesses, with more than two dozen participating shops offering exclusive “deals and steals” throughout the six-day event. Visit the event’s website for a full list of participating stores and promotions. (Lexington Boutique Week is produced by this magazine’s parent company, Smiley Pete Publishing.) Various locations. www.lexingtonboutiqueweek.com

Juneteenth Celebration. June 17. A variety of music, spoken word and other performing artists will take the stage at the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center’s Juneteenth event: a commemoration of freedom and the profound impact of African American contributions to our society. From gospel, blues, and hip hop to line-dancing, ballet and African drumming, the event’s offerings are designed to showcase the depth and breadth of African American artistic expression. The museum and cultural art gallery will open at 4 p.m.; theater doors at 6 p.m. Lyric Theater and Cultural Arts Center, 300 E. Third St. www.lexingtonlyric.com

SoulFeast. June 17-25. SoulFeast is a festival featuring many events celebrating local Black culture, with a special focus on the food and beverage industry. On June 17, SoulFeast will present SoulTeenth Fest, a Juneteenth Festival celebrating Black liberation and culture through live music, art, agriculture and food, at Moondance Amphitheater. During Black Restaurant Week (June 19-25), presented in partnership with Black Soil KY, participating restaurants will create a unique, off-menu food entrée for $10, with each entree featuring at least one ingredient sourced from a Black farmer or producer in Kentucky. Additional events include a Diaspora Dinner highlighting dishes from Western Africa, the Caribbean and America (June 16 at Harper Hill); a Cocktails & Cigars event at Jack’s Sandbar (June 17); a Hip Hop Brunch at The Grove (June 18); a Black History Walking Tour presented in conjunction with Bites of the Bluegrass (June 19); and a Soulful Sunday Gospel Brunch (June 25). www.soulfeastweek.com

The Garden Club of Kentucky: Botherum Garden Tour. June 17-18. This tour of the historic home and gardens of Botherum, owned and designed by Jon Carloftis, will benefit The Garden Club of Kentucky. The tour includes the garden, home, carriage house and the newly acquired original summer kitchen. Tickets are limited and must be purchased prior to the event. 1-5 p.m. both days. More info and a link to tickets can be found at www.gardenclubky.org.

Ashland Lawn Party. June 24. This annual summer party is held on the lawn of Ashland: The Henry Clay Estate, with cocktails, live music from Electria, and dinner under a tent, provided by Selma’s Catering. A live auction kicks off at 8 p.m., with a silent auction also available. Tickets and more info are available online. 5:30 p.m. Ashland: The Henry Clay Estate, 120 Sycamore Road. henryclay.org/exhibits-events/upcoming-events/

Lexington PRIDE Festival. June 24. The Lexington Pride Festival is a community celebration to empower and bring awareness to the intersectional lives of LGBTQIA+ Kentuckians. While the festival is a lot of fun, it’s more than just a party – it’s a day to remember, protest, make change, and to connect and learn. Live entertainment, speakers, a diverse array of vendors, food and drink, community booths and kid-friendly activities will be available. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Central Bank Center, 430 W. Vine St. www.lexpridefest.org

Open Gates to Bluegrass Living Garden Tour. June 24-25. Presented by the Lexington Council Garden Clubs, this garden tour will feature eight beautiful Lexington gardens, designed by homeowners and professionals alike. Tickets will be available at a variety of independently owned garden centers, including Best Of Flowers, King’s Gardens, Peggy’s Gifts and Accessories, Pemberton’s Greenhouse, Wilson’s Garden Center Lexington and Springhouse Gardens, and at the participating homes on the days of the tour. Proceeds from the tour help provide scholarships to University of Kentucky students majoring in horticulture and related fields. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat.; 1-5 p.m. Sun. A list of participating gardens and more details can be found at www.lexgardenclubs.org/open-gatesgarden-tour/.

Wild Ones Curbside Garden Tour. June 24.This garden tour focuses on front yard gardens – in particular, those that are planted in the strip between a sidewalk and the street. Its goal is to highlight these curb strips, which are publicly very visible but rarely used for ornamental gardening. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Multiple locations to be announced. lexington.wildones.org/events

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, May 19-21

The annual meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists was held from May 19 to 21 in Baltimore and attracted more than 4,000 participants from around the world, including clinicians, academicians, allied health professionals, and others interested in obstetrics and gynecology. The conference highlighted recent advances in the prevention, detection, and treatment of conditions impacting women, with presentations focusing on the advancement of health care services for women worldwide.

