18th Annual African American Cultural Celebration

18th Annual African American Cultural Celebration

18th Annual African American Cultural Celebration

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Join the statewide kickoff to Black History Month at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh. Named a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society since 2015, the 18th annual African American Cultural Celebration will feature more than 75 musicians, storytellers, dancers, chefs, historians, playwrights, authors, artists, reenactors, and more.

Black History Month 2019 celebrations planned throughout Miami-Dade

MIAMI –  The Miami-Dade Black Affairs Advisory Board (BAAB), along with various community based organizations, have scheduled a number of events that pay homage to the African American diaspora, as well as this year’s national theme established by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH):  “Black Migrations,” which focuses on the movement of people of African descent to new destinations and subsequently new social realities.    

Following is a list of events and activities throughout the county commemorating Black History Month. Events with an asterisk (*) are sponsored or co-sponsored by the Black Affairs Advisory Board’s Heritage Planning Committee. For a detailed calendar of events, visit www.miamidade.gov/advocacy/black-affairs-home.asp

For more information on the month’s events, please contact Black Affairs Advisory Board Director Retha Boone-Fyeat 305-375-4606.

Calendar of Events

*Friday, February 1, 2019

Black History Month Kickoff-Presented by the Miami-Dade County Black Affairs Advisory Board

11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Featuring entertainment, unveiling of “Vessels 2019: Women of Substance” and “Triumphant Spirits

2019: African American Men” exhibit-curated by MUCE; Kinad African American Museum exhibit, and

excerpts from the Smithsonian Institution’s Traveling Exhibition Service’ entertainment & “Soul

Food Truck” invasion.

Stephen P. Clark Government Center, 111 NW 1st Street, Miami, Florida  33128

Details: 305-375-4606 or www.miamidade.gov/baab


Friday, February 1, 2019

“Season 5 Lyric Live All Stars”

Black History Month Kickoff Weekend with Chairwoman Audrey M. Edmonson

Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater

819 NW 2nd Ave, Miami Florida 33136

Reception: 6 p.m. and Show 8 p.m. – Tickets at www.lyriclive.eventbrite.com


Saturday, February 2, 2019

Black Cultural Expo

Black History Month Kickoff Weekend with Miami-Dade Chairwoman Audrey M. Edmonson

Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater, 819 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami, Florida 33136 – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Expo of Black Cultural Institutions of South Florida with Kids Zone and Vendors; 5 p.m.

Double Feature Film Screening on the BAHLT Plaza (5 p.m. The Wiz; 8 p.m. Black Panther)

Free Community Event


Sunday, February 3, 2019

Super Bowl LIII Watch Party 4 p.m. – Midnight

Black History Month Kickoff Weekend with Chairwoman Audrey M. Edmonson

Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater, 819 NW 2nd Avenue Miami, Florida 33136

Large screen viewing on the BAHLT Plaza, featuring a cigar bar, pool tables, and table games.

Free Community Event


Saturday, February 2, 2019

Second Annual Egbe Festival

 “A Celebration of African Culture and Heritage” – 12 noon-12 a.m.

Historic Virginia Key Beach Park – Details:  www.egbefestival.com


Sunday, February 3, 2019

South Florida People of Color presents “Soul Food” a Gospel Service & Southern Brunch 10:30 a.m.

Miami Shores Community Church, 9823 NE 4th Avenue, Miami Shores, Florida  33138

Ticketed event:  www.bhm2019series.eventbrite.com – www.southfloridapoc.org 


Saturday, February 9, 2019

Black History Month Heritage & Neighborhood Tour

Presented by the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau’s- Multicultural Tourism & Development

Registration/information:  pam@gmcvb.com


Saturday, February 9, 2019

Macy’s Aventura Store Black History Month Celebration

Discussion & Performances 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

19535 Biscayne Boulevard, Aventura, Florida – Details: 305-682-3312


Saturday, February 9, 2019

Perez Art Museum Annual Reception & Fundraiser – 7 p.m.

PAMM Fund for African American effort to promote membership funding to continue the acquisition of artworks by African American artists and related programming.

1103 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, Florida  33132

Ticketed event: *Prices vary – Details: 305-375-1707 www.pamm.org  


*Sunday, February 10, 2019

“Seventh Annual South Dade Gospelfest”- 5 p.m.

