Monthly Archives: February 2011

Glenn Ligon: A New Kind of Conceptualism

Glenn Ligon at his studio.

Glenn Ligon “is someone who has figured out how to give Conceptualism some grit. He’s influenced a younger generation, perhaps because he is a political artist but not a protest artist. He has an unwillingness to be boxed in.”

The New York Times 02/27/11 (Carol Vogel); Above photo: Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Whitney Museum

Click here to read the entire article.

Terrell Starr: “Black in Ukraine”

Free-lance journalist Terrell Starr, whose work has appeared in Crisis Magazine, The Grio, and Illinois public radio, will speak about research into the African immigrant and African-Ukrainian community in Kyiv, Ukraine that he conducted as a Fulbright scholar and affiliate of the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology in 2009 and 2010.

When: Thursday March 03, 2011 5:00-6:00PM

Where: Indiana Memorial Union, Sassafras Room

Cost: Free

For more information, please contact the Russian and East European Institute at

North Carolina Black Film Festival: March 24-27, 2011

The Black Arts Alliance will present the North Carolina Black Film Festival, formerly Cine Noir, March 24-27, 2011 in Wilmington, NC.  In its 10th year, the four day juried and invitational festival of independent motion pictures by African-American filmmakers will showcase features, shorts, animation, and documentary films.

For more information: 910-431-9934

Afrika Filmfestival: March 24-April 05, 2011

The Afrika Filmfestival in Leuven is the most important annual showcase for African films in the Benelux. The festival tries to promote African cinema supporting distribution and national release of features, (co-)organizing conferences, publishing books on African cinema and consulting other festivals and institutions. And… obviously screening African films…

The main aims of its politics and programming can be summarized as follows:
1)  To provide an alternative for filmmakers and producers to have screening opportunities which mainstream distribution does not grant them, and thus generating some income for them that, in turn, provides them with the opportunities and means to continue filming and producing.
2)  To create a stage in which films by Africans and African culture can be visible and present in Benelux media on a permanent basis.

Milestone Media Creator Dwayne McDuffie Passes Away

CBR News has learned that comic writer, animation producer and respected industry veteran Dwayne McDuffie passed away. The cause of death and specific details are unknown at this time.

A native of Detroit, McDuffie officially joined the comics industry as part of Marvel Comics editorial in the late ’80s. While working on special projects for the publisher, he quickly made his name as a writer creating series such as “Damage Control” and helping to redefine the Deathlok character to fan and critical acclaim. He soon left the staff to become a full time freelance writer, becoming a voice in the industry for diversity, particularly fighting against stereotypical portrayals of people of color on the comic book page.

In 1993, McDuffie co-founded Milestone Media along with creators Denys Cowan, Michael Davis and Derek T. Dingle. The company’s mission statement involved expanding the role of minorities in comics both on the page and off, and they launched (through DC Comics) a line of superheroes that included “Static,” “Icon” and Xombi” – all of which McDuffie had a hand in creating.

Over the years, the writer contributed to scores of notable comic book launches and series, always with a keen eye on character, regardless of race. In 2000, his character, Static, made the leap totelevision in the Saturday morning cartoon “Static Shock.” In 2003, an episode of the show dealing with gun violence earned the writer the Humanitas Prize.

In recent years, McDuffie pursued dual tracks in animation and comics writing. He served as story editor for the popular “Justice League Unlimited” animated series and wrote a number of DC’s recent direct-to-DVD animated films. McDuffie had notable runs on comic series “Fantastic Four” and “Justice League of America,” often incorporating Black characters into the core of the fabled franchises.

McDuffie’s latest work was the script for the “All Star Superman” animated adaptation, which went on sale today in stores across America. CBR ran a lengthy interview with McDuffie about that project last week and caught up with him, looking in good health and acting jovial, last week at the Paley Center’s Los Angeles premier for the film. McDuffie’s last known public statement was a post to his Facebook page Sunday at 12:17 PM Pacific. He was scheduled to sign at Golden Apple Comics tomorrow evening as part of Reggie Hudlin’s Reggie’s World launch party.

The writer is survived by his wife, though at this point no further details are available on what exactly happened to McDuffie. The staff of Comic Book Resources offers our deepest condolences to his family and friends.

Obituary by Comic Book Resources

The Healing Passage: Voices From the Water

Documentary Channel (DOC) will launch a new initiative in 2011 by showcasing the works of Black documentary filmmakers on the last Tuesday of every month in primetime.  DOC is beginning the “Black Documentary Cinema” programming strand in collaboration with the New York-based The Black Documentary Collective (BDC) and the Los Angeles-based Black Association of Documentary Filmmakers-West (BAD West).

DOC’s “Black Documentary Cinema” initiative kicks off with the U.S. television premiere of poet-filmmaker S. Pearl Sharp’s critically acclaimed “The Healing Passage: Voices From the Water” on Tuesday, Feb. 22 at 8 pm ET/PT.  Cultural artists in the 90-minute film, along with historians and healers, look at present day behavior that is connected to the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.  For more than 300 years, Africans were carried from their homeland, across the Atlantic Ocean, into chattel slavery in the Americas and the Caribbean.  The documentary explores the residual impact of this African Holocaust that still reverberates in the world today through psychological trauma, genetic memory, personal and community consciousness.  The film’s artists use music, dolls, dance, altars, spoken word, visual art and ritual to create paths to healing.

Documentary Channel is primarily available through satellite television services DISH Network (Channel 197) and DIRECTV (Channel 267).

Researchers Say Slaves Hid African Charms on Colonial Greenhouse in Maryland

“The greenhouse on the Maryland plantation where famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass spent part of his childhood was not as uniquely European as once thought: Its furnace was built by slaves, who hid distinctly African touches within it to ward off bad spirits, researchers said.

“A stone pestle to control spirits was concealed in brick ductwork used to heat the orangery — a type of greenhouse used to shield citrus and other trees from chilly winters — and University of Maryland archaeologists found charms buried at the structure’s entrance, said excavation leader Mark Leone. The greenhouse was long considered a mark of European sophistication and was a status symbol of the era.”

By: Alex Dominguez, Associated Press

Click here to read the entire article.