In one study, Katherine Panushka, M.D., of the Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues found that women with hypertension who do not desire future fertility are not receiving adequate amounts of counseling.

The researchers evaluated U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data from the National Survey of Family Growth, which is nationally representative of all women in the United States, and found that two-thirds of women with high blood pressure with no desire for future fertility did not receive counseling about contraception. In addition, Black women with high blood pressure received decreased rates of counseling. This finding is particularly concerning as the most commonly used birth control is the oral contraceptive pill, which should be avoided in the setting of high blood pressure, the authors said.

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“Our study highlights an unmet need for safe and accessible contraceptive options among hypertensive individuals, particularly Black individuals, at risk for unintended pregnancy,” Panushka said. “Addressing this gap through targeted interventions, provider education, and improved access to a variety of contraceptive methods will not only enhance the quality of care for this population but also contribute to reducing the rates of unintended pregnancies and their associated adverse health outcomes.”

Abstract No. 1376928

In another study, Yosra Elsayed, of the Central Michigan University College of Medicine in Mount Pleasant, and colleagues found that COVID-19 infection during pregnancy increases the risk for poor birth outcomes.

The authors performed a retrospective chart review using medical records from a single university-affiliated obstetric practice. Patients were categorized into subgroups, including those who were positive for COVID-19 infection during pregnancy (69 patients) or negative for COVID-19 infection and delivering before the pandemic (59 patients).

The researchers found that COVID-19 infection during pregnancy decreased birth weight by almost half a pound and increased the risk for an extended delivery hospitalization almost threefold. These effects were largely driven by earlier delivery, as those who had a COVID-19 infection during pregnancy had a fourfold increased risk for preterm delivery. The investigators also found that severity of infection was important. Compared with those who had milder infections, those with more severe COVID-19 infections had newborns with significantly lower birth weights and substantially higher rates of preterm birth, need for oxygen at birth, and neonatal intensive care unit admission.

“Severe infection, based on the need for an emergency department visit, hospitalization, oxygen treatment, steroids, antibodies, or ventilation, was a strong predictor of poor outcomes, with the worst outcomes in our study among those with the most severe infections during pregnancy,” Elsayed said. “A larger more diverse sample is needed to confirm findings, and to examine potential impact of vaccination in reducing the impact of COVID-19 infection during pregnancy.”

Abstract No. 1373946

Runzhi Wang, M.D., of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues found that just under 25 percent of pregnant women responding to an electronic survey trusted health care practitioners less after the COVID-19 pandemic, especially Black/African American pregnant women with a history of illicit drug use.

The authors evaluated the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on medical mistrust by distributing an electronic survey among pregnant women between 15 and 45 years of age, who were undergoing prenatal care at a single medical institution. The authors found that 24.4 percent of respondents said they trusted health care practitioners less following the COVID-19 pandemic, and 13.6 percent grew more mistrustful of provided information.

“Nearly a quarter of participants trusted health care providers less after the COVID-19 pandemic,” the authors write. “Black/African American pregnant women and those with a history of drug use have greater medical mistrust than White/Caucasian women.”

Abstract No. 1376909

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Friday Dance Music Guide: The Week’s Best New Tracks From LSDXOXO, Nelly Furtado & Dom Dolla, Mura Masa & More

This week in dance music: Gorillaz announced The Getaway tour with support from Kaytranada and more, Flume and Confidence Man scored nominations for Australia’s 2023 AIR Awards, the ladies of Icona Pop penned a letter to the LGBTQ community to mark the dawn of Pride month, David Guetta tied Calvin Harris for the most ever No. 1s on Billboard‘s Dance Mix Show/Airplay chart, friends and associates of late disco pioneer Sylvester shared their recollections of the legend and we ran down the top 65 LGBTQ anthems of all time.


See latest videos, charts and news

See latest videos, charts and news

More, you say? Indeed. Let’s get into it.

LSDXOXO, “Double Tap”

The Artist: The Philly-born, Berlin-based DJ/producer LSDXOXO

The Label: F.A.G. / Because Music

The Spiel: After official remixes for Lady Gaga, Pinkpantheress and Shygirl, along with a May residency at BBC Radio 1, LSDXOXO keeps swinging for the fences with the deeply euphemistic “Double Tap.” On it, he minces no words while demanding “think about my face when you touch it” over squelchy electro production and urgently hypnotic synths, which all builds to a state of frenzied seduction. The track is the lead single from LSDXOXO’s forthcoming Delusions Of Grandeur EP, coming September 22.