Co-sponsored by Miami-Dade Commissioners Dennis Moss (District 9) & Daniella Levine (District 8) in conjunction with the Black Affairs Advisory Board & the South Dade Gospelfest Committee

South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center,

10950 SW 211th Street,

Cutler Bay, Florida  33189

Ticketed Event: 786-573-5300


*Thursday February 14, 2019

Valentine’s Pop-Up Shop” #Black Love”

Featuring, Valentine themed gifts, Silent Auction and Pop Up Photo Booth – 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Stephen P. Clark Government Center Lobby, 111 NW 1st Street, Miami, Florida  33128 – 305-375-4606


Saturday, February 16, 2019

Urban Tour Host’s “Little Haiti Tour & Lunch 11 a.m. -2 p.m.

$49.00 per person – Reservations (minimum of 10) – David Brown: 305-416-6868


*February 17, 2019

Sacred Ground:  Lincoln Memorial Cemetery Remembered & Exhibit

Presented by the Black Affairs Advisory Board in conjunction with the Coral Gables Museum

1 p.m. – RSVP required

285 Aragon Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33134 – Details: 305-375-4606


*Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Black Affairs Advisory Board’s Annual Law Enforcement and Emergency Services Career Fair

In conjunction with Miami Dade College’s School of Justice, Public Safety & Law Studies

10 a.m. -1 p.m.

Miami-Dade College, North Campus, 11380 NW 27th Avenue, Room 3249, Miami, Florida 33167

Details: 305-375-4606 elugomar@mdc.edu  – www.miamidade.gov/advocacy/baab


Friday, February 22, 2019

“Black Migration” Luncheon

Miami International Airport – 12 noon – Concourse D Auditorium – 4th Floor- Details: 305-876-7907


*Saturday, February 23, 2019

Miami-Dade Commissioner Jordan’s Annual “Black Heritage Festival 2019” 12 Noon – 4 p.m.

Co-hosted by City of Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert (featuring African Fashions, dancers, food trucks, entertainment and vendors)

Carol City Park, 3201 NW 185th Street, Miami Gardens, Florida  33056 –

Details: 305-474-3011


Saturday, February 23, 2019

Afri-Fest!  A Celebration of the African Diaspora”- Presented by the Nigerian American Foundation

11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall Social and Economic Center, 5120 NW 24th Ave, Miami, Florida  33136

Details:  www.nigerianamericanfoundation.com


Thursday, February 28, 2019

Commissioner Jean Monestime’s Black History Month Observance & Senior’s Recognition

12 noon – 2 p.m. – Details: 305-694-2779


*Thursday, February 28, 2019

Black History Month Closeout Celebration 11 a.m.-4 p.m.– Featuring Food Trucks & Entertainment

Stephen P. Clark Center, 111 NW 1st Street, Miami, 305-375-4606



February 1-28, 2019

Black Police Precinct & Courthouse Museum “Red Letter Exhibit” (Open Tuesday-Saturday-10 a.m. – 4 p.m.)

480 NW 11th Street, Miami, Florida  33136 – 305- 329-2513 www.historicalblackprecinct.org    


February 1-28, 2019

Virginia Key Beach Park Trust Black History Tours – Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. & 2 p.m.

Explore the cultural impact that people of color had on Miami’s early 20th Century history. Check out the first colored beach in Miami Dade County and how it became the paradise it is today.

For more information or to schedule a FREE tour call 305-960-4600 or email CWeyman@miamigov.com

305-960-4600 www.VirginiaKeyBeachPark.net


February 1-28, 2018

CHAT Miami Tours

Miami Black Heritage Tour and Tasting – $69.00 per person

Monday and Friday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Month of February) Stephanie Jones 786-507-8500


February 1-28, 2018

The City of North Miami presents a tribute to Black History”

Various events honoring Black History Month – Contact: 305-895-9840

Details:  www.NorthMiamiFl.gov/celebrate  


February 5-9, 2019

‘Black Tech Week” – (Various Locations throughout Miami)

Details:  www.bit.lly/blacktechweek2019  Contact: events@codefevermiami.com


Saturday, February 9-10, 2019

Annual Trayvon Martin Peace Walk & Gala

March @Carol City Park, 3201 NW 185th Street, Miami Gardens

Dinner @ Double Tree Hotel Miami, 711 NW 72nd Avenue, Miami

Details: 786-504-4235 info@trayvonmartinfoundation.org  www.trayvonmartinfoundation.org


