Monthly Archives: August 2011

Library, Smithsonian Launch Civil Rights History Project Website

The American Folklife Center (AFC) at the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) have launched The Civil Rights History Project at The portal presents the results of a nationwide inventory of oral-history interviews with participants in the civil rights movement. The research, which was initiated and completed in 2010, identified several hundred collections held in libraries, museums, archives, universities, historical societies, and other institutions across the nation. The database and search tool, developed by Library of Congress catalogers and web designers, will enable researchers to efficiently query the survey results and locate collections in repositories around the country.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I am pleased that the results of the survey can now be shared with everyone who is interested in the accounts of those who took part in the civil rights movement,” said Deanna Marcum, associate librarian for Library Services at the Library of Congress. “We can also acknowledge the crucial work that libraries, archives, museums and other institutions around the country have done to record and preserve those accounts.”

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Symposium Celebrating Julie Dash at The Avery Research Center – Sept 16-17

‘We Carry These Memories Inside of We’

The Avery Research Center presents a two-day symposium and art show celebrating the Black Art aesthetic of filmmaker Julie Dash.

September 16-17, 2011

To register or view the schedule, follow the link above.

Shaft @ IU Cinema – Sunday, Aug 28, 6:30 pm

Indianapolis Museum of Art Screens Nollywood Babylon – Sept 1 @ 7pm

Film Still from Nollywood Babylon

The Toby

(2008, dirs. S. Mallal & B. Addelman, 74 mins., Canada)

Nigeria’s home-movie industry, Nollywood, is the third largest in the world. This documentary captures the explosive energy, economic power, and cultural influence of the industry. The film drops viewers into the chaos of metropolitan Lagos’ Idumota market, where, among the bustling stalls, films are sold and unlikely stars are born. Unfazed by low budgets, and sometimes propelled by religious agendas, enterprising filmmakers create brash B-movies where voodoo and Christian messages overlay with urban drama, echoing the collision of mysticism and modern culture that Nigerians experience every day. From director Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen, at work on his 157th feature (“The business of filmmaking is about making money and making statements,” Lancelot proclaims), to producer Helen Ukpabio, also head of a large gospel church, the players in Nollywood Babylon portray a complex and populist movie machine. Nollywood Babylon was an official selection at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.

Film shown in connection with Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria. Film presented by the IUPUI Committee on African and African-American Studies and IMA with additional support from Indy Film Fest. Film shown in DVD.

Save the Date – November 12: Symposium on the L.A. Rebellion

still from Charles Burnett's Killer of Sheep (1977)

This fall the UCLA Film & Television Archive will celebrate the filmmakers of the L.A. Rebellion in the retrospective L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema.  All the details have not been released yet, but mark your calendars for the one-day symposium that will take place on November 12 at UCLA.  BFC/A director Michael Martin is scheduled to participate.

The UCLA Film& Television Archive’s director, Jan-Christopher Horak, has written a few blog posts on collecting related films and organizing the program.  You can find them HERE, HERE and HERE.

We’ll keep you posted about the final program.

BFC/A Celebrates 30th Anniversary!

The BFC/A turns 30 this year, and we plan to celebrate!  We have an exciting array of events and activities for students, faculty, community members, and visitors this semester.

BFC/A is currently featured in the main display case at Wells Library

  • Aug 28: We are co-sponsoring a screening of the classic blaxploitation film Shaft at IU Cinema.
  • Sept 30; Oct. 14; Oct 28: Friday afternoon screenings of films from the Archive.
  • Nov 4: Dedication of the Reading Room to Phyllis Klotman, the first director of the BFC/A.  Charles Burnett will be in attendance.
  • Nov 3-6: Charles Burnett films screened at IU Cinema.

This, of course, is just a taste of what will be going on this semester.  We’re also creating new special events that we’ll post about in the coming weeks.  So stayed tuned!

For more information, please contact us at

Music Is My Life, Politics My Mistress: Aug 30th on the Documentary Channel

MUSIC IS MY LIFE, POLITICS  MY MISTRESS is the intriguing story of Oscar Brown Jr., a poet, playwright, musician, composer, lyricist, author and civil and social activist.  Produced and directed by filmmaker donnie l. betts, the film focuses on the life of this extraordinary man of all seasons and is great contributions to history.

Described by the LA Times as “… a national treasure who should be honored by the Kennedy Center”, Oscar Brown Jr. is an inspiring man never afraid to speak his mind.  MUSIC IS MY LIFE, POLITICS MY MISTRESS, is a compelling look at the life of a legend and a true American icon.  Winner of 11 Film Festival awards.  Premiering on the Documentary Channel on August 30 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT. The Documentary Channel is available through satellite television services DISH Network (Channel 197)and DIRECTV (Channel 267).

Find your copy at or