The Artist Says: Delusions of Grandeur was created as a bridging of worlds for what people know my sound to be and what it will become over the span of my next few projects. Electroclash and ’90s vocal rave have always been some of my biggest musical inspirations, but I’ve allowed those influences to take a front seat in the crafting of this EP … The title of this project speaks to my personal tug of war with the concept of celebrity. I’m quite the introvert, and up to this point have used my artistic persona as a sort of costume or even armour in order to navigate the heightened visibility.”

The Vibe: Definitely not introverted.

Barry Can’t Swim, “Woman”

The Artist: Scottish upstart Barry Can’t Swim

The Label: Ninja Tune

The Spiel: The lead single form BCS’ forthcoming debut album, When Will We Land, “Woman” is a warm breeze of a house track built from insistent piano, shimmery flourishes, a bit of choral singing and anchoring vocals from English singer Låpsley.

The Artist Says: “I wanted it to have the energy of electronic music but also with a more organic live element,” Barry says of his forthcoming LP. “I feel like I’m more of a musician than anything else. I’m a producer but I like writing music on instruments.”

The Vibe: Simultaneous levity and depth.

Dom Dolla & Nelly Furtado, “Eat Your Man”

The Artists: Mighty Aussie house producer Dom Dolla, still riding high off his recent MK collab “Rhyme Dust,” and pop goddess Nelly Furtado.

The Label: Three Six Zero Recordings/Sony Music Entertainment

The Spiel: Furtado returns with her first new music in six (!) years, with — yes, ladies and gentlemen — a bonafide club heater. “Eat Your Man” finds Furtado lyrically referencing some of her greatest hits (“Maneater” “I’m Like a Bird”), in a rapidfire flow — Fly like a bird, I’m taking it home… I’ll eat your man, devour him whole” — over Dolla’s darkly pulsing production, built primarily from a sort of snaky synth and bass far enough into the low end to make your speakers wobble slightly.

The Vibe: Like a bird on a peaktime dancefloor.

DJ Holographic, “Desire”

The Artist: DJ Holographic

The Label: Black Artist Database

The Spiel: We all know what desire feels like, but how does it sound? For Detroit native DJ Holographic, the sonic vibe is seven minutes of a pulsing beat paired with some sort of soft sighing and musings on the nature of romance and intimacy. The experimental (but still very listenable) track is out on Synergy Vol 1, a compilation from Black Artist Database that marks the launch of its new label of the same name and also features track by B.A.D. co-founder Niks, Lyric Hood and more.

The Vibe: Steamy.

Mura Masa, “Drugs”

The Artist: U.K. fav Mura Masa.

The Label: Pond Recordings

The Spiel: Here Peruvian singer Daniela Lalita declares “I don’t do drugs, but with you I do,” over Mura Masa’s breezy, sort of bouncy, indie-leaning production, which itself embodies the pleasure of sometimes breaking your own rules for the right person. The track follows Mura Masa’s April Coachella set and his production work on PinkPantheress and Ice Spice’s global breakout hit “Boy’s a liar Pt. 2.”

The Vibe: Playful and indeed sort of stoney.

Purple Disco Machine, “Bad Company”

The Artists: German powerhouse Purple Disco Machine

The Label: Columbia

The Spiel: Blessedly hitting the same disco + ’80s synth sweet spot as much of his previous output, PDM maintains his streak as simply one of the most fun and unpretentious producers out there, with a track that cooks via loads of cowbell, bells, strings, one big serotonin release of a wind-up and a very camp choreographed dance video, shot on the Venice Beach boardwalk.

The Vibe: Not bad at all.

Holly, “Not In The Mood”

The Artist: Portuguese fav Holly

The Label: ilex Records

The Spiel: Holly has reliably been outputting smart, left of center bass music for years. But the vibe on his new EP, sadness, is also, as the title suggests, often softer and more somber, particularly via the pretty, quite melodic and previously released “Swear I Been Ready” and “Cuento de Vida.” Does the EP still slap though? Yeah it does, with the “Not In The Mood” embodying its titular brush-off sentiment with hectic beats and jittery synths that hit sharp and hard. On social media the producer noted that sadness is the first of “many” EPs he’s got coming in 2023. 

The Vibe: That sort of pissed at the world phase of sadness. 

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

For Her New Play, Tori Sampson Revisited Her ‘Black Power Household’

The narrator of “This Land Was Made,” the playwright Tori Sampson’s speculative account of the Black Panther Party’s powder-keg origins, is an aspiring writer named Sassy. “Consider me your time-traveling griot,” she tells the audience with wry buoyanc‌y, evoking the West African tradition of storytellers who propagated endangered legacies.