February 7-24, 2019

The M Ensemble Company’s “Meet Me At The Oak” Theatrical production

Sandrell Rivers Theater @Audrey M. Edmonson Transit Village

6103 NW 7th Avenue, Miami, Florida – Group rates available

Details:  786- 320-5043 or 305-200-5043


February 8-23, 2019

Black Professionals Network Black History Month Events

Various venues & times – Details: www.mybpnetwork.org 


February 10-16, 2019

Florida Memorial University’s Homecoming & Black History Month Observance

Various events presented by South Florida’s only HBCU (Historically Black College/University)

15800 Northwest 42nd Avenue, Miami Gardens, Florida  33054 – Details: www.fmuniv.edu   


February 14-17, 2019

Performances featuring the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts’ Black History Month Programming (Ticketed events) 

Box Office 305-949-6722 Toll-Free: 877-949-6722 www.arshtcenter.org


Thursday, February 21-thru Sun. February 25, 2019

22nd Annual Melton Mustafa Jazz Festival

Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater, 819 NW 2nd Avenue

Details: 786-897-8854 www.meltonmustafajazzfestival.com

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Aaron Fowler Awarded The 2019 Gwendolyn Knight And Jacob Lawrence Prize By Seattle Art Museum

The Seattle Art Museum (SAM) recently announced the selection of mixed-media artist Aaron Fowler as the recipient of the 2019 Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence Prize. Major funding for the prize is provided by the Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation. Fowler will receive a $10,000 award to further his artistic practice, and his work will be featured in a solo exhibition in SAM’s Gwendolyn Knight & Jacob Lawrence Gallery in fall 2019. 

Awarded bi-annually since 2009 to an early career Black artist, defined loosely as an artist in the first decade of their career, the Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence Prize has become a platform for catapulting artists into the influential vanguard of contemporary artistic practice. Previous recipients of the prize are Titus Kaphar (2009), Theaster Gates (2011), LaToya Ruby Frazier (2013), Brenna Youngblood (2015), and Sondra Perry (2017). 

Based in Harlem, Los Angeles, and St. Louis, Aaron Fowler makes large-scale sculptural assemblages composed of a wide range of found materials. With references to American history, Black culture, and real and imagined narratives, each work is densely layered with meaning and materiality. From ironing boards and car parts to hair weaves and videos, Fowler’s work is imbued with multivalent narratives that compel the viewer to take their time looking. Employing compositional approaches akin to 19th- and 20th-century American and European paintings, Fowler references family, friends, and himself in works that are at once universal and deeply personal. 

Fowler’s fall 2019 solo exhibition at SAM will be curated by Sandra Jackson-Dumont, Frederick P. and Sandra P. Rose Chairman of Education at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and SAM’s former Deputy Director for Education and Public Programs/Adjunct Curator in Modern and Contemporary Art.

“I am thrilled to see what Aaron dreams up for his installation at SAM,” says Jackson-Dumont. “Aaron Fowler’s sculptural assemblages are infused with personal meaning while calling attention to a range of complex concerns, issues, and ideas—not the least of which include American history, identity issues, Black experiences, and hip hop. His monumental mixed-media work will consume the galleries, but moreover it will take over viewers’ hearts and minds.” 

Fowler received his MFA from Yale University School of Art in 2014 and his BFA from the Pennsylvania Academy Fine Arts in 2011. He was an artist-in-residence at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2014 and was the recipient of the Rema Host Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant in 2015. 

