07 October 2008

October Black History Events in New York

MOMA: Black Cinema
Last weekend I caught Oscar Micheaux’s Murder in Harlem (1935), the story of a black night watchman framed for the murder of a white woman, all wrapped around the romance of an aspiring New Negro writer/lawyer and the accused’s sassy sister. Not bad, though the plot lost its way about sixty minutes into the film and said sister put in a lackluster performance.

This week MOMA will be screening the classic Emperor Jones (1933) with Paul Robeson, in a newly restored edition (non-NYers can watch the Criterion Collection version of the same). A more exciting event will transpire on the 29th, when Ruby Dee will be present for a Q&A after a screening of That Man of Mine (1947), a “charming musical” (according to the MOMA listing) featuring an all-female jazz band, starring Ms. Dee herself.

NYU/Schomburg Center: Slave Routes Symposium
Also this week, from 9-11 October, NYU and the Schomburg, with the support of UNESCO, will be hosting Slave Routes, a symposium to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade by the United States. Highlights include a plenary on Thursday (with Maya Angelou, Amiri Baraka, Mary Frances Berry, and Jayne Cortez), a tribute to Aime Cesaire on Friday (featuring Baraka, George Lamming, and Maryse Conde), and a concert on Saturday (Randy Weston, Fred Ho, Jayne Cortez, and more).

If you go to the plenary up at the Schomburg, you might also want to take a few minutes to look in at the Aaron Douglas exhibit there. (I caught it in DC this summer--it's good.)

Studio Museum Harlem: Kehinde Wiley
After seeing Douglas, I think it’d be worthwhile to look in on Kehinde Wiley’s newest material up at the Studio Museum. I’ve blogged about Wiley a couple of times before already. I like his stuff, what can I say?


kg said...

There's a pretty fab Wiley hanging in the lobby of the BMA. It features sperm swimming decoratively across a large-scale riff on J.-L. David's "Napoleon Crossing the Alps." It's a seminal piece, if you will.