The play, which opens on Sunday at the Vineyard Theater in Manhattan, is an act of oral history rooted in Sampson’s personal connection to the political awakening at its center. “Sassy is not me,” Sampson made clear during a recent interview off the courtyard of the Marlton Hotel, a short walk from the theater.

“The Black Panthers were like family to her,” Sampson said of her mother, who was orphaned at the age of 3 and raised by an aunt who was a member of the Black Panther Party in the 1970s. She would accompany her aunt to meetings, where activists became like kin and their reverence for Blackness a guiding principle.

Sampson’s mother, Wanda Louise Thompson, went on to raise the playwright and her sisters (her twin and an older sister) in a “Black Power household,” first in Boston and then in North Carolina, where they were taught, with some militancy, to value Black beauty and culture. (When her twin sister wanted a Britney Spears poster, for example, their mother insisted that two posters of Black artists go up alongside it.)

But orphanhood was also to be part of Sampson’s inheritance; she was 13 when her mother died of a pulmonary embolism, and she and her twin sister, whom Sampson calls “my lifeline and compass,” became wards of the state. After a year of moving between foster homes, the twins petitioned to attend an all-Black boarding school in Mississippi, where their independence was contingent on high achievement.

“I’m trying to connect who I am with my past,” said Sampson, 34, who lives in Los Angeles and has written for the streaming TV series “Citadel” and “Hunters.” She has only recently begun to process that her experience as an orphan is integral to her work. “I was always yearning to understand what it would look like to have a family,” Sampson said. “My imagination would run wild making up stories.”

That impulse reverberates through “This Land Was Made,” which is set inside a Bay Area tavern with soul food simmering in the back kitchen. “I wanted to write a story where Huey P. Newton walks into a bar and changes the lives of the people there forever,” Sampson said of the Black Panther Party co-founder. She got the idea for the play, a blend of historical fiction and sitcom conventions, when she learned that Newton’s rise to prominence began with an unsolved mystery.

The facts in the murky case are these: In 1967, Newton and a friend were pulled over during a traffic stop in Oakland, Calif., in which Newton took a bullet to the stomach and a police officer was fatally shot. ‌Newton was charged and later convicted of voluntary manslaughter. (His conviction was eventually overturned‌.) Rallies ‌to “Free Huey” helped set off the Black Power movement.

So, if Newton didn’t pull the trigger, Sampson thought, who did? And what might Newton’s influence have been on his neighbors before his activism grew to an international scale? In the play, Sassy, Sampson’s narrator, claims to have heard the truth through the grapevine. “This Land Was Made” then unfolds as both a comedy and a call to action.

Sampson said her taste for humor that bends toward social justice also comes from her mother. Though Thompson didn’t let her kids watch much television (only “The Cosby Show” for an hour a day), she adored “All in the Family” and considered its skewering of bigotry the height of the form. That show’s creator, Norman Lear, remains an inspiration for Sampson, who likes to wind up her characters and set them loose to elicit eye-opening laughs.

“Tori has a particular tempo in mind for each character and how the ensemble builds together musically,” the play’s director, Taylor Reynolds, said of Sampson’s ear for dialogue. In fact, both women said the production was deep into tech rehearsals before Sampson watched the play with her eyes open.

“Let them be loud and wrong,” Sampson said of her Lear-inspired ethos. “Just give them conviction and don’t hold them back.”

Adam Greenfield, the artistic director of Playwrights Horizons, where Sampson’s play “If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka” was presented in 2019, said her work demonstrates an “unrelenting investigation of identity that feels both global but also very personal.” A sharp and riotous sendup of ‌Eurocentric beauty standards, “If Pretty Hurts” is punctuated with fourth-wall-breaking monologues and draws on Sampson’s personal experience to interrogate the body-image pressures faced by Black women. (The New York Times critic Jesse Green called the play “an auspicious professional playwriting debut.”)

While more grounded in the conventions of realism, “This Land Was Made” demonstrates Sampson’s fascination with how social constructs shape imbalances of power. (Sampson earned a ‌bachelor’s degree in sociology from Ball State University.) The play’s Oakland residents argue about colorism, assimilation and the fallacies of trusting the system, embodying the tensions that propelled Newton’s broader ideologies about Blackness.

But Sampson, who began “This Land Was Made” in 2014, during her second year at what is now called the David Geffen School of Drama at Yale, also aims to render the civil rights movement in America on a human scale.