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Higher Plans

When Charley Pride’s voice first hit the radio waves in the mid-1960s, no one in the listening audience knew he was black. How could they know? There were few country music visuals back in the day — no music videos, no channels dedicated to the genre, no television shows.
Country music wasn’t exactly mainstream then and TV shows based in New York or Los Angeles paid little attention to what was happening in places like Memphis and Nashville — except when Elvis Presley exploded onto the scene and the world was introduced to Tupelo, Mississippi.
However, another meteoric Mississippi phenomenon was about to take shape in the form of an unassuming young man whose first love was baseball, Charley Pride.
As one of 11 children born to poor sharecroppers in Sledge, Mississippi, Pride’s career as a ballplayer took shape in the late 1950s with the Negro American League, minor league and semi-pro ballclubs. He sang and played guitar on the team bus between ballparks. He would join various bands onstage as he and the team roved around the country, but a musical career wasn’t part of his plan — then fate stepped up to bat.
In 1960, Pride moved to Montana to play for the Missoula Timberjacks in the Pioneer League, but ended up working at a smelter operated by the Anaconda Mining Company and playing for its semi-pro baseball team.
He also began making a name for himself as a music performer by singing the national anthem at baseball games and performing at honky-tonks and nightclubs in the Helena, Anaconda and Great Falls areas. A local disc jockey introduced Pride to country singers Red Sovine and Red Foley in 1962. They invited him to join them to perform “Heartaches By The Number” and “Lovesick Blues” during one of their shows. This brief encounter changed everything.
After a disastrous 1963 tryout with the New York Mets in Clearwater, Florida, it became clear that a major league baseball career was not in the cards. Pride returned to Montana via a stop in Tennessee to Cedarwood Publishing, the company that booked Sovine’s shows.
From the bus station in Nashville, Pride walked straight over to the Cedarwood office and by sheer luck met Jack Johnson, who had been actively searching for a promising black country singer.
Johnson made a simply produced recording of Pride performing a couple of songs and then drove him straight back to the bus station with the promise of a management contract.
A black artist in Nashville at the time was a novelty and a tough sell.
In 1965, Pride returned to Nashville and Johnson introduced him to producer Jack Clement. Clement gave Pride several songs to learn and within a week they cut two of them — “The Snakes Crawl At Night” and “Atlantic Coastal Line” during an afternoon studio session with top-notch session players. Even with professionally produced demos, shopping Pride around town was still difficult, until the suits heard him sing. His smooth baritone vocals convinced them to take a chance.
Legendary guitarist Chet Atkins was the first to trust his ears in 1966, and signed Pride to RCA Records. Atkins took Pride under his wing, nurtured his talent and oversaw a shrewd promotional campaign that successfully navigated the racial challenges of mid-1960s America. “Just Between You and Me” caught fire in 1967, breaking into the Top 10 country chart and garnering Pride his first Grammy nomination — and people loved what they were hearing, possibly creating one of the first examples of acceptance.
What happened next is country music history. Pride quickly became the genre’s first African-American superstar. Between 1967 and 1987, he amassed no fewer than 52 Top-10 country hits and went on to sell tens of millions of records worldwide.
In 1971, Pride won two Grammy Awards related to his Gospel album Did You Think to Pray. Later that year, his No. 1 crossover hit “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’ ” sold over a million singles and helped him to win the Country Music Association’s “Entertainer of the Year” award and the “Top Male Vocalist” awards of 1971 and 1972. It also brought him a “Best Male Country Vocal Performance” Grammy Award in 1972.
Some of Pride’s unforgettable hits include “All I Have To Offer You Is Me,” “Is Anybody Goin’ To San Antone,” “Mississippi Cotton Pickin’ Delta Town,” “Burgers And Fries,” “Roll On Mississippi” and “Mountain Of Love.”
Pride sees all of that success through the eyes of humility and gratitude, crediting all of it to those who guided his path. He’s known his share of hardship and hard work, but he’s not one for seeing life in any kind of a negative light. He takes it all in stride, including his introduction into the Nashville music scene of the 1960s.
“It was going pretty good, but there was some doubtful people,” Pride said. “Once they heard my voice, they said, ‘we don’t care if he’s pink, I like his voice’ — people in Nashville, and actually my fans afterwards said that. I was 18 or 19 years old when I was playing baseball, that’s how I was going to make my mark, so for people to take a chance on me, I’ve been blessed.”
Pride has a special place in his heart for Atkins, mostly because he was a man of his word.
“I was always in awe of him,” he said. “I think he sometimes wondered why he was so big in this business, but when a man sits down and tells you he’s going to get you on RCA and took the demo out to all the big wigs and got me on the label, I know why he was so respected. He’s one of most iconic and finest guitar pickers in the entire world. That’s just the way it was and I was still in awe of him until he passed away.”
Pride didn’t worry about being offended when statements like “he doesn’t sound black” were on a lot of people’s lips at the time.
“I grew up in Mississippi, so I didn’t have much to think about other than the way the culture was at that time,” he said. “I just maneuvered around and was the staunch American I’ve always been and it’s worked out fine.”
Pride broke musical barriers and racial barriers, just doing what he loved to do, sing. Everything else was in the hands of a higher power, as far as he is concerned.
“I didn’t plan it,” Pride said. “Baseball was where I was gonna make it, I’m just glad He blessed me with a voice to be able to be where I am today.”
As a fresh face on the country music scene, Pride received a lot of advice, and he listened to all of it with an open mind and a strong sensibility of which people had his best interests at heart.
“I got a lot from different people,” he said. “There was a guy named Connie B. Gay who was in the business — he knew a lot about country music, and he might of handled some acts, but he walked up to me when I signed with my manager, Jack Johnson, and he said, ‘Charley, there’s gonna be people comin’ up to you and they’re gonna be telling you they can do better than what you got right now, and you’ve got a fat contract signed. Just tell them you don’t know how to write, and you don’t know nothing, so go to him,’ meaning Jack.
“Mostly Jack was the one that guided me,” he added. “We were probably the best one-two artist-manager punch in Nashville during the 11 years we were together.”
Johnson’s advice came in handy when Pride first appeared on the Grand Ole Opry back in the ’60s.
“When I first went on the Grand Ole Opry, it was Jan. 7, 1967,” he said. “Ernest Tubb brought me on, but I didn’t join until 1993. People said, ‘they finally let you in,’ but, no, no, no, I had a standing invitation to be a member from that point on when Ernest brought me on.
“Jack Johnson said, ‘Charley, you can join the Opry, but they got a criteria,’” Pride said. “I didn’t even know what that meant, when I was picking cotton, but you learn as you go. At that time it was a good thing to advertise when you were going out and doing shows to be a Grand Ole Opry member because it was prestige.
“He said, ‘you don’t want to join now, and I’ll tell you why. You have to give up 26 Saturdays to sign with them. That’s half of your year where you get the best money you can get.’ When he explained that to me, I thought, ‘I’m going to listen to that.’
“In 1993, my wife Rozene said, ‘this ain’t no criteria thing, you’re going to join the Grand Ole Opry.’ Boom, that’s when I went.”
His most humbling moment was also a moment in music history — when Pride was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, a secret at the time that everyone was in on but him.
“I was aware that we were moving from the small Hall of Fame to the big one, so Faron Young and I were to go up on stage as part of a program to announce that change. I have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, I have three Grammys and now I belong to the Grand Ole Opry, but now the most humbling thing — I got my two grand boys in Nashville and I’m standing backstage with Brenda Lee and Bud Wendell who’s getting ready to talk about Faron Young. He’s telling how Faron is getting ready to go into the Hall of Fame. I have moved some things from the little hall to the big one, and I saw that Brenda had her little piece of paper and Bud has his. I asked where mine was so I wouldn’t forget anything.
“She said all they’re going to ask you is what the difference is between going from the little hall of fame to the big one. I didn’t know too much other than it’s bigger,” he added. “But then she goes out and says, ‘ladies and gentlemen, he was born in Sledge, Mississippi, bought his first guitar from Sears Roebuck’… see I’m getting chill bumps on my arm now when I talk about it. My feet barely moved and I couldn’t talk…
“Then it dawns on me, for a whole month, my wife, my guy that did my bookings, my road manager — all of them knew. ”
Pride’s biggest achievements in life don’t sit on a mantle in his home.
“Just being able to stay myself and not lose everything, or get the big head and think I’m something that I’m not means a lot to me,” he said. “Some people say, ‘Charley, you’re a legend.’ Well, legend to me is when you done did it and gone up there with him, with the Master. Then they say, ‘you’re a living legend,’ well, I don’t mind hearing it then.”


E Center at the Edgewater

Saturday, Jan. 26 (8 p.m.)

See “Showtimes” page 5 for ticket info

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

6th Annual African American Leadership Awards Celebrate Unsung Heroes

The African American Leadership Awards celebration is a unique event that honors those unsung heroes who labor behind the scenes to advance the policies and causes that empower the community. They were created to salute public servants, business leaders, and community leaders for their contributions to the African-American community, either locally, regionally or statewide.

This year’s event is Friday, February 22 from 5:30 p.m. – midnight at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, 315 East Warren Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201.

·      VIP/Afterglow tickets – $100 and include a 5:30 p.m. pre-reception plus afterglow from 9 p.m. to midnight

·      VIP tickets – $75 for preferred seating at the 7 p.m. awards ceremony 

·      General Admission tickets – $45 for the 7 p.m. awards ceremony

Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at www.miblackleader.com

Event emcees are Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley and WXYZ Channel 7 editorial/public affairs director Chuck Stokes. The keynote speaker is Gail Perry-Mason, senior director of Investments at Oppenheimer & Co., Inc.

AALA alumni awardees, elected officials, celebrities, special guests and the selection committee will honor nominees in these unheralded categories:  Annette Rainwater Grassroots Organizer of the year; Political Pioneer, honoring a retiree; BOB Millender Political Strategist of the year, for mentoring candidates and championing causes; Emerging Black Leader, award for a leader or organization under 35; John Conyers Jr. Black Legislator of the year; Labor Leader of the year; Lear Corp Business leader of the year honoring a retiree; Bruce Feaster Staffer of the year, for going beyond the call of duty to serve constituents. 