“I wanted to talk about the lowercase-p Panthers, as people,” Sampson said, in addition to exploring their role in striking up political currents that continue to reverberate. As violent incidents at the hands of the police have gained visibility over the past decade, often captured on video during traffic stops like the one Sampson imagines onstage, the consequences of failing to recognize the humanity of Black people have only grown.

Conversations with former Black Panthers were also crucial to Sampson’s research process, more and less serendipitously. She spoke to Ed Bullins, the renowned playwright and the party’s onetime minister of culture, with permission from his wife, while he was in the hospital in 2014. (Sampson’s godfather happened to be his doctor.) “Make sure you remember those were some funny cats,” Bullins, who died in 2021, told Sampson of the party’s co-founders, Newton and Bobby Seale.

The playwright ‌also interviewed Kathleen Cleaver, the first woman to hold a leadership position in the party, after Cleaver, now a retired law professor, spoke at Yale.

If it’s true what Sassy says, that “every great story is about journeying to find home,” it follows that Sampson’s work will continue to venture in many directions. She is developing a play about a nerdy comedian who embarks on a superhero quest to regain her Black card after she mispronounces Tupac Shakur’s name during sex. (“It’s a lot,” she said.)‌ And she will directly address her orphan experience for the first time in an animated series called “How to Succeed Without Parents.”

“It’s always going to look different,” Sampson said of her idea of home. “My life has never been a box, so my mind doesn’t work that way.”

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

L.A. Summer Guide: Check Out These Black Art Spaces, Galleries, And Museums

Los Angeles has been a haven for creatives of all stripes, and not just in Hollywood. If you’re going to be in town at some point this summer, consider visiting galleries, museums, and spaces showcasing Black art or Black figures.

Let’s be honest, the art world could do with some diversity. One study revealed that “artists in 18 major museums are 85% white and 97% male.” If you go to world-renowned museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or the Louvre, you’ll see some art and artifacts from Black and brown cultures. However, the vast majority of what’s on display is linked to Europe.

Visit the following places in Los Angeles, where Black creativity and history are centered.

California African-American Museum (CAAM)

CAAM’s chief purpose is to educate visitors not just about Black art made in California, but across the African diaspora.

You’ll find over 5,000 objects in its permanent collection, including artifacts, photographs, paintings, drawings, and more. The eras also vary, from the 1800s to the modern day.

According to the website, “CAAM’s deepest holdings include art made or connected to African Americans in California and the western United States. However, the Museum also has significant works of contemporary art from the African diaspora (including Haiti, Brazil, and Jamaica), as well as traditional African art from Western, Central, and Sub-Saharan Africa.”

Conceptual artist Chloë Bass will have a solo show at CAAM called #sky #nofilter: Hindsight for a Future America. As noted by Berlin Rosen, “Chloë’s upcoming show opens June 21, the summer solstice, and will feature an interactive 16-panel sundial public sculpture engraved with contemplative phrases that appear on the ground below in shadow form.”

Cosmo Whyte At Anat Egbi Gallery

The Anat Egbi Gallery has three locations in Los Angeles: Wilshire Boulevard, Fountain Avenue, and La Cienega Boulevard.

Jamaican artist Cosmo Whyte is based in Los Angeles and has a show opening at Anat Egbi on July 29.

His work encompasses photography, drawing, and most recently, sculpture. When his architect father passed, he left behind several incomplete projects, and Cosmo decided to finish them. Visitors will be able to view the structures behind beaded curtains. They offer commentary on racism, colonialism, police brutality, and a better future for the Black diaspora.

Njideka Akunyili Crosby At David Zwirner Gallery

Head to the David Zwirner Gallery’s flagship location on 616 N Western Avenue. Artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby was born in Nigeria and moved to Los Angeles in 1999. Crosby has been represented by the David Zwirner Gallery since 2018.

Her solo show, Coming Back To See Through, Again opened on May 23, and continues until July 29. The gallery describes her work as “visual tapestries that vivify the personal and social dimensions of contemporary life, while evocatively expressing the intricacies of African diasporic identity.”

Murals Around The City

You’ll find more murals centering Black figures than you can count in Los Angeles.

Following Kobe Bryant’s tragic death, murals of the basketball star popped up not just in Los Angeles, but Spain, Italy, Germany, and elsewhere. There was a similar outpouring of grief after the death of Nipsey Hussle, and there are several murals of him in Los Angeles as well.

On Crenshaw Boulevard, there’s a two-block-long mural called Our Mighty Contribution. It includes images of Black Panther members, as well as prominent figures from the past like Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, and Frederick Douglass.

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