The awards are produced by veteran political strategist Al Williams, the founder and president of the African American Leadership Institute, who said the genesis of this event was when “Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence discussed pulling together African-American community leaders, business leaders, and African-American elected officials to ensure we are united and working together on issues that affect all of us!”

In line with the theme of honoring those who give of themselves for the greater good, proceeds from the event benefit Best for Vets, a 501c3 non-profit organization that focuses on bettering the lives of U.S military veterans. For more information, visit: www.BestforVets.org.

The event is sponsored by the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus, Greektown Casino, and PNC Bank.

For more information on the organization or awards event, contact African American Leadership at (313) 420-9345 or email Leadership@miblackleader.com.

Also On The Michigan Chronicle:

100 photos

Indomitable: African American artists in ‘On Their Own Terms’ at UA Little Rock

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click to enlarge Amy Sherald's "Wellfare Queen." 2012, 54 by 43 inches, oil on canvas. Collection of Dr. Imani Perry, courtesy Monique Meloche Gallery.

  • Amy Sherald’s “Wellfare Queen.” 2012, 54 by 43 inches, oil on canvas. Collection of Dr. Imani Perry, courtesy Monique Meloche Gallery.

The New York Herald writer who said in an article in 1867 that African Americans could not produce art was ignorant of the work of such talents as Edward Bannister, Robert Scott Duncanson, Charles Ethan Porter or Henry Ossawa Tanner.

Even today, African-American artists are underrepresented in the collections of major American museums: An analysis by artnet news published in September found that museum acquisitions of African-American art is less than 3 percent of total purchases. Decades after Bannister, who, fired up over the Herald article, won a spot in an important Philadelphia exhibition, there were museums that still turned blacks away at the door. (Philadelphia exhibitors almost removed the Bannister work when they discovered he was black.)

UA Little Rock is, once again, proving the folly of ignoring African-American art, with the exhibition “On Their Own Terms,” which opened Jan. 17 at UA Little Rock’s Windgate Center of Art and Design.

UA Little Rock gallery director Brad Cushman pulled together 50 works by some of America’s finest black artists — including Bannister, Duncanson, Porter and Tanner — for a show that celebrates the work of fine artists who share an affinity born of life experience.
“On Their Own Terms” is not an investigation into whether there is such a thing as “black art.” That’s a question for philosophers. Black culture and racism is, understandably, central to these modern and contemporary works, as issues of social justice have always found expression in art.

Cushman created “On Their Own Terms” with work from 13 collections, both public and private. The Arkansas Arts Center contributed 16 works, including a graphite work of a drawn and beleaguered woman by the great Elizabeth Catlett, a charcoal portrait of a 19th century figure drawn on a circle of wood by contemporary artist Whitfield Lovell and a tall quilted portrait in pieced indigo denim by Bisa Butler. Darrell and Linda Walker contributed six works; six others are from UA Little Rock’s permanent collection.

The show includes paintings, prints, mixed media works and sculpture. Besides the historical paintings are modern works, including a jazzy expressionist collage by Benny Andrews and serigraph of musicians by Romare Bearden; and contemporary works, such as two large, forceful portraits of steely-gazed men by Alfred Conteh; an amusing crayon and charcoal portrait by African-American identity commentator Kerry James Marshall; a book of silhouettes by narrative artist Kara Walker; a large oil stick drawing of a woman, absent her head, in 19th century garb by Whitfield Lovell; an ironic painting of crowned woman by Michelle Obama portraitist Amy Sherald; and quilt artist Bisa Butler, as well as other stars in the firmament of black American artists.

The Arkansans in the show — retired UA Little Rock instructors Aj Smith, Marjorie Williams-Smith and David Clemons; Justin Bryant of Little Rock and former UA Little Rock instructor Delita Martin (who lives in Texas but is claimed by Arkansas) — hold their own with nationally lauded artists.

In 2009, the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High School, Cushman put on the exhibition “Taking Possession,” a show that highlighted black contemporary art by satirical painter Robert Colescott, sound-suit maker Nick Cave, mixed media sculptor Faith Ringgold, photographer Carrie Mae Weems and others. When the show went up, Cushman got a call from Darrell Walker, the former Razorback and pro basketball player and art collector (and now UA Little Rock basketball coach). “He said, ‘You’re putting all my friends in an exhibit and we should be friends,’ ” Cushman said, and the men began an 11-year conversation about art by African Americans.

In 2017, Dr. Lynne Larson, assistant professor of art history at UA Little Rock, told Cushman she was going to teach a survey course on African-American art, and asked if he could curate an exhibition to support it. As it happened, Garbo Hearne, co-owner of Hearne Fine Art with her husband, Dr. Archie Hearne, had asked Cushman if he’d be interested in exhibiting works by Duncanson, Tanner and other early black pioneers at UA Little Rock. “I said, ‘Yes, I would,” Cushman told the Times, “but I’d like to activate that work with modern and contemporary work,’ and Garbo said, ‘Tell me more.’ ” Cushman began investigating the works held by the Arkansas Arts Center, UA Little Rock and Walker.

Along the way, Cushman went to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville to hear a talk by Amy Sherald. He introduced himself afterward and asked if the university could borrow one of her works for the show. Dropping Darrell Walker’s name didn’t hurt; now the show includes Amy Sherald’s “Wellfare Queen,” provided by a private collector from Princeton University.

Mixed media artist Delita Martin was quoted in a recent article in “Pressing Matters” as saying, “I’m very much interested in reconstructing the identity of African-American women, particularly, offering a different narrative to the stereotypes you see in media.” She contributes to the show “The Dinner Table,” an installation of portraits of Martin’s female family and friends done with china marker on plates and hung around a table. The work is undeniably a nod to white artist Judy Chicago, but it is Catlett to whom Martin feels a kinship, she told Cushman.
“On Their Own Terms” is hung to illustrate the tendrils that connect the artists. The first works on entering the main gallery are Catlett’s drawing “Newspaper Vendor”; Sherald’s “Wellfare Queen,” a large-scale painting of a woman in a tiara and purple sash; and the many portraits of women in Martin’s “Dinner Table.”

Cushman has also paired Aj Smith’s larger-than-life and amazing graphite drawing “Faces of the Delta Series: Mr. Q.T., WWII Vet,” with “Portrait of a Model,” a collage of an insouciant fellow by Benny Andrews. Both are images of men, but the greater connection is that it was Andrews who encouraged Smith to move from New York to Arkansas for a job. A third stunning mixed-media work by Alfred Conteh, “Will,” joins the male portrait lineup.

In the small gallery on the first floor, Kehinde Wiley’s “Peter Chardon Study,” a watercolor of a man against a floral field, is paired with David Clemons’ steel caged teapot sculpture “The Trees We Construct to Conceal Our Strange Fruit.” Also in the small gallery, Cushman has grouped Henry Tanner’s quiet drawing “Christ at the Home of Mary” (1905); Robert Pruitt’s in-your-face charcoal and conte crayon “Black Jesus” (2016); and folk artist Bessie Harvey’s “Whore of Babylon” (n.d.), an amalgamation of red-painted wood, glitter and beads from Cushman and husband Bobby’s own collection.

Others who contributed work from their collections are Karen and C.J. Duvall, Pamela and Anthony Vance, Karen and Kevin Cole, Aj Smith, Delita Martin, Dr. Imani Perry, Monique Meloche Gallery and Pierrette Van Cleve.

The opening reception for the exhibition is 5-7 p.m. Feb. 1. Juan Rodriguez of New York, who with Garbo Hearne loaned the many historic paintings to “On Their Own Terms,” will give a talk at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 5 in the Windgate Center.

Galleries are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday and 2-5 p.m. Sunday. The exhibition will run through March 10.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

What to know about the Ariana Grande 7 Rings controversy

It started off so well. Ariana Grande released her hit ode to her various exes, Thank U, Next, three months ago. The song was an instant hit, dominating the end of the year charts. Grande released Imagine on Dec. 14, 2018, which did well. The song was no instant hit, but it was in the United States Billboard Top 100. Her newest song 7 Rings dropped only 4 days ago, and is already massively popular, however it’s also been highly controversial. Where did Ari go wrong? Here is the hot tea on the Ariana Grande 7 Rings scandal.

Ariana Grande 7 Rings controversy explained

As soon as the song dropped, some fans argued on whether the hit song was cultural appropriation. Unfortunately, this tradition usually involved white people adopting elements of black culture, but it can be about any culture that is exploited. In the case of the Ariana Grande 7 Rings scandal, the music video promo featured Asian lettering with no obvious ties to Grande nor the song.

Many fans speculate it was done for the “aesthetic.” Buzzfeed reported that one fan tweeted it was “exploiting Japanese/East Asian culture.” Grande’s song also includes the lyric,“You like my hair? Gee, thanks, just bought it,” which struck fans as appropriating weaves, a cultural tie specifically done by African Americans.

Black artists such as Princess Nokia, Soulja Boy and 2Chainz accused Grande that her song sounded similar to their own songs. Mine, Pretty Boy Swag and Spend it, respectively. The accusation that Grande is appropriating music from black artists is a particularly sensitive topic, given that stealing music from black artists is where the tradition of cultural appropriation started.

ariana grande 7 rings

Ariana Grande responds to 7 Rings controversy

After the backlash, Grande re-posted a screenshot on Instagram of Aminatou Sow. “You like my hair? Gee, thanks, just bought it, white women talking about their weaves is how we’re gonna solve racism,” writes Sow. Grande interpreted this compliment as genuine, when it was perhaps meant to be sarcastic.

She later deleted her repost, which another Instagram account known as The Shade Room caught anyway. This only exacerbated the problem as many of her fans thought that Grande was inferring that a white woman would solve racism.

Ariana Grande’s apology for 7 Rings

After The Shade Room reposted her photo, Grande wrote an apology. “Hi hi,” the singer writes. “I think her intention was to be like… yay a white person disassociating the negative stariotype [sic] that is paired with the word ‘weave’… however I’m so sorry my response was out of pocket or if it came across the wrong way. Thanks for opening the conversation and like… to everyone for talking to me about it. It’s never my intention to offend anybody.” Her apology garnered different reactions from fans. Some fans thought there didn’t need to be an apology, others found the apology lackluster.

What do you think of the Ariana Grande 7 Rings controversy? Is Grande appropriating or are people overreacting? That is up to you to decide.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Little Library anonymously donated to Ellis County African American Hall of Fame


Just a few weeks ago two gentlemen unloaded a retired Daily Light newspaper rack onto the front porch of the Ellis County African American Hall of Fame. Only it wasn’t for newspapers, nor did it have any inside.

The side of the now-white metal rack reads “Little Library” handpainted in black and it is stuffed full of books.

Dr. Jamal Rasheed, Ellis County African American Hall of Fame executive director, witnessed the men place the box on the property, give it a quick wipe down and leave. It did not dawn on him to ask who they were with because he assumed it was part of the recent collaboration with the Nicholas P. Sims Library.

Even though Rasheed has no idea who is behind the Little Library, he is grateful. “The box out there is to give the kids in the community an opportunity to share and exchange and get free books,” Rasheed explained.

Barbra Claspell, Sims Library director, said she too has no idea where the box came from or who installed it. She assumed it was from another organization that is in the midsts of spreading small boxed libraries around town.

About 20 books for a variety of ages now sit inside the box, ready to be opened and enjoyed. Book titles include, “The Complete Guide to the 50 States,” “Ark of the Liberties,” and “The Rose-bush of a Thousand Years,” just to name a few.

Rasheed has not received any feedback on the Little Library yet, only questions of its purpose. Rasheed said the Little Library is conveniently located near a bus stop around the corner with a significant amount of children. Rasheed will consider relocating the library to the edge of the property so passersby can have a better visual and accessibility to the box.

Claspell said the recent collaboration with Rasheed has been positive.

“We are trying to get over there and see what we can do,” Claspell elaborated. “I think we are going to get over there and do a storytime once a month in January hopefully. We have a lot going on right now, and we are just trying to reach that community as well as keep it going.”

“It is going to help bring the community that we are identifying with to the resources and things that are available at Sims Library,” Rasheed reconciled.

Children reading sessions will be held at the museum, and the annual MLK oratory contest will take place in the Lyceum later this year.

Through the partnership with the library and the museum, the two directors want to encourage more of the Black community to utilize the library as well as bring resources from the library to the museum.

Rasheed is currently working with Nicole Matthews, programming and outreach coordinator for the library, on establishing a section in the library dedicated to Black authors and books about Black history. Rasheed pointed out this could be a universal spot for Black history.

Through a long-term collaboration, a dream of Rasheed’s is for the Sims Library to have the “largest collection of books for and by African Americans in Ellis County.”

“That, in essence, is my goal. To bridge — like I’ve always been trying to do — the current east side of the community to the rest of Waxahachie,” Rasheed affirmed.

The Little Library is available for anyone to utilize or donate books to and is located in front of the Ellis County African American Hall of Fame at 441 East Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard in Waxahachie.

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Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450

Travels with the “Green Book”

… fact of life, the racism that in 1936 inspired … guide to businesses that welcomed African American travelers. CBS News In … the National Museum of African American History and Culture in … Book" that welcomed African Americans.  CBS News As Taylor